National Private Hire Vehicles Association Takes First Step In Representing Drivers Through Partnership With Grab
The National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) has inked its first industry partnership with Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing company, Grab, in its efforts to champion the interests of private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers.
Formalising partnership via MOU
Today marks the official partnership between NPHVA and Grab, through a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony that took place at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. The MOU entails the following areas:
- Grab’s support for independent high-performing full-time drivers who are interested in becoming members of NPHVA, for a period of six months.
- Marketing, outreach and recruitment activities
Taking Better Care of Grab Drivers
In addition, this collaboration marks the start of regular dialogues between NPHVA, Grab and their drivers to facilitate operational and driver-related issues on the ground, as well as other driver-centric activities to promote driving as a viable income source and help drivers maintain a sustainable driving business.
A key highlight of the partnership is Grab’s support for the formation of a NPHVA branch. NPHVA will be working with Grab driver communities for them to identify and nominate suitable drivers to be included in the branch committee, to better represent the unique needs of such drivers.
With the branch formation, NPHVA will serve as the voice of Grab drivers, helping to raise individual concerns and collective issues with Grab. NPHVA will also facilitate two-way flow of feedback between Grab and their driver. This collaborative nature of engagement allows both Grab and drivers to hear and understand each others’ considerations, thereby fostering stronger partner relationships.
Sharing on the significance of this landmark collaboration, NPHVA Executive Adviser S. Thiagarajan said, “Grab understands the tripartite system that exists in Singapore, where both the company and the Labour Movement can work together for a productive and mutually beneficial partnership. Grab is committed to support NPHVA’s outreach efforts and encourage drivers to join the association, and this is exemplified by their sponsorship for drivers who are interested in continuing or acquiring NPHVA membership. Grab has also agreed to regular engagement with NPHVA’s branch committee on feedback and issues raised by the drivers. We appreciate this enlightened approach taken by Grab.”
Mr Lim Kell Jay, Head of Grab Singapore, also expresses his hopes for the partnership, “Driver partners are the backbone of our company and we are invested in ensuring their well-being. Our partnership with NPHVA is a testament to Grab’s commitment to out-serve driver partners and further complements our Driver Sustainability Programme to ensure higher and sustainable incomes, lower operating costs, and safety and well-being of drivers. Together with NPHVA, we are setting a new standard for the private-hire vehicle industry.”
Grab’s Driver Sustainability Programme seeks to cut operating costs and increase bookings for drivers. The programme includes a fuel discount initiative which allows selected drivers to enjoy competitive fuel discounts, a “Passenger Finder” feature that uses real-time and historical demand data to identify passenger hotspots and alert drivers using text messages, and free Group Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) for all GrabCar drivers and their passengers. Grab’s group PAI policy offers coverage on top of mandatory commercial motor insurance, in the event of accidental death, permanent dismemberment and bodily injuries on a GrabCar ride. The total personal accident benefits for the driver or passenger is up to US$250,000 per vehicle, or up to an aggregate limit of US$2.5 million per accident in Singapore.
Recognising Grab’s continuous efforts to increase its pool of independent full-time and part-time drivers, NPHVA is also tapping on the Labour Movement network, working with e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) to provide this opportunity to various groups of workers, such as those who are in between jobs, or mature workers who may have some time on their hands or have been retrenched.
Voice for Private Hire Vehicle Drivers
Since its formation on 3 May 2016, NPHVA has been in talks with various driver communities, bringing up the total number of PHV drivers that they have engaged with to about 1,500.
Beyond the collaboration with Grab, NPHVA remains focused on its long-term goal of ensuring that PHV drivers are able to compete fairly and maintain a sustainable livelihood, while providing a high standard of services to commuters. To do so, NPHVA has also rolled out some driver-centric activities recently, and will step up such efforts in the coming months. These activities include:
- Running a “Drivers’ Empowerment Series” of workshops conducted by experienced drivers, on key topics including “Drive Smart, Earn More”, tax, CPF, contractual and other obligations and liability, as well as the proposed Private Hire Car Drivers’ Vocational Licensing regime
- Developing more benefits that helps ease members’ daily expenses and better protect their livelihood e.g. merchant discounts for members such as deals on mobile plans, fuel, in-vehicle cameras, medical check-ups, etc
- Organising social events that will promote work-life harmony and encourage networking among fellow drivers as well as industry stakeholders
- Working with e2i and industry partners to enhance the quality of work and improve the skills of drivers
Moving forward, NPHVA, with support from the National Trades Union Congress, will continue to look after the needs of PHV drivers, and help raise industry standards for the benefit of commuters.
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