Recently, food delivery platforms have once again become a concern of the public. Rumors have spread concerning food delivery platforms requiring their riders to register as individual industrial and commercial households, so as to avoid a responsibility that companies should bear. Meituan and Ele.me responded saying that such moves have been prohibited, and they strictly forbid partners to induce or force riders to registration as such.
Meituan announced, “A notice has been sent to all our partners on September 14, prohibiting riders from registering as individual industrial and commercial households. We reiterated this rule and put forward specific requirements. All partners have to sign a commitment letter within next week to further strengthen platform supervision.”
Meituan has also set up a feedback hotline for riders’ complaints. From now on, riders who encounter the behavior of being induced or forced to register individual industrial and commercial households can call the hotline. Meituan will follow up within 24 hours.
The catering and food delivery platform Ele.me, also made a statement. “It is forbidden to induce or force workers in these kinds of flexible jobs to become individual industrial and commercial households to evade the responsibility that employers have to take. We strictly abide by laws and regulations and compliance requirements of relevant local departments.”
Ele.me announced that the firm is purchasing occupational injury insurance for its riders in national pilot areas and will take the measures under the guidance of departments. At the same time, rider protection and care measures have been implemented around riders’ health, income, care and development.
The model of “individual industrial and commercial household” was launched by some human resources enterprises which guides people who take flexible jobs to register as businesses. Therefore, companies that employ these registered people will enjoy dividends from accommodative policies while reducing labor costs. This model has been found in many industries.
On September 10, Chinese regulators held an administrative guidance meeting to protect the rights and interests of new workers in flexible jobs, requiring employer enterprises to adhere to their own responsibilities as business entities.
The model of food delivery riders registering as individual industrial and commercial households is explicitly prohibited in the food delivery industry. This is conducive to clarifying the main body of responsibility and providing a better guarantee and a more standardized working environment for workers in this kind of flexible employment.