Singapore

Grab to limit commission rebates, announces schemes to help drivers

In a sign of the challenges facing ride-hailing companies, Grab will be limiting its sought-after performance-based commission rebate to 18,000 drivers, and dropping a series of schemes including monthly trip-target bonuses and birthday rewards.

It also separately announced yesterday initiatives it will be introducing to help drivers switch careers if they need to.

Grab does not disclose its driver numbers, but it is the largest private-hire operator in Singapore.

In a message to drivers seen by The Straits Times, Grab said 18,000 drivers who contribute the most commissions each quarter from July 1 will get a 12 per cent rebate on the commissions paid to the firm.

Previously, any driver who consecutively completes more than 200 trips monthly for at least three months could get at least a 10 per cent rebate on the monthly commission due. It can even go up to 55 per cent for eligible drivers.

The latest moves come in the wake of plunging demand for ride-hailing services from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grab had earlier cut the pay of its senior management by up to 20 per cent and encouraged its staff to take voluntary no-pay leave.

Under the new scheme, Grab drivers must meet requirements such as having a low cancellation rate for bookings. Those who do not turn on the option to automatically accept jobs will not be eligible for the incentive.

In a media briefing, Grab Singapore head of transport Andrew Chan said its drivers need to prepare for a new normal, and "this may include seeking other earning sources to supplement their income".

Grab aims to help 2,000 to 3,000 drivers in the next six months through three initiatives. They comprise training courses conducted by Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP); a new career support portal that helps train and link up drivers to potential new jobs; and a freelance work portal.

COMPULSORY

The two courses conducted by NP will run over two days. They will be compulsory for all new drivers, who will get to learn customer service skills and how to maintain their vehicles.

The freelance job portal will introduce a function in Grab's driver app that curates job opportunities from Workforce Singapore's MyCareersFuture.sg portal to let drivers search for jobs to supplement their earnings.

The second biggest ride-hailing company here, Gojek, told ST its commission rebates of between 60 per cent and 100 per cent to help drivers tide through reduced demand will continue till June 28. But it did not elaborate on its plans after that.

Transport