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Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Indonesia


In Indonesia, the termination of employment is strictly regulated by the Manpower Act No.13 of 2003 ("Manpower Act"). Employers are not allowed to terminate employees without a legally valid reason. The acceptable grounds for termination can be categorized into two: employee-related reasons and company-related reasons.

These include violation of the employment contract (after at least three written warnings), long-term illness (more than 12 consecutive months), imprisonment, grave misconduct such as theft, violence, destruction of property, five consecutive days of unexcused absence, and retirement as stipulated in the contract.

These include situations where the company shuts down due to ongoing losses, efficiency measures to prevent losses within the company, and merger, acquisition, or restructuring causing changes an employee is unwilling to accept.

Notice Requirements

When terminating an employee, employers must adhere to specific notice periods. For regular employees, the notice must be given 14 working days in advance, and for probationary employees, the notice must be given 7 working days in advance. Notice periods may be extended per the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. Employees must also provide notice when resigning, typically at least 30 days in advance.

Severance Pay

Severance packages are mandated by the Manpower Act and other regulations. The calculation of severance pay is complex and considers factors such as the reason for termination, length of service, and the employee's salary.

Termination Procedure

The termination procedure involves a bipartite negotiation where employers are first obligated to reach a mutual agreement with the employee through good-faith negotiation. If no agreement is reached, the employer must notify the Ministry of Manpower. The ministry will try to mediate a resolution. In the case of continued dispute, the matter can be taken to the Industrial Relations Court for a final decision.

Employers should always ensure they have detailed documentation supporting the reason for termination. Collective bargaining agreements or company policies may provide for more generous severance or notice terms. Indonesian labor law is complex, and it's essential to seek specialized legal advice when handling terminations to minimize the risk of disputes.


Indonesia has a number of laws and regulations in place to protect individuals from discrimination in various areas, including employment.

Protected Characteristics

  • Race and Ethnicity: Law No. 40 of 2008 on the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination prohibits discrimination based on one's race or ethnicity.
  • Religion: The Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and several laws uphold this right.
  • Gender: The Manpower Act and other regulations prohibit gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
  • Disability: Law Number 8 of 2016 on Persons with Disabilities mandates protection from discrimination and promotes equal opportunities.
  • Other: Additional characteristics, such as sexual orientation, age, and marital status, may be protected under specific employment contracts or company policies, but these aren't comprehensively covered by national laws.

Redress Mechanisms

Individuals who experience discrimination can seek remedies through the following avenues:

  • Internal Reporting: Many companies have internal grievance procedures to address complaints of discrimination.
  • Ministry of Manpower: The Ministry of Manpower investigates employment-related discrimination complaints and can facilitate mediation.
  • National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM): Komnas HAM is an independent body that handles human rights complaints, including discrimination cases.
  • Courts: Individuals can file lawsuits against employers for acts of discrimination.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in Indonesia have a crucial role in preventing and addressing discrimination:

  • Zero-Tolerance Policies: Implement and enforce a clear policy prohibiting discrimination based on protected characteristics.
  • Training: Provide employees with regular training on anti-discrimination law and foster an inclusive work environment.
  • Grievance Procedures: Establish a transparent process for handling and investigating discrimination complaints.
  • Proactive Measures: Promote diversity and inclusion by actively recruiting from diverse pools and offering accommodations where needed (e.g., for religious practices or disabilities).

Even without comprehensive national laws explicitly addressing all forms of discrimination, employers should strive to create a fair and inclusive workplace. International conventions and principles, such as those endorsed by the International Labor Organization (ILO), also provide strong guidance for best practices.

Working conditions

Indonesian law provides clear guidelines for working hours, rest periods, and ergonomic considerations to ensure a healthy and productive work environment.

Working Hours

In Indonesia, the standard workweek is 40 hours, spread across either five eight-hour days or six seven-hour days. While employers have some flexibility in scheduling working hours, they must adhere to the maximum daily and weekly limits established by law.

Overtime is allowed under specific conditions, with a maximum of 3 hours per day and 14 hours per week. Overtime work must be compensated at a higher rate than regular pay.

Rest Periods

Indonesian regulations mandate rest periods for employees to prevent fatigue and ensure alertness:

  • Daily Rest: All employees are entitled to a minimum of one hour of rest during the workday.
  • Weekly Rest: Employees must be granted a minimum of one full day of rest per week, typically coinciding with Sundays or religious holidays.

Ergonomic Requirements

While there isn't a single regulation dedicated solely to ergonomics in Indonesia, the overall Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) framework promotes a work environment that minimizes physical strain and prevents musculoskeletal disorders. This is achieved through:

  • Risk Assessments: Employers are required to conduct risk assessments to identify potential ergonomic hazards in the workplace, such as awkward postures, repetitive motions, or poorly designed workstations.
  • Workplace Design: Regulations encourage employers to design workplaces that consider ergonomic principles. This can include providing adjustable furniture, promoting good posture practices, and incorporating regular breaks for stretching and movement.

Regulation No. 5/2018, which outlines specific safety standards for various workplace hazards, can also be referenced for ergonomic considerations related to lighting, noise levels, and workstation layout.

Health and safety

Indonesia has a comprehensive legal framework for health and safety in the workplace, established as early as the 1930s. The cornerstone of this system is the Work Safety Act (Law No. 1 of 1970), which outlines the fundamental principles and employer obligations.

Employer Obligations

The Work Safety Act emphasizes a preventative approach, mandating employers to prioritize workplace safety. Key employer obligations include:

  • Providing a safe work environment: This encompasses measures to prevent and minimize accidents, fires, explosions, and exposure to harmful substances like dust, chemicals, and radiation.
  • Implementing an OSH Management System (OSHMS): This system requires a structured approach to identifying, mitigating, and monitoring workplace hazards.
  • Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Employers must furnish employees with appropriate PPE based on the specific workplace risks.
  • Reporting workplace accidents: Employers are legally bound to report work-related accidents to the relevant government agencies.

These obligations are further elaborated upon in subordinate regulations issued by the Ministry of Manpower. For instance, Regulation No. 5/2018 establishes specific safety standards for various workplace hazards, including noise levels, chemical exposure limits, and lighting.

Employee Rights

Indonesian employees enjoy a well-defined set of rights under the OSH framework:

  • Right to a safe workplace: Employees have the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable hazards.
  • Right to information and training: Employers must educate employees on workplace safety procedures and the potential risks associated with their jobs.
  • Right to refuse unsafe work: Employees can refuse to perform tasks they believe pose a serious threat to their health or safety.

By law, employers cannot retaliate against employees for exercising their OSH rights.

Enforcement Agencies

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is the primary government body responsible for enforcing OSH regulations in Indonesia. The MOM conducts workplace inspections to ensure compliance and can impose sanctions on employers who violate safety standards. Additionally, the Indonesian Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) plays a role in ensuring workplace safety by providing accident and health insurance for employees.

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