- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise and community transmission remains high. Indonesia continues being one of the most Covid-19 affected countries in ASEAN. Shortage of hospital beds and treatment facilities continues to be a concern as well as the high mortality rate. Stricter public heath restriction measures have been recently re-introduced As such, all companies are required to work 75% of the time from home (if possible) but essentials sectors are exempted. All manufacturing units need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Industry to be able to operate. Garment and footwear factories in Indonesia have been severely impact by Covid-19. In April 2020, the Indonesia’s Textile Association (API) reported that Covid-19 restrictions had halted operations temporarily in 80 percent of textile and textile product companies in Indonesia. ILO data shows that in May and June 2020 export levels were down 60% compared to the previous year.
- The 2021 COVID-19 fiscal stimulus package (USD 24.6 billion) by the government of Indonesia has been renewed for 2021, with a focus on health care, social safety net measures, and business recovery programs. The Indonesian economy contracted by 2% in 2020.
- The pre-employment card programme (Kartu Pra Kerja) has been renewed for 2021 and provides unemployment subsidies and skills training to affected workers from both the formal and informal sector.
- The government has allocated Rp 37.7 trillion from the state budget for a wage subsidy program to be implemented in Q3 and Q4 of 2020. Workers who earn less than Rp 5 million per month and are registered in the social security program (BPJS) received Rp. 600,000 stimulus disbursement. .
- Better Work advises all factories to actively communicate with local governments about the assistance schemes provided to workers and employers. See below for more information on existing schemes:
- The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower launched an informational website on the outbreak, Posko K3. The website contains steps to generate a business continuity plan, preventive measures, good practices, and information on rights of workers who have contracted COVID-19. It also functions as an online forum for consulting and submitting complaints relating to OSH and COVID-19.
- Since the start of the pandemic more than 160 export-oriented garment factories enrolled in Better Work were affected, i.e., they were temporarily closed or reduced working time/days/wages (for a period of time) due to COVID-19 restrictions or cancelled orders from buyers. To date, more than 179,000 workers were affected and 19,667 workers lost their jobs. In January 2021, 3,422 workers were in a furlough (no work, no pay) situation in 4 factories. More details including a month-by-month analysis here.
- Many factories have adapted production lines since March to produce personal protective equipment for prevention and handling of COVID-19, including non-medical facemasks and medical gowns.
- For further context on the national response to COVID-19, see the ILO’s compilation of country policy responses.
Factory service update
- Factory visits, including assessments, are suspended, but a risk assessment protocol is in place that allows for BWI to conduct on-site advisory factory visits and training. Special consideration is being given to the need to observe physical distancing, other OSH-related measures and issues related to wages payment and industrial relations.
- In-presence factory visits, including assessments, are suspended, but a risk assessment protocol is in place that allows for BWI to conduct on-site advisory factory visits and trainingSpecial consideration being given to the need to observe physical distancing, other OSH-related measures and issues related to wages payment as well as industrial relations and operational situation.
- A step-by-step OSH action plan for Better Work factories, to inform and protect workers, has been rolled out using the latest ILO and WHO advice. Factories are instituting temperature screening and social distancing, new handwashing regiments, and are providing masks to workers.
- Virtual trainings have been delivered (in collaboration with government and other experts) on the following thematic areas: Occupational Safety and Health (Certified chemical officer, Certified OSH management system, Certified OSH expert), Labour Norm (Certified labour norm expert training, International Labour Standards), Management System (Root Cause Analysis, PDCA application, Document Control System), Gender and Inclusion (Anti-discrimination, Breastfeeding friendly workplace), Positive Wellbeing in the Workplace/Stress Management, Supervisory skills training with a focus on Leadership during crisis. More topics are currently being developed on Industrial relations, Management systems, OSH and Inclusion thematic areas.
- Virtual Industry Seminars (with the government and other experts) have been delivered on: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of labour norms, COVID-19 Health and Safety aspects, Annual Festive Bonus (THR), Payment amid the Pandemic, OSH & Labour Norm Aspects, OSH Survey on COVID-19 Protocols in the Workplace.
Additional Better Work Activities
- The Indonesian employers’ associations (Apindo, API and APRISINDO) and garment and footwer trade unions (SPSI, SPSI ATUC, Garteks) signed a joint commitment to protect health, business sustainability and welfare of workers in these sectors. The joint commitment and action plan outlines the priorities for the sector and the key policy areas that social partners would like to see advanced as response to the crisis by the Indonesian government and international brands sourcing from Indonesia.
- Better Work continues engaging with the provincial governments of West Java, Central Java, Jakarta and central government in clarifying, helping shape and further disseminate policy concerning labour law, public health measures and incentive programmes to support workers and employers amid the pandemic.
- In December 2020, the ILO and BWI supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)distributed necessary personal protection equipment (PPE), including masks, soap and hand sanitizer for workers in 203 factories member of BWI programme, and develop an awareness raising campaign on prevention of COVID-19 in the workplace through distribution of posters, infographics, and use of social media. The programme has also launched an emergency wage subsidy programme to mitigate the negative impact of Covid-19. See ILO BMZ Wage Subsidy programme.
- Engagement with garment trade unions has been regular, and strategies to further disseminate key information and advice among workers are in place. An Instagram-live campaign has been launched by Better Work for wider sensitization of workers and relevant stakeholders around labour norms, workers’ rights during the pandemic and promoting social dialogue. Some of the sessions focus on strategies to deal with the lockdown, stress and sensitization to avoid the end of Ramadan Mudik (travel back home for Idul-Fitri), women rights, preventing layoffs and financial literacy. More than 4,000 netizens have viewed, logged in and participated in the IG live sessions.
- Several Covid-19 related thematic webinars have been organized targeting Better Work Buyers including on annual festive bonus (THR); recent developments concerning the West Java’s Minimum Wage 2020 dispute and the newly enacted Omnibus Law.
- Specific Guidance has been issued to deal with the most pressing issues brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. These include: Guidance on Workers’ Protection and Business Continuity Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic: Transmission, Prevention and Management and the Best Practices in the Workplaceand Workers’ Retrenchment Guidelines: A compilation of Q&A when termination is unavoidable. All are available in Bahasa Indonesian and English.
- On 5 October, Indonesia’s Job Creation Bill, or Omnibus Law, was adopted by the House of Representatives with the opposition of only two political parties. The Job Creation cluster of the OL revises the 2003 Manpower Act and introduces significant changes to rules around employment contracts, working hours and leave, wages and termination (among others). The Law was signed by Indonesia’s president and promulgated, on 2 November, as “Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation” (Law Number 11/2020). The Employment Cluster of the Law Number 11/2020 is under a “judicial review” by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, as per the lawsuits filled by several Confederations of Trade Unions, including KSPI, KSPSI and KSBSI. Articles 185 and 186 of Law Number 11 of 2020 stipulates that the Law comes into force on the date of promulgation (2 November) and that the implementing regulations accompanying this law must be issued in a period of three months from that date. Article 185 further states that all related implementing regulations, which have been not be amended by the new law, remain in force. At the end of February 2021, 4 main employment-related regulations were issued to accompany the Job Creation cluster.