Employee Protection and Business Sustainability on the Prevention of Covid-19

On March 17, 2020, the Minister of Manpower (the “MOM”) issued her Circular Letter No. M/3/HK.04/III/2020 on the Employee Protection and Business Sustainability on the Prevention of COVID-19 (the “Circular Letter”).

Through this Circular Letter, the MOM requests all the Governors in Indonesia to apply the following measures to protect employees and to sustain businesses.

  • Infection Prevention and Countermeasures of COVID-19 in Workplace

The Governors are requested to develop and supervise the implementation of laws and regulation related to the Occupational Health and Safety Measures (K3) and to register and report any COVID-19 case to the relevant institutions. The Governors shall instruct each employer to anticipate the COVID-19 outbreak at the workplace by implementing measures such as hygiene obligation into the K3, implementing the Health and Safety Supervising Committee, and optimizing the function of the work safety service.

The Governors shall emphasize that each employer must immediately develop a plan in facing the COVID-19 outbreak to lessen the infection risk in the workplace and to sustain the businesses.

  • Wage Protection during COVID-19 Outbreak

Any employee that is unable to work because:

  1. he or she is categorized a Person under Supervision (Orang Dalam Pengawasan) based on a doctor statement for the maximum of 14 (fourteen) days or more in compliance with the standards issued by the Ministry of Health, or
  2. he or she is a suspect of the COVID-19 infection and is quarantined or isolated based on a doctor statement,

is entitled to receive the full wages during the quarantine or isolation periods.

If an employee is unable to work because he or she is infected by the COVID-19 as evidenced by a doctor statement, he or she is entitled to received the wages as accordance to the prevailing laws and regulations.

For employers, the Circular Letter simply states that if an employer is unable or restrained to conduct its business based on the respective regional government policy, which in turn results in all or some of the workers being unable to work, in considering the business sustainability, such employer may amend or adjust the wage amounts and the means of payment based on a mutual agreement between the employer and the employees. This is nothing but a repetition of the relevant provisions of the Manpower Law (Law 13 of 2003).

In this context, please note that the Circular Letter does not allow employers to reduce wages without the consents of the employees. While this is disappointing for employers, please note that the Manpower Law restricts an employer from reducing the amounts of wages without the consent of the employee.



April 1, 2020

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