Covid-19 impact and responses: Indonesia

Updated on: 23 August, 2021

What is the current situation?

General information

Following the vaccination that has been accelerated by the Government, police department and other stakeholders including business associations and the private sector, the COVID-19 cases have been declining significantly. By 29 September 2021, the active case is 37,412 cases. there were 141,826 and 4,034,176 persons recovered in Indonesia. The government has targeted to get the 70% of the population or 181.554.465 people vaccinated by the end of 2021. As of 27 September 2021, almost 87.1 million people (41.85% of the population) has got their first vaccine shot which 48.9 million of them have completed the second shot. Even so, the government keeps the Emergency Restriction on Community Activities (PPKM Darurat) which has been implemented from 3 July until 4 October 2021 which possible extension.

For domestic travellers, negative PCR-test and first doses of the vaccine are compulsory. Please note that the PCR test is only valid for 2×24 hours and shall be taken in the registered health facility. All travellers shall download “Peduli Lindungi” application, fill out the data in Electronic Health Alert Card (eHAC) and scan it at the departure airport. The App also has the function to keep the vaccine certificate, PCR and antigen test, also for tracking the mobility. 

Exceptions for foreigners who meet certain criteria, all foreigners shall be quarantined for 24 x 8 hours after arrival in Indonesia. See the update of travelling restrictions here. Shopping center has been opened until 9 PM, dine-in is allowed. Schools have been opened in certain areas including Jakarta.

The session in the Constitution Court that test the formal of Job Creation Bill (Omnibus Law) remains in process of hearing the expert opinion. The law expert, Feri Amsari, that asked by trade union confederation KSBSI, said that the Bill has violated 6 of 7 principles that should have been followed in the process of issuance of the law. Kindly see the video in Bahasa Indonesia here New report by Mondiaal FNV and Wage Indicator on the difference of Omnibus Law with the previous labour law can be read here

The situation with factory production

The orders have started to increase even though it is not yet back to the situation before the pandemic. The factory only uses some parts of its production capacity. However, due to emergency restrictions, the factory shall manage the working hours to avoid more than 50% of crowd, particularly the crowd on the main gate while workers come to work and at the end of working hours. The crowd also happens during lunchtime in the canteen and mosque. Some factories use “shift method”, some others apply gradual working hours.

For the factory use shift method, the working time is divided into 2-3 shifts, which means there are groups of workers, including women workers who work at night or early morning shift. The gradual working hours divides the working hours and rest time into different 2-3 groups. During the emergency restriction, not all factories pay for the extra food and transportation cost for the workers who work at night shift. While the wage use normal wage rather than overtime.

According to the trade unions, the risk of the above practice has caused a higher rate of work accidents due to work fatigue, also more risk to get sexual harassment and any criminal action at night or early morning. Trade unions also have a concern with the high cost of transportation paid by workers since the public transportations are not available at night or early morning.

What are the government policies to support local businesses?

The business incentives consist of government-borne income tax, income tax exemption on imports, tax deduction, VAT return, corporate income tax rate reduction. While for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the government provided interest subsidy, fund placement, guarantee fee, working capital guarantee, government-borne income tax, investment financing for cooperatives and productive social assistance.

What are the government policies and regulations to protect employees – the workers?

Pre-Working Card (Kartu Pra Kerja)

In 2021, the Government continue the Pre-Working Card program that will provide free training for 4 months and IDR 1.15 million for workers as an incentive to join in the training and survey. The workers who have received a Pre-Working Card in 2020 cannot join in 2021. To apply for the Pre-Working Card, workers shall follow the steps on

Due to the limitation of IT capacity among garment workers, it is suggested that the workers get assistance from trade unions or supervisors in the application process. Until 8 August 2021, the Pre-Working Cars has been implemented in 18th phase.

Wage Subsidy Assistance (WSA)

One of the Government programs to help formal workers is the Direct Cash Transfer (DCT) or known as Wage Subsidy Assistance (WSA) that started in August 2020. DCT applies for all formal workers in any sector whose below salary below IDR 3.5 million (EUR 205), have been active in social security scheme, BPJS Employment (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) and work in the areas with a high level of Covid-19 cases (Level 3 and Level 4). It is preferable to the workers to work in the sector of consumer goods, transportation, various industry property, real estate, trade and service. The workers in education and health service are not eligible. For the workers within are with the minimum wage above IDR 3.5 million, the eligibility will follow the amount of minimum wage.

To obtain DCT, the employers shall register the workers to the BPJS Employment office or via “Membership BPJS”. The Government transfers once in August 2021 with a total amount of IDR 1 million (EUR 58). DCT has been transferred twice in 2020, supported more than 12 million workers in September-December 2020 via state-owned banks: BRI, BNI, BTN and Mandiri.

What are local stakeholders doing to lobby their government?

Trade unions are working to advocate against the Job Creation Bill/Omnibus Law, particularly after all the government regulations that have recently been issued. They also push the private sector to provide vaccines for all workers.

What are local organisations doing to support and protect workers?

Local organisations have more focus on doing research, lobby and advocacy. NGO activists have developed the independent complaint platform LAPORCOVID where people can submit complaints related to COVID-19, including if their employers are not following the health protocols. This platform will refer the complaints to the authorities. Meanwhile, Jakarta Activist has just launched Cari Layanan, where people can get information about gender-based violence including helpline numbers, safe houses and counselling. It is also important to note that there has been an increase in rates of domestic violence and divorce in Indonesia. 

What have been the responses and requests of business associations to support the industry?

The garment companies have challenges with the increasing logistical costs due to a shortage of containers. In another hand, local companies should compete with the illegally imported garments. Business associations have requested the government to issue a safeguarding policy. The government is in the process of discussing the policy.

What are international brands doing to support the suppliers and protect the workers?

Brands have shared best practices from other production countries on how to deal with safety measures. Long-term contracts with suppliers are needed to increase business certainty. No suppliers have reported on production-related support from brands.

Relevant links for more information

Ministry of Manpower
Travel to Indonesia policy
Indonesia National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB)
Ministry of Health
Government of Jakarta
Government of Yogyakarta
Government of Central Java
Government of West Java
Government of Banten
Government of Bali