Foreigners who work in Indonesia are entitled to certain labor rights. These labor rights are protected by labor laws which specifically pertain to foreign workers. Foreign workers who know about the details of these laws will be more empowered and autonomous as they work in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s Labor Laws


Indonesia’s Primary Labor Laws

There are certain Indonesian labor laws which are not only necessary, but of utmost importance to all who work in Indonesia. For instance, Article 5 of the country’s labor laws specifies that everyone who could possibly be employed is to be offered equal working opportunities without any discrimination or corruption. Article 6 mentions that every worker has the right to receive equal treatment. Job training ought to be offered to all employees to provide direction and to enhance their competence. Indonesian labor laws also state that employers are responsible for improving their workers’ competence through the provision of job training. Equal opportunities for job training should be provided to all workers. Indonesian labor laws also require the employers to give special considerations to those with disabilities by considering the type and severity of the disability as well as the disabled person’s ability to perform the tasks to be assigned.

If an employer terminates a contract due to the sale of a company, Indonesian labor laws require that the employee be paid the statutory termination payment. However, Indonesian laws do not require a termination notice. The employer is still obligated to pay suspended employees their salary.

Official employment contracts in Indonesia are to include information including job title, job description, office address, company name, personal details of the employee, salary and payment method, job requirements, employer’s and employee’s rights and obligations, commencement date, duration of the contract, location and date of contract signature, the employer’s signature, and the employee’s signature.

How Indonesia’s Labor Laws Apply to Foreigners

Every Indonesian employer who hires a foreign worker is to obtain permission in writing from relevant government authorities. The requirement does not apply to the representative offices of foreign countries within Indonesia when they employ foreigners as their diplomatic or consular employees. However, certain individual employers are not allowed to employ foreign workers. Foreign workers employed in Indonesia can only be employed in the country for a certain period of time in specific positions. Government authorities decide on the duration granted and positions open to foreign workers in Indonesia. Once the working period which was initially specified has expired and cannot be renewed, the now-vacant position can be filled by another foreign citizen. The employers of foreign employees must have a plan for their foreign employees according to the laws enforced by government authorities. Some of the points that should be addressed by an employer when bringing foreign workers into the country include the reasons why the services of the foreign citizens are required, why the services to be provided by the foreign workers are necessary in Indonesia, the position to be taken by the foreign worker, and the duration of the foreign workers’ expected employment in the position to be taken. The employers also ought to provide evidence that an Indonesian citizen has been hired as an assistant partner to each foreign worker.

Employers of foreign workers are obliged to obey the existing rules and standards regarding the employment of foreign workers. Indonesian employers who hire foreign workers are expected to appoint Indonesian workers to work with the foreign workers so that these foreign employees can transmit their newly acquired knowledge and technological skills to their local counterparts. However, this does not apply to foreign workers who occupy managerial or directorial positions. A foreign worker working in Indonesia is also not allowed to hold any position dealing with personnel or the employment of any other employees.

Rights of Foreign Workers in Indonesia

Foreign workers have certain rights according to the labor laws of Indonesia. For example, it is required that the foreign workers be paid adequate compensation by their employers. Employers are required to repatriate their foreign employees back to their countries of origin once their respective contracts expire. Foreign workers also have the right to be trained by their employers so as to be equipped with skills that match the current job requirements and expectations. Labor laws require that employers give their female foreign employees 180 days of maternity leave; 90 days before delivery and another 90 days after giving birth. The Indonesian labor law known as Act No. 9 of 1992 specifies information related to immigration and passport regulation as they rela