- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise, with recent daily averages reaching 1,000 new cases (with Java Island accounting for almost 60% of total cases). During a press conference on 24 June, President Joko Widodo reminded citizens of the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Transmission remains high in many parts of the country due to ongoing community transmission and movement between the regions, districts and provinces and the growing number of people returning to work. The return to offices is a concern to the government as the latest outbreaks come from 90 workplace clusters in Jakarta. The Government urged all workplaces to strictly apply Covid-19 health protocols.
- Despite growing cases, the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in place in Jakarta, West Java and Banten have been recently relaxed. The government had originally declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national disaster on 15 March, ordering physical distancing and the closure of business activities and schools.
- The extent of relaxation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) varies across provinces. In provinces such as DKI Jakarta – the capital city, PSBB has been extended until 30 July. West Java is no longer implementing PSBB. Instead, the largest garment-sector province has fully applied the new normal protocol. However, this is not valid for several districts that are adjacent to Jakarta. The governments of Central Java and Yogyakarta choose to implement PSBB based on risk assessments in each district/city. The Banten province has also opted to prolong partial PSBB in certain districts/cities until 12 July. Local governments may decide to reinstate the full PSBB given the high growing number of cases.
- Manufacturing areas in Jakarta and West Java are particularly affected with factories forced to close or reduce their working hours/days, as workers are suggested to stay home. Based on data from the Indonesia’s Textile Association (API), past restrictions have halted operations (temporarily) of 80 percent of textile and textile product companies in Indonesia.
- On 22 May, The Ministry of Health has issued new health protocols for workplaces to usher in a “new normal” phase despite the continued rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. These protocols detailed how offices and manufacturers should operate during the PSBB. Moreover, such protocols require all workplaces, except those in essential sectors, to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Industry to be able to operate. At the same time, the Ministry of Manpower has also issued similar circular letters to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace and ensure business continuity amid the pandemic.
- On 31 March, the government announced a COVID-19 fiscal stimulus package worth IDR 405.1 trillion (USD 24.6 billion), focused on health care, social safety net measures, and business recovery programs for micro-enterprises. The pre-employment card programme (Kartu Pra Kerja) has been redirected to provide unemployment subsidies and skills training to affected workers from both the formal and informal sector but is being marred with criticism around appropriate coverage, targeting and relevance of training. The Governor of West Java (Indonesia’s largest province) is one of the key figures advocating for a further review of the programme and redirection of existing funds for income protection for temporarily laid-off workers. Tax relief and soft loans are also foreseen.
- 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 information web site 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.
- More than 139 export oriented garment factories enrolled in Better Work are affected or are under a stoppage or temporary closure due to COVID-19 PSBB orders or cancelled or suspended orders from buyers. Factories in DKI Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java and Jogjakarta provinces are affected. The total numbers of workers affected by the situation is more than 132,000. More details on the break down here.
- Many factories have adapted production lines since March to produce personal protective equipment for prevention and handling of COVID-19, including non-medical face masks 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 until further notice.
- In line with national government directions, WHO and the ILO, Better Work has been conducting a risk assessment and developing a protocol for a tentative, gradual return to in-person activities in July.
- Factories’ progress reports are being issued with information on COVID-19 related impact, OSH measures and operational situation.
- Virtual advisory services are being delivered to 152 factories (252 advisory virtual visits) with special 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.
- Virtual trainings have been delivered (in collaboration with government and other experts) on:Positive Wellbeing in the Workplace/Stress Management (for 45 factories); Supervisory skills training with a focus on leadership during Crisis (10 factories);Certified OSH Expert training (13 factories); OSH Management System Training (10 factories); Labour Norm Expert Training (10 factories); Promoting inclusion in the Workplace, Workplace Dialogue & OSH (42 factories).
- In collaboration with The Ministry of Manpower, Better Work is offering blended training on several subjects such as General OSH Expert and Labour Norm Expert during July/August.The first blended online training on OSH Expert certified was on 13 July 2020.
- Virtual Industry Seminars (with government and other experts) have been delivered on: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the implementation of labour norms (195 factories); COVID-19 health and safety aspects (factories); Annual festive bonus (THR) payment amidst the pandemic (150 factories); OSH & Labour Norm Aspects (70 factories); OSH Survey on COVID19 protocols in the workplace (118 factories); 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. A short video on good factory practices was distributed through social media. Factories have instituted temperature screening and social distancing, new handwashing regimes, and distributed masks to workers.
Additional Better Work Activities
- Bipartite and tripartite social dialogue is being promoted by Better Work at the sectoral and national levels to reach consensus for joint action to mitigate the economic and employment impact of COVID-19. BWI facilitated the first Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting of 2020 on 19 May. The meeting was attended by representatives from Directorate General of Labour Inspection & Industrial Relations Ministry of Manpower, Trade Union (SPSI, SPSI ATUC, Garteks, SPN), Employer Association (APINDO) and Indonesia’s Textile Association (API). The meeting focussed on the impact of COVID-19 on working conditions in export-oriented garment factories and business, mid and long term solutions and recovery phase. The meeting concluded with agreement to explore collective actions between workers and employer associations to rescue the industry, the government offered collaboration on OSH technical implementation in the factories during the “new normal.”
- Better Work continues engaging with the provincial governments of West Java, Central Java and Jakarta in clarifying, helping shape and further disseminate policy concerning labour law, PSBB measures and incentive programmes to support workers and employers amid the pandemic.
- Better Work is in regular contact with API (Indonesian Textile Association) and KOGA (Korean Garment Association) to directly support factories and their associations in their policies and relations with international buyers.
- 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 pandemics 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) and financial literacy. More than 1,000 netizens have viewed, logged in and participated in the IG live sessions that discussed the government’s new arrangement of annual festive bonus (THR), application of new normal in the workplace, social dialogue and preventing termination.
- A third webinar for Better Work Buyers focusing on annual festive bonus (THR) payment amidst the pandemic took place on the 18 May with Dyah Hartanti Purwitasari, of DG Labour Inspection and OSH, Ministry of Manpower as the main resource person. Thirty-four participants from 20 buyer partners attended the webinar.
- Guidance on Workers‘ Protection and Business Continuity Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic was issued to provide clarity on the applicable Labour laws and regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available in Bahasa Indonesian and English.
- Better Work has developed a guidance document for factories on COVID-19 Transmission, Prevention and Management and the Best Practices in the Workplace. It is available in Bahasa Indonesian and English.
- Guidance on “new normal” scenarios and retrenchment are currently under development and will be launched soon.