- The government has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national disaster, ordering physical distancing and the closure of business activities and schools. Large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) are in place in Jakarta, West Java and Banten throughout May. A travel ban (national and international) to prevent mass travel movement at the end of Ramadan has been issued until the beginning of June.
- As of 4 May, four provinces and 22 regencies and cities have implemented PSBB restrictions. Manufacturing areas in Jakarta and West Java are particularly affected with factories forced to close, as workers are required to stay home. Based on data from the Indonesia’s Textile Association (API), this restriction has halted operations (temporarily) of 80 percent of textile and textile product companies in Indonesia.
- 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 102 export oriented garment factories enrolled in Better Work are under a stoppage or temporary closure due to the 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 125,000. More details on the break down here.
- Some 14 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. More factories are expected to similarly adapt production upon the approval from the Ministry of Industry.
- 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.
- 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 98 factories (110 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.
- The first batch of on-line training was delivered on the 30 April and the 4 May on “Positive Wellbeing in the Workplace during COVID-19 Pandemic (Stress Management),” covering 28 factories.
- Better Work has hosted two COVID-19-related Industry Seminars. The first was on COVID-19 health and safety aspects and was attended by 233 participants from 194 factories. The seminar took place with the key participation of IS. dr. Indra Setiawan, of DG Labour Inspection and OSH, Ministry of Manpower. The second seminar, on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the implementation of labour norms, took place with Dyah Hartanti Purwitasari, of DG Labour Inspection and OSH, Ministry of Manpower as the main resource person. 273 participants from 195 factories attended the labour norms seminar. More on Industry Seminars.
- 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 Indonesian garment trade unions has also been regular and strategies to further disseminate key information and advice among workers is in place. An Instagram-live campaign has been launched by Better Work Indonesia for wider sensitization of workers and relevant stakeholders around labour norms and workers’ rights during the pandemics. A few sessions focus also on strategies to deal with the lockdown, stress and sensitization to avoid the end of Ramadan Mudik (travel back home for Idul-Fitri).
- 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.