- February 2022: Indonesia is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the Omicron variant. The country is re-imposing a Level 3 alert status of ` Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM) starting 7 February 2022 following the wave of the new variant. Such level 3 restriction applies in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and its satellite cities of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, Yogyakarta, and Bandung (i.e.areas where Better Work Indonesia operates). The re-enforcing of the tighter restriction is due to both the increase in cases, but also the low tracing rates and a spike in hospitalizations. As opposed to last year, this time the export orientation industry can continue to operate maximum 75% for production in shifts and 25% for admin. Such operation should obtain a permit from the Ministry of Industry (IOMKI) and using PeduliLindungi (to care and to protect application to assist relevant government agencies in tracking COVID-19). Indonesia has inoculated (second dose of Covid-19 vaccines) 130,784,199 people or 62.80 percent of the total target for vaccination.
- November 2021: The situation in Indonesia is gradually improving after the massive hit of Delta variant in the third quarter of 2021. Government of Indonesia has started to relax the regulations of PPKM. Most of areas and districts in Java island has been lowered to Level 1 and 2 PPKM. Under these statuses, export oriented industries are allowed to operate 100%.
- July 2021:Indonesia is imposing a lockdown under the form of `Emergency Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM Darurat)` from the 3rd until the 20th of July. The restrictions aim to reduce the number of daily infections to below 10,000 and apply to certain higher-risk areas in Java and Bali. All staff/workers from non-essential enterprises and sectors will be working from home but critical sectors such as health, food, security and energy will be operating normally. Most of the areas covered by the restrictions are home to Better Work Indonesia factories. The Indonesian export sector is considered `essential´ and is therefore allowed to operate at 50% staff capacity. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an addendum to Instruction No. 15/2021 that details that the 50% capacity restriction applies to production workers and 10% to supporting workers (admin). In an industry seminar organized on the 7th of July jointly with BWI, the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower further emphasized that the aim of the restrictions is to stop the agglomeration or gathering of workers. In addition to the 50% requirement, it is important that factories continue to implement the applicable safety & health protocols. Factories should liaise with their local/district Covid-19 task force if they still have doubts/questions. During the emergency PPKM, the Indonesian labour inspectorate will be employing renewed efforts to educate and monitor workplaces for compliance with the regulations.
- June 2021:Indonesia is experiencing a surge of Covid-19 cases with daily records being broken in the last days of June 2021. On the 28th of June alone, the Government of Indonesia reported 20, 694 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 423 deaths in 510 districts across all 36 provinces. Most provinces in the Java region reported an increase in the number of cases and deaths. Weekly reported cases and deaths have doubled in DKI Jakarta each week, over the last two weeks. With the increased confirmation of the prevalence of the delta variant, health system capacity has been severely impacted in some provinces with more than 90% bed occupancy rates. Stricter implementation of public health and social measures (PHSM) including large-scale social restrictions (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar (PSBB) may help and are likely to be imposed in the following days and weeks. A compulsory night curfew has been imposed in certain areas in Jakarta. The national vaccination programme is underway with some acceleration in the last few weeks: so far, about 18.75% of Indonesia’s population has received the first dose and 8% has been fully vaccinated. Several garment factories in Better Work Indonesia programme have been collaborating with the army, police and several local community organizations to organize an in-house vaccination programme for their workers. More factories are expecting to do the same in the coming weeks as part of the Government vaccination national campaign. All manufacturing units need to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Industry (IOMKI) to be able to operate.
- 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:
- Since the start of the pandemic, more than 162 export-oriented garment factories enrolled in Better Work were affected, i.e., they were temporarily closed or reduced working time/days/wages (for a period of time) due to COVID-19 restrictions or cancelled orders from buyers. To date, more than 237216 workers were affected and 22,840 workers lost their jobs.
- 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 due to the current Emergency PPKM restrictions.
- 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. Factories are instituting temperature screening and social distancing, new handwashing regiments, and are providing masks to workers.
- Virtual training have been delivered (in collaboration with government and other experts) on the following thematic areas: Occupational Safety and Health (Certified chemical officer, Certified OSH management system, Certified OSH expert), Labour Norm (Certified labour norm expert training, International Labour Standards), Management System (Root Cause Analysis, PDCA application, Document Control System), Gender and Inclusion (Anti-discrimination, Breastfeeding friendly workplace), Positive Wellbeing in the Workplace/Stress Management, Supervisory skills training with a focus on Leadership during a crisis. More topics are currently being developed on Industrial relations, Management systems, OSH and Inclusion thematic areas.
- Virtual Industry Seminars (with the government and other experts) have been delivered on: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of labour norms, COVID-19 Health and Safety aspects, Annual Festive Bonus (THR), Payment amid the Pandemic, OSH & Labour Norm Aspects, OSH Survey on COVID-19 Protocols in the Workplace.
Additional Better Work Activities
- Better Work Indonesia is supporting the national Covid-19 vaccination effort by building awareness about the importance of being vaccinated.
- The Indonesian employers’ associations (Apindo, API and APRISINDO) and garment and footwear trade unions (SPSI, SPSI ATUC, Garteks) signed a joint commitment to protect the health, business sustainability and welfare of workers in these sectors in 2020. The joint commitment and action plan outline the priorities for the sector and the key policy areas that social partners would like to see advanced as a response to the crisis by the Indonesian government and international brands sourcing from Indonesia.
- Better Work continues engaging with the provincial governments of West Java, Central Java, Jakarta and central government in clarifying, helping shape and further disseminate policy concerning labour law, public health measures and incentive programmes to support workers and employers amid the pandemic.
- 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 pandemic 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), women’s rights, preventing layoffs and financial literacy. More than 4,000 netizens have viewed, logged in and participated in the IG live sessions.
- Several Covid-19 related thematic webinars have been organized targeting Better Work Buyers including on annual festive bonus (THR); recent developments concerning the West Java’s Minimum Wage 2020 dispute and the newly enacted Omnibus Law.
- Specific Guidance has been issued to deal with the most pressing issues brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the introduction of the Job Creation Law (Omnibus Law). These include: Legal Update: Job Creation Law 11 of 2020); Guidance on Workers’ Protection and Business Continuity Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic: Transmission, Prevention and Management and the Best Practices in the Workplace and Workers’ Retrenchment Guidelines: A compilation of Q&A when termination is unavoidable. All are available in Bahasa Indonesian and English.