Indonesia regulates manpower through  Law No. 13/2003 on Manpower.  Article 1 number 1 stipulates that “employment is all matters related to  labor  at the time before, during, and  after employment”.

Law No. 13/2003 is established to empower workers optimally and humanely, create  jobs and improve  the  welfare of the workers.

Employment relationship  is based on an agreement between an  employer and a worker.  Based on Article 50-65 of Law No. 13/ 2003, there are two types of employment relationship, namely the employment relationship based on the Specified Time  Work Agreement (PKWT) and  the employment relationship based on the Indefinite  Time  Work Agreement (PKWTT).

Every business actor is obliged to fulfill the rights of workers.

The basic rights  of the workers are the right to obtain a decent wage;  the right to equal opportunity and treatment  from the company without discrimination;  the right to improve and develop work competencies;  the right to carry out work in accordance with the specified  time;  the right to protection for occupational health and safety;  the right to  welfare through the social security of labor;  the right to leave;  the right  to maternity and  menstrual leave for female employees;  the right to worship and  other rights as stipulated  in Law No. 13/2003.

Gender  Equality In Employment

Female workers must receive special protection related to the nature  attached to  them, namely menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.  Law  No. 39 /1999 on Human  Rights  specifically  protects the rights of female workers  from giving birth to breastfeeding period  as stated  in Article 10 paragraph 1.

This is the basis of the state  to respect and protect the rights of women workers.  Therefore,  business actors are obliged to  ensure legal protection for female workers related to their reproductive rights, referring to the rights and freedoms related to  reproductive aspects  and  health.

Although a number of legal instruments have regulated the rights of female workers,  there are  business actors who violate them. One  violation that often occurs is a violation of Article 82 paragraph (1)  of Law No. 13/2003 stipulating the right to  maternity leave for female workers .

The emergence of discrimination against female workers also arises when it comes to benefits or wages/salaries.  Generally, business actors tend to provide additional benefits to male workers in the form of welfare benefits for their children and wives.   In contrast,  female workers do not get the same benefits.

Ironically,  this treatment  has an impact on limiting positions and positions for female worker.  For example,  there are companies requiring a man to do a  particular job.  In addition, strategic positions are mostly entitled to male workers.  Female workers  are generally positioned in not so strategic positions.

In addition to the right to anti-discrimination,  female workers are  also entitled to  maternal rights.  Maternal rights are  essentially  the same as reproductive health rights.  This aspect of  protection of maternal  rights is a provision that must be stipulated into the labour laws and regulations in Indonesia.

Maternal rights include the right to get protection to generate offspring in the form of not being  fired due to  pregnancy or marital status, obtaining  paid maternity leave,  procuring social services in the form of daycares, and getting jobs that do not endanger pregnancy.

Based  on  the above  arguments, it is clear that there are a number of legal instruments that protect female workers.   The laws  not only protect and guarantee the  rights of female workers, but also requires  business actors to obey the laws.

If there are deviations or neglect of workers’ rights leading to disputes between workers and  business actors,  the objecting party   may file a settlement effort through the Industrial  Relations Court in accordance to Law No. 2/2004 on Industrial  Relations Disputes.

There are  various disputes between workers and employers such as disputes over workers’ rights, disputes of interest, termination of  employment (layoffs), and  conflict between the  union and  the  company’s management.

These disputes may be  resolved by taking a number of efforts such as going through bipartite  negotiations, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration.  If  those efforts fail, the aggrieved parties are entitled to bring the case to  the  Industrial  Relations Court.

Here it is  clear that the  court is the last resort to settle the disputes.


Author / Contributor:

 Erwin, S.H.



Phone    : +62-21 799 7973 / +62-21 799 7975