Indonesia delays new migrant worker policy to July

Jakarta,  The Indonesian government will now require employers of Indonesian migrant workers and local governments in Indonesia to pay part of the workers’ placement fees starting on July 15 rather than Jan. 15 as previously scheduled.

The new policy, aimed at easing the financial burden of Indonesian migrant workers, will remove placement fees for 11 types of workers, including domestic helpers and construction workers, and have overseas employers and local Indonesian authorities cover them instead.

It has been postponed because most local authorities have yet to budget funding for the two expenses they will be responsible for under the new rules, according to Benny Rhamdani, head of Indonesia’s Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI).

Of 34 provinces across Indonesia, only the local government in East Java can currently cover the costs associated with the workers’ pre-departure training and training certificates, Benny said at a press conference Friday.

Efforts continue to be made to get the cooperation of local authorities, he said, and meetings with government bodies and authorities in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong are also been held to discuss the new regulations.

The BP2MI head pledged to resign if the policy cannot be implemented because of funding issues because he does not want Indonesian migrant workers to continue to be burdened by placement fees, though he did not say how much they could add up to.

The new policy, first made public in July 2020, requires employers of Indonesian migrant workers to cover several types of fees, including passport costs, return air tickets, visa and work permit costs, medical check-ups, local transportation and accommodation in the destination country.

At present, some employers cover air ticket costs and fees related to verifying the contract signed between them and the migrant workers they hire, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor (MOL).

The new rules will be applied to 14 Indonesian labor-importing countries, including Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong.

In response, MOL on Friday said Taiwan’s representative office in Indonesia will continue to discuss the policy with the Indonesian government to ensure that the rights of Taiwanese employers are fully protected.

Based on past experience, Taipei and Jakarta will only sign an MOU on the new policy when a consensus is reached, said Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠), a section chief at MOL’s Workforce Development Agency.

He did not say, however, what the issues were that Taiwan felt needed to be discussed or how the rights of employers might be hurt by the new policy.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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