The Ministry of Manpower Issues Rules for WFH, WFO, and Layoffs during Pandemic

Work Rules

Covid-19 Pandemic force the government to act quickly in issuing new policies in various fields, one of which is the employment sector. As a response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector, the Ministry of Manpower (Kemenaker) has issued a regulation on employment relations. 

The regulation is contained in the Decree of the Minister of Manpower (Kepmenaker) concerning Guidelines for Implementing Work Relations during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The issuance of the Manpower Decree was aimed at protecting all parties from the pandemic impact. The parties are the government, employers, and workers, and laborers.

“Therefore, in this Kepmenaker we want to emphasize the importance of social dialogue. Because we want all parties to be completely protected from this pandemic impact,” said Ida, Minister of Manpower.

Indah Anggoro Putri, Director General of Industrial Relations and Employment Social Security, said the regulations cover 3 things. First, the implementation of the work from home system or Work From Home (WFH) and working in the office/workplace or Work From Office (WFO). Second, the implementation of wages and other workers’ rights. 

“In the Minister of Manpower Decree, we convey a reference or guideline for employers and workers, namely employers who apply the WFH work system and are still required to pay wages,” said Putri.

As for WFO, the percentage of workers who work on a WFO basis must be regulated, as well as shifting arrangements or the division of working time and working days in one month in rotation. 

She also explained that working hours are regulated as well as possible by prioritizing those who are healthy. For pregnant or sick women, they should work from home.

Meanwhile, the third scope regulated in Kepmenaker 104 of 2021 is the prevention of employment termination (PHK).

If a company is forced to lay off workers due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rules emphasize that workers/laborers are still entitled to a salary/wages when they are laid off.

“Nevertheless, layoffs must be the last and only step if other efforts have been made but there is no other way. However, this decision should be according to mutual agreement between employers and workers, “said the Princess.

Wages adjustments are included in the calculation of contributory social security benefits, severance, and other rights for workers. The values given should also refer to the reward before adjustment.

More further, she added, if the layoffs were forced to be carried out due to financial incompetence, the company must provide evidence of real financial statements.