The Indonesian parliament on Monday passed a controversial “jobs creation” bill in spite of opposition from labour rights groups who say the legislation curtails workers’ rights.
The bill, which the government said was designed to attract investment and cut red tape for businesses, was passed earlier than scheduled after labour unions threatened to hold street protests.
National Police Chief Idham Aziz ordered personnel to block workers from taking to the streets, citing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
The so-called omnibus law includes sweeping changes to existing legislation, including on labour and investment.
“The jobs creation law will drive regulatory reform and cut red tape, so that government can deliver services in a more efficient way,” said Airlangga Hartarto, the country’s chief economics minister.
Labour unions say the bill benefits employers more than workers.
The law cuts maximum severance payments by employers from 32 monthly salaries to 19, for instance.
The law also removes a requirement for companies to involve the local population in analysing the environmental impact of their activities, leaving the final say on environmental issues to certified organisations or the government.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Okara