Social security net for creative industry workers, and Labor Union’s laments to Eid allowance payment delay

5 min read
Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani

The Ministry of Education and Culture is preparing at least three countermeasure policies to aid workers in the creative industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was stated by The Ministry of Education and Culture’s Director General of Culture, Hilmar Farid on Monday, April 27.

“First, it must be a matter of safety because there are social restrictions in place. Almost all public gathering places have to be closed,” he said in a live broadcast on Instagram with one of Indonesian actor, Reza Rahadian, on Monday.

According to Hilmar, the government has also prepared an assistance program in the form of social security nets for creative industry workers.

“The second is social security. Last month we began to collect data on creative industry workers, whose income is relatively low, affected (by the pandemic). We made a classification, allowing for direct assistance,” he noted.

However, Hilmar explained that there was a problem at the Directorate General of Culture, where his side could not provide direct assistance.

Therefore, the ministry sent the data by coordinating with the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs. Then, followed up by the Ministry of Social Affairs who will execute it.

Hilmar revealed that, based on the Ministry of Education and Culture’s data collection process thus far, 38 thousand creative industry workers across Indonesia are impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, the figure is not yet complete as the data collection process is still undergoing, with the social assistance program being targeted for May.

On top of that, the third policy prepared by the government for creative industry workers focuses on a recovery scheme for the industry. They include tax relaxation, and other incentives that his side may be providing capital support or something more technical and convenient.

The government’s decision to allow companies to delay payment of Eid allowance or THR has made the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) disappointed.

The KSPI lamented the decision, especially to the Manpower Ministry’s, because they should not neglect the rights of labor.

“We cannot accept Manpower Minister’s move,” said KSPI president Said Iqbal in a statement on Tuesday, April 28.

Said argued that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, companies should be able to fully pay their workers’ allowance ahead of the Eid al-Fitr, or Lebaran, so as to maintain the people’s purchasing power during the holiday.

If a company records financial losses, Said added, the management must submit a financial statement noting at least its financial reports for the last two years to prove the losses. The statement must be then examined by the government through a public accounting firm. This is to let the workers know as a justice, which company is experiencing losses and which company is looking for excuses to hold the payment.

Previously, in early April, Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah said that employers are obliged to fully pay Eid allowance to their workers despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, the government then permitted employers to dispense it in stages within a certain period or delay it until a set time, in accordance with the agreement between employers and workers.

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