No mechanism to monitor Indonesian workers’ welfare

National 1 minute, 46 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THERE is no mechanism in place to monitor the welfare of Indonesian workers here, especially domestic workers who may be mistreated or when employers do not meet the minimum wage requirements, said the Indonesian embassy yesterday.

Indonesian Deputy Chief of Mission Dr Pribadi Sutiono said the embassy cannot visit each household to monitor employers in ensuring they meet contract requirements.

“We have to trust the employer, and unless the worker reports to the embassy, only then can we provide assistance,” he said in an interview.

He added: “The point is that we do not need a monitoring system since we trust that this issue is about people.”

On April 1, it was reported that Indonesia had introduced a monthly minimum wage, raising the salary of its citizens working here as domestic workers from $250 to $350.

Formal workers, which include those working in the construction and manufacturing industries, will see their wages increased from $16 to $18 (for eight working hours)

It added that employers must provide a resting period of at least nine hours in a day, and a day off once a week for the workers.

Employers who do not provide a day off or sufficient resting time must compensate the workers.

However, Brunei’s Labour Department stated it had not endorsed minimum wages from any country and that the issue of wages should be guided by market demand.

Dr Pribadi said the embassy is working together with the Brunei government through their bilateral meetings on this, and they are also drafting a memorandum of understanding on labour issues between Brunei and Indonesia.

“People are humans and they need rest. They need to be off the job after a certain period of time. If someone works in an office for example, they get the weekends to rest. So I think the employers should give the same kind of treatment to their helpers,’’ he said.

Dr Pribadi said the trend of workers complaining to the embassy has been decreasing recently due to better understanding between employers and employees.

He noted that they are also housing fewer workers at the embassy’s shelter.

The Brunei Times