Indonesian embassy: Stop working once your contract ends

National 2 minutes, 27 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

IT IS illegal for Indonesian domestic workers to continue working for their employer after their contracts have ended, even if their employers extend their visa for them to remain in the sultanate.

Indonesian Embassy’s Counsellor Endy Ghafur Fadyl said this in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

Some workers carry on staying and working without a valid work permit, what they do not realise is that it puts themselves at “high risk”.

He explained that if the worker encounters any mishaps while staying in the country after his or her contracts expires, no one will take responsibility to cover the expenses incurred.

“The work permit is only valid for two years and when it expires, the insurance for the worker also expires automatically,” said the counsellor.

“We often encounter cases like these mostly because the Indonesian workers do not see (or understand) it is illegal for them to work without the work permit. All they know is that it is legal for them to continue staying on (if their employer has applied for an extended visa) for them,” he added.

Endy said some workers only worry about having a valid visa, and not the fact that they no longer have a valid work permit.

“Most of them are aware of these two stipulations and are taking the risk. When workers stay on with an extended visa but have no work permit in situations like these, then it is breaking both Indonesian and Bruneian laws,” he said.

“It is illegal for an Indonesian domestic worker under a legally binding contract to continue working here after the contract expires, even if the employer has extended the worker’s visa to stay on for a period of time,” he added.

The embassy’s counsellor said sometimes employers need to postpone their worker’s stay in Brunei after their contract has ended.

“However, the workers are not allowed to work. The postponement is to give them some time to settle things out, but not for the worker to continue working for the employer,” he said.

He explained that there are such cases happening in Brunei and are reported to the embassy. However, he did not have exact figures.

The embassy said their message to all employers hiring Indonesian workers is to simply stick to the rules and the regulations.

“The purpose of the embassy is to strengthen the relationship between Brunei and Indonesia. This means we have to promote both sides in a win-win situation. We always open our doors for any questions or queries by both employers and employees, and even for complaints,” he said.

On June 1, Brunei is expected to host the joint working group meeting on labour cooperation between Indonesia and Brunei.

This will be the third time both countries sit to roll out plans and initiatives on improving bilateral labour terms.

The embassy said there are over 30,000 Indonesian domestic workers in Brunei.

The Brunei Times