Protection of Homeworkers Already Regulated in Several Legislation

The Petitioners’ legal counsel Wilopo Husodo after the ruling hearing of the material judicial review of Law No. 13 of 2003 on Manpower, Tuesday (1/31/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 | 15:19 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The protection of homeworkers has been regulated in several pieces of legislation, such as Law No. 40 of 2004 on the National Social Security System (SJSN) and the Government Regulation No. 31 of 2006 on the National Work Training System. This statement was part of the Constitutional Court’s (MK) legal considerations for Decision No. 75/PUU-XX/2022 read out by Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul. The ruling hearing for the decision took place on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 in the plenary courtroom.

Five homeworkers—Muhayati, Een Sunarsih, and Dewiyah (Petitioners I-III) from Jakarta and Kurniyah and Sumini (Petitioners IV-V) from Cirebon—filed a material judicial review petition to challenge Article 1 point 15 and Article 50 of Law No. 13 of 2003 on Manpower.

Justice Manahan further asserted that the Government or ministry dealing with manpower should be able to create a special policy for homeworkers, possibly through regional regulations. As such, the rights of homeworkers can be protected and their welfare guaranteed while taking into account the condition of the region.

Such a regulation, he added, is necessary because homeworkers have different characteristics from formal workers. In Article 3, the Manpower Law is exercised through functional coordination between the central and regional governments, so the state’s responsibility over homeworkers can be exercised by both.

“Based on the aforementioned legal considerations, Article 1 point 15 and Article 50 of the Manpower Law being petitioned in this case has not resulted in legal uncertainty and discrimination, inequality before the law, and the elimination of workers’ rights of sufficient protection as guaranteed by Article 27 paragraph 1) and paragraph (2), Article 28D paragraph (1) and paragraph (2), Article 28I paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution. Therefore, the Petitioners’ argument was legally invalid,” Justice Manahan stressed.

Also read:

Five Homeworkers Challenge Manpower Law

House Explains Definitions of Businessperson and Employer in Manpower Law

Work Relations of Homeworkers and Formal Workers Should Be Equal

Expert: Narrow Definition of Manpower Disregards Homeworkers’ Rights

Two Manpower Social Workers Reveal Homeworkers’ Vulnerability

Work Relations Agreement

Next, the Court asserted that Article 1 point 15 and Article 50 of the Manpower Law, which the Petitioners argued to be related to work relations because of work agreement between the entrepreneur and the worker, was constructed so that work relations be based on a written work agreement. The agreement contains both parties’ rights and obligations. In addition, the articles also regulate in details the things that a work agreement should include, at least the name of the parties, the address of the company, and the type of business. Therefore, the Court argued, the Manpower Law has guaranteed workers’ basic rights while taking into account the needs and advances of businesses. Despite the Petitioners arguing that the definition of work relations regulated in the norms had led to legal uncertainty, the Court had provided a clear explanation of the requirements of a work agreement. Therefore, the Petitioners’ concern cannot be eliminated only by including the word ‘employer’ in Article 1 point 15 of the Manpower Law.

The Court also asserted that the a quo article was also constructed to regulate work relations and workers based on a written work agreement. Therefore, the Petitioners’ argument was legally groundless. “Based on examination and legal facts, [the Court issues] a verdict [to] adjudicate, reject the Petitioners’ petition in its entirety,” Chief Justice Anwar Usman read out.

In the petition, the Petitioners explained that they were not employed by companies but receive orders of goods/services from intermediaries. In 2017, they had an audience with the Ministry of Manpower to question protection for homeworkers as employees and their work relations based on Law No. 13 of 2003 but the Ministry said the term “homeworkers” was not recognized in the Law. The Petitioners believed homeworkers could be categorized as workers following the definition of workers in Law No. 13 of 2003, but they were considered not having work relations. The Ministry of Manpower believed that the characteristics of homeworkers did not met the requirements for workers within work relations as referred to in Article 1 point 15 of the Manpower Law. Therefore, the Petitioners asserted the Manpower Law had not provided legal protection to homeworkers.

Therefore, in the petitum, the Petitioners requested that the Court grant the entire petition and declare Article 1 point 15 of the Manpower Law unconstitutional and not legally binding if not interpreted to mean “An employment relation shall be defined as a relationship between an employer and a worker/laborer, which deals with aspects relating to job description, wage, and orders” and declare Article 50 of the Law unconstitutional and not legally binding if not interpreted to mean “work relations exists because of the work agreement between the employer and the worker/laborer.”

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : M. Halim
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 1/31/2023 16:46 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 | 15:19 WIB 245