The Indonesian parliament has been in discussion of an extension of statutory maternity leave from 3 months to 6 months and paternity leave from 2 days to 40 days. In Indonesia, maternity and paternity benefits are provided through employers’ liability schemes, and therefore it has been debated that the proposed extensions would possibly increase costs on employers especially in the female dominant industries.
The ILO actuarial study reveals that to have a 6-month maternity leave with full salary, the contribution of 1.3% is required; while for a-40-day paternity leave with full pay requires a contribution of 0.25%."Ippei Tsuruga, ILO Social Protection Programme Manager
ILO was represented by Ippei Tsuruga, ILO Social Protection Programme Manager. During his presentation, Ippei explained that as part of its technical contributions to Indonesia, the ILO has conducted an actuarial study to propose to replace the existing employer’s liability scheme by a new social insurance scheme. The report also proposes and costs the introduction of maternity and sickness benefit schemes with a view not only providing workers with better protection for life-cycle risks but also to attract them to participate in the social insurance system and to facilitate formalization of the informal economy.
He also compared Indonesia’s policies with international labour standards on maternity leaves and benefits. “According to our actuarial study, we recommend replacing the employer’s liability scheme by a new social insurance scheme and applying a mandatory coverage to all wage employees,” he stated. “If Indonesia adopts such a scheme according to the ILO Convention No. 183 on Maternity Protection, 67 percent of previous wage for 14 weeks, the scheme would require 0.5 percent of insured earnings.”
By integrating maternity benefit to social security system, according to Ippei, more workers would be able to enjoy the benefit because it would be paid by public schemes instead of individual employer’s liability. “The ILO actuarial study reveals that to have a 6-month maternity leave with full salary, the contribution of 1.3% is required; while for a-40-day paternity leave with full pay requires a contribution of 0.25%,” he concluded.
Other speakers included Andy William Sinaga, a worker’s representative of the National Social Security Council (DJSN), who presented the ongoing discussions on legal and policy reforms and challenges on maternal and childcare and Timboel Siregar, a member of BPJS Watch, who highlighted that “when discussing laws and regulations to protect mother and children, we must consider the ILO’s international labour standards”.
When discussing laws and regulations to protect mother and children, we must consider the ILO’s international labour standards."Timboel Siregar, a member of BPJS Watch
She also emphasized that “the terms “main caregiver” and “supporting caregiver” are used by the company to eliminate gender bias towards woman’s responsibility during maternity. “Caring for a newborn is the responsibility of the family, not just the mother,” she said.