Force Majeure Concept on Employment Law in Indonesia

The severe economic disruptions of COVID-19 has made many employers terminate the employees to reduce costs for the foreseeable future. In some cases, the employers used the force majeure concept as a ground for the termination process. This article will analyze the force majeure concepts of employment law in Indonesia.

Even though article 164 paragraph (1) Law №13 of 2003 Employment law has enacted force majeure as one of the grounds for employment termination, it does not explicitly define the terms and conditions of a force majeure event. Instead of defining the force majeure concept, it only provides technical guidance on termination packages.

The specific provision of force majeure is only regulated under the Indonesian Civil Code (ICC). However, the provision is not sufficient to clarify the force majeure concept in the context of an employment relationship.

Despite the force majeure concept not explicitly defined in Employment law, the court also failed to provide consistent decisions that can be used to understand the concept in employment cases.

Terminating an employee on force majeure grounds is not generally permitted, except for limited situations such as if the business has permanently closed and compensation has been paid.

In conclusion, the national legislation and/or court decisions are insufficient to understand force majeure concepts in the employment relationship properly.

Reviewed court decision: Decision №14/Pdt.Sus-PHI/2014/PN, Decision №296K/Pdt.Sus-PHI/2019, Decision 16/Pdt.Sus-PHI/2016, Decision №388K/Pdt.Sus-PHI/2019, Decision №188/K/Pdt.Sus-PHI/2019.

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