hiring foreign workers in indonesia

Hiring Foreign Workers vs Locals in Indonesia

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 18 February 2019
  • 7 minute reading time

Nowadays, Indonesia has become well known as one of the largest economy and emerging markets in the world. It has also transformed into a destination with increasingly attractive options for locals to work in a different city, and for foreigners to work in a different country.

As a company that expands and requires more talents and labours, an employer has two options when it comes to staffing their operations in Indonesia:

  • Hire foreigners with specialised skills.
  • Recruit a local resident to fill the demand.

With that being said, hiring in Indonesia must adapt to the country’s human resource regulations and labour laws. Noticeably, employers will have to face legal repercussions if they violate these laws.

As an employer in Indonesia, here in this article is what you need to know about the hiring of foreign workers or locals in Indonesia.

Hiring Foreign Workers in Indonesia

When companies expand into the international scene, one of the critical components of success is the employee’s knowledge. Therefore, by hiring foreign workers, a company will be able to gain more know-how that is currently lacking. This foreign hire will usually carry a deep understanding of particular skills, products, systems, and policies.

Just like every other country in the world, foreign employees must comply with the latest immigration laws in Indonesia.

As of September 2018, these laws include the Presidential Regulation Number 20 Year 2018 concerning Foreign Worker (TKA) that took effect on June 29, 2018 (PP20), and the Regulation of Ministry of Manpower Number 10 Year 2018 concerning Procedure on Usage of Foreign Worker that took effect on July 11, 2018 (RM10). Both of these regulations are complex, and there might be some changes from time to time.

You are advised to get in touch with Cekindo’s consultants to know more details.

Employers Who Are Eligible

The regulations from the Ministry of Manpower in Indonesia states that only the following organisations or institution can employ foreign workers:

  • Foreign legal entities registered in Indonesia
  • Foreign countries’ representatives, international organisations, international agencies, government agencies
  • Foreign company representative offices, foreign trade representative offices, and foreign news agencies incorporated in Indonesia
  • Limited liability companies (PT – Perseroan Terbatas) and foundations
  • Educational, social, cultural and religious institutions
  • Sports, entertainment, and arts event organisers

Requirements for Employers to Hire Foreign Workers

Employers are required to proceed with the following steps in order to employ foreign workers:

  • A Foreign Manpower Utilisation Plan (RPTKA – Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing) approved by the Ministry of Manpower or appointed officials
  • Submission of US$100 per month as a compensation for the Use of Foreign Manpower (DKP-TKA) for each position held by a foreign worker (this does not apply to certain institutions and organisation, please contact Cekindo to find out more)
  • Registration of insurance programs for foreign workers. Insurance programs must be under insurance companies registered in Indonesia
  • Appointment of Tenaga Kerja Pendamping (Indonesian Companion Employees) to transfer the skills and technology from the foreign workers
  • Provision of training to the Tenaga Kerja Pendamping

RPTKA Exemption

According to The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Regulation No. 8/2021 concerning The Employment of Foreign Workers, the RPTKA approval is no longer required for foreign directors and commissioners with a certain ownership of shares in the company.

The RPTKA Approval is also exempted for foreigners who are engaged in diplomatic and consular activities, hired by a local employer for emergency activities, as well as vocational activities for Indonesian tech-based startups.

However, it is also worth noting that this exemption for startups only lasts for three months, after which the company must apply for the RPTKA Approval.

Taxes for Foreign Workers

Foreign workers are considered as individual taxpayers when they reside in Indonesia for more than 183 days within a consecutive 12 months. Hence, foreign taxpayers are required to register for NPWP (Taxpayer Identification Number) at the tax service office.

The progressive tax rates for a foreign resident individual taxpayer in Indonesia based on the yearly earnings:

  • IDR 1-50 million: 5%
  • IDR 50 – 250 million: 15%
  • IDR 250 – 500 million: 25%
  • Over IDR 500 million: 30%

Work Visa Requirement for Foreign Workers in Indonesia

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Regulation No. 8/2021 aims to simplify foreign worker’s permit as well as their work visa. The implementation of this new regulation ensures a more efficient and faster process for companies.

A foreign worker is eligible for a work visa from one month to 2 years, and this visa is extendable and must be sponsored by his/her employer based on the foreigner’s position and market sector.

However, according to the Minister of Manpower Decree No. 349/2019, foreigners are not eligible to work and obtain a work permit for the following positions:

    • Personnel Director
    • Industrial Relation Manager
    • Human Resources Manager
    • Personnel Development Supervisor
    • Personnel Recruitment Supervisor
    • Personnel Placement Supervisor
    • Employee Career Development Supervisor
    • Personnel Declare Administrator
    • Personnel and Career Specialist
    • Personnel Specialist
    • Job Advisor
    • Job Advisor and Counselor
    • Employee Mediator
    • Job Training Administrator
    • Job Interviewer
    • Job Analyst, and;
    • Occupational Safety Specialist

The different work permits are urgent or emergency work permit (1-month validity), temporary work permit (2-6 months), and long term work permit (7 to 12 months).

Just like not registering as a taxpayer in Indonesia, foreigners not securing a work permit are said to break the Indonesian Law – and a subject to a considerable fine of IDR 500 million or/and 5 years of imprisonment.

Cekindo always encourages companies in Indonesia to consult an agency for the most updated immigration law.

Are you aware that Indonesia has opened more positions that can be taken up by foreign workers? Check out the latest update in September 2019 regarding New Positions for Foreign Workers in Indonesia

Hiring Local Workers in Indonesia

It is no secret that local talents are now increasing substantially due to Indonesia’s large population and exploding young demographics. There is potential to be explored in domestic workers, and thus raise a company’s profits with the right recruitment strategy.

To reap the benefits, it is crucial for companies to hire Indonesian nationals who are familiar with local customs, ways of doing businesses, conventions, as well as local cultures.

Besides, hiring local workers in Indonesia helps international companies to penetrate the Indonesian market more efficiently.

Due Diligence in the Hiring Process

The process of hiring new local employees can be time-consuming and expensive – given that the local talent market is vast and companies are expected to receive a lot of applications just from the locals alone. And making a bad hiring decision will cost your company even more.

It is important for companies to do their due diligence towards hiring the right local talents. Here are some of the basis for a company’s due diligence:

  • credential checks
  • personal background checks
  • reference checks
  • interview

These checks are significantly more important for professional positions in order to verify the factual information on the resume. Always keep a due diligence checklist to ensure successful hiring.

Recruitment Outsourcing

When there are so many applicants for several positions, the whole recruitment process can be time-consuming. When the person in charge of hiring is too pressed for time or lack of experience, the hiring decision can sometimes be taken lightly.

In a worse scenario, this could even mean neglecting an employee’s usual job that might be important to increase the company’s bottom line.

By outsourcing your recruitment process to a reliable consultant, a company can have its focus on the core business activities, improve the quality of hires, reduce costs, keep up with the recruitment needs and demands, and reduce turnover rate.

These benefits can be so significant in a country like Indonesia with immense local labour and talent pool, vast job and business opportunities.

For any information regarding recruitment, due diligence, tax or work permits in Indonesia, Cekindo is entirely at your service. Contact us now and get the latest information with a free quotation on your business. We will help you to decide whether hiring foreign workers or local talents will comply with your business strategies.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

Get in touch with us.

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We do not act as an authorized government or non-government provider for official documents and services, which is issued by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia or its appointed officials.

We do not promote any official government document or services of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, including but not limited to, business identifiers, health and welfare assistance programs and benefits, unclaimed tax rebate, electronic travel visa and authorization, passports in this website.

Frequent Asked Questions

Before entering into any agreement with our clients, we sign a data protection agreement to ensure that all data are kept confidential across all involved activities.

According to the Indonesia’s Manpower Law employers can hire the Indonesian talents either under a temporary or a permanent contract.

  • Prohibit any form of discrimination and provide equal opportunity for Indonesians and expatriates
  • Increase the competence of the workers by giving or encouraging job training
  • Follow the procedures of termination (Terminating an employee in Indonesia can be a long, tedious, and expensive process.)
  • Observe the working hours, holidays, and overtime regulations
  • Give mandatory employee benefits including social security and health insurance
  • Withhold only the right amount of income tax on behalf of the employees
  • Follow the wages and other benefits outlined by the law
  • Process the work permits for foreign employees

As a leading recruitment outsourcing provider in Indonesia, InCorp offers comprehensive services. We will conduct an in-depth background check on candidates to verify references and qualifications.

Cost reduction, hiring time reduction, hire quality are among the most noteworthy benefits your company can enjoy.