Many foreign investors visiting or starting a business in Indonesia are surprised at the number of public holidays enjoyed by Indonesians.
It is usually hard to gauge the impact of the public holiday on businesses in Indonesia until the Indonesians have had a wonderful time and the weekend has passed.
Other than the decrease in productivity and throughput, not all businesses view national holidays negatively. The national holidays, along with the government’s addition of collective leave, are expected to boost the public consumption, and the result of the increased consumption will drive Indonesia’s economy.
In this article, we will explain which days are the national holidays in Indonesia and discuss how the national holidays in 2019 will affect your businesses – the good and the bad.
There are only three months left of 2018, and now it’s time for businesses in Indonesia to start planning for business activities and holidays in 2019. The Indonesian government has already released its official 2019 holiday and collective leave calendar.
There are approximately 12-15 official national holidays in Indonesia, however in 2019, thanks to the Indonesian government, we’ve got a generous allotment of 16 national holidays!
Here is the 2019 calendar for national holidays in Indonesia. The dates are subjects to change if an official announcement is made of any amendments.
|1 January||Tuesday||New Year’s Day|
|5 February||Tuesday||Chinese New Year|
|7 March||Thursday||Bali Hindu New Year|
|3 April||Wednesday||Isra Mi’raj (Ascension Day of Prophet Muhammad)|
|17 April||Wednesday||Presidential Election|
|19 April||Friday||Good Friday|
|1 May||Wednesday||Labour Day|
|19 May||Sunday||Waisak Day|
|30 May||Thursday||Ascension Day of Jesus Christ|
|1 June||Saturday||Pancasila Day|
|5 June||Wednesday||Hari Raya Idul Fitri|
|6 June||Thursday||Lebaran Holiday|
|12 August||Monday||Idul Adha|
|17 August||Saturday||Independence Day|
|1 September||Sunday||Islamic New Year|
|10 November||Sunday||Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday|
|25 December||Wednesday||Christmas Day|
If the national holidays fall on the weekend, on Thursday, or on Tuesday, the Indonesian government may announce an additional collective leave day, also known as cuti bersama in Indonesian.
This year in 2018, President Jokowi has signed a decree and added three days of collective leave for Eid al-Fitr (called Idul Fitri or Lebaran). After one year of continued employment, every employee in Indonesia is entitled to a paid vacation of 12 days, besides the national holidays.
As mentioned, Indonesia is well known for its generous number of holidays in a given year. National holidays in Indonesia are often renowned for their ability to make people spend more and thus increase businesses’ revenues. However, there are some drawbacks encountered by companies too.
The processing of visas, permits, licenses, approvals, and other applications are halted or put on hold. Delivery or release of shipments is postponed. Therefore, the best timing for filing of applications is at least one week in advance of national holidays or right after.
Workers at government offices in Indonesia frequently enjoy longer holidays than the rest of the country. It always pays off to call the office in advance to make sure that you will get beyond the threshold.
Most owners of the prime working spaces and offices rented by expats frequently go for their vacations during successive national holidays and collective leaves. This is most noticeable during Idul Fitri break when a majority of Indonesians travel to their hometown or villages for so-called mudik (to visit and reunion with their families).
As a result, delays in contract preparation, negotiations, or maintenance are unfortunately inevitable when the owners or landlords are absent.
Even though big retailers might be able to gain revenue during the national holidays, retailers of smaller size will still choose to close over these periods. This is because of the possibly reduced productivity and efficiency due to the lack of human resource.
Reduced productivity results in possible changes in working hours. This happens especially during the month preceding Lebaran break – Ramadhan. Lunch break gets shorter and working hours might start sooner. The choice is, however, left upon employees. It means that some workers might work from 7.30 am to 4 pm while others will be available from 8 am till 5 pm as usual.
When businesses choose to operate over the national holidays, they also agree to absorb the cost of paying employees for an additional day that employees are not supposed to work.
This is usually done by paying employees double wages through the penalty rate or overtime rate that is applied.
President Joko Widodo announced the nationwide regional election day on June 27 this year as a national holiday, after the long Idul Fitri holiday.
The West Java, Central Java and East Java gubernatorial elections are considered the most important elections in Indonesia. In an effort to standardise the election date for all Indonesian regions, starting from 2027, the government in Indonesia plans to make all regions hold their elections on the same date. Thus, residents in Indonesia can expect more national holidays from regional elections in the very near future.
In 2019, the closest national holiday for an election will be the presidential election on April 17, 2019.
Businesses that have employees in Indonesia must be familiar with the Religious Holiday Allowance (tunjangan hari raya, with acronym THR).
THR—a non-wage income or bonus— is paid to employees by employers in Indonesia once a year as financial support at the approaching celebration of the religious holiday.
Religious holidays include Eid al-Fitr (for Muslims), Christmas Day (for Christians), Day of Silence (for Hindus), Waisak (for Buddhists), and Chinese New Year (for Confucianists).
According to Indonesian law, the payment is compulsory and must be made based on employee’s religion.
Indonesians place a large emphasis on their religious diversity and collectivist societies. During these periods, they spend on things that are important to their culture, traditions, family and communities.
As a result, THR plays a vital role for Indonesian families to be able to afford these festivals. The ceremonies and celebrations will be hard for them to hold without the THR.
According to Indonesian law Regulation 6/2016, employees hired on a permanent basis and temporary basis (freelance employees are included after the amendment of law) will be able to receive THR.
If an employee has only worked for one month, he or she is also entitled to receive the THR payment. It is also worth noting that the eligibility of THR is not based on an employee’s performance.
The six faiths or religions that are recognized by the Indonesian government to receive the THR are Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
If the employer is unable to, or delay the THR payment to their employees, in circumstances such as improper management or financial difficulties — whatever the reason may be, they will have to face some severe consequences.
Outsourcing payroll services from a third-party provider is the easiest way how to comply with Indonesian legislation, know the effects of national holidays in Indonesia on your business and the religious allowance.
Contact us and get detailed information about our services and how we can cooperate to increase the performance of your company in Indonesia. Consultants in our offices in Jakarta, Semarang and Bali are at your service.