Public Talkshow: The Effectiveness and Opportunities of Simplifying Regulation ‘Omnibus Law’

Government efforts to maintain a balance between expansion of employment and protection of work will be supported by a regulatory breakthrough in the form of Omnibus Law Employment Creation (CLK Bill). This bill is projected to simplify several policies into one legislative model, namely the Omnibus Law. As a new model that is in the process of being finalized, this bill is also full of pros and cons responses.

In the context of the socialization and discussion of the CLK Bill, the Ministry of Home Affairs (Ministry of Home Affairs) through Ahimsa Indonesia has held a Public Talk show entitled “The Effectiveness and Opportunities Simplifying Regulation ‘Omnibus Law”. In collaboration with Origami, the event was held on January 24, 2020 at the Walking Drum Margonda, Depok.

In this Public Talk Show, Ahimsa invited a keynote speaker from the Ministry of Manpower (Kemnaker) represented by Hendri Wijaya (Head of the Legislative Planning Bureau). Ahimsa also invited speakers from academics and practitioners both pros and cons to enrich perspectives in the discussion.

Also present included Athor Subroto, Ph.D (Director of Strategic and Global School Studies UI), Roziqin, SH, M.Sc, CLA, CFrA (Lecturer of Nahdlatul Ulama Indonesia University), M. Iwan Setiawan, MH (Expert Constitutional Law of the University of Lampung), and M. Syahwan Arey, MH from Central Legal Aid of Ansor.

Protect Workers and Employment Expansion

Hendri Wijaya said that Omnibus Law was President Jokowi’s program whose basic principle was people’s economy. The concept is to eliminate overlaps between regulations and laws (constitution), process efficiency, and eliminate sectoral egos.

Today, the business and industrial world in Indonesia is still less competitive with neighboring countries such as Vietnam. The Omnibus Law is here to accommodate policies related to the existence of new business models such as startups (Gojek, etc.), including the limitation of working hours and overtime work for its workers.

The Omnibus Law consists of 11 clusters, one of which is employment (CLK Bill). This model has an impact on 52 laws and articles out of a total of 79 laws (1,244 articles). Hendri said, a country’s economic system is highly dependent on the pace of the world economy. Even so, the basic principle of the CLK Bill is a people’s economy.

In this employment cluster, the CLK Bill will cover the system of work agreements for certain time (PKWT), outsourcing, and working time. Of the three types of minimum wages (UMP, UMK, and UMSK / UMSP), only one minimum wage will be applied to people who are just working. Furthermore, the hourly wage system will be higher if it works for a month.

The attention of the government is the ease of managing legal entities and developing businesses in Indonesia. Regarding foreign labor regulations (TKA), Hendri said that the government is targeting long-term benefits.

Hendri asserted, the CLK Bill targets an increase in job protection and expansion of employment, given the rampant unilateral dismissal case. For companies that violate, there are two types of sanctions as attached in the entire law.

Transparency, Bureaucracy, and Regulation

Athor Subroto assesses the need to oversee the ‘orchestration’ of articles in the Omnibus Law so that it has a positive impact. He said, the articles in the Omnibus Law had to be simulated, not only related to employment labor but also related to taxation policies.

Athor argues that tax revenue does not necessarily increase taxes. Historically, economic growth in Indonesia has been supported by the consumption sector significantly.

Indonesia as an archipelago has a different economic system. Reflecting on the 1997/1998 monetary crisis, Java was among the most affected compared to other regions that were actually ‘partying’.

Athor also considered that the development of government infrastructure is currently a solution to break the ‘vicious cycle’, in the sense of supporting the distribution and mobilization sector in the efforts of economic equality. In terms of regulation, the Omnibus Law is expected to have a positive impact on the chain in terms of economic, political, and social.

According to him, economic growth in a country requires a deficit and is controlled. The issue of state debt is not a concern as long as the production sector is running well.

He asserted that the Omnibus Law must be designed to facilitate investment, entrepreneurship, employment, and carrying out the mandate of the law by taking into account poor and orphans. Moreover, the process of finalizing the Omnibus Law needs to be continuously monitored and reviewed based on aspects of transparency, bureaucracy, and regulation.

Don’t Harm the Community and Nation

In the process of finalizing the CLK Bill, M. Syahwan Arey from the Ansor Legal Aid Institute (LBH Ansor) regretted that academics and legal practitioners seemed less responsive and active in enlivening this discourse. Moreover, he said that changing the regulation would be useless if government oversight was not carried out properly.

Syahwan conveyed, the statement of the attitude of LBH Ansor throughout Indonesia was the Omnibus Law not to harm the Indonesian people and nation. This LBH is committed to fighting for justice for the poor, marginal, and the legal blind so that it always follows the development of the legislative model in the CLK Bill, which in fact is almost complete.

LBH Ansor sees that this legislation model will not only bring about influence on economic growth and investment in Indonesia, but will also have a major impact on the legal system and will largely determine the lives of many people. Starting from workers, farmers, fishermen, indigenous people, the poor, and so on, which constitute target community for legal assistance.

LBH highlighted two aspects, namely the formal aspect (the Legislation process) and the material aspect (the substance of the regulation). On the formal aspect, this LBH regretted the process of drafting the CLK Bill which was carried out in a ‘closed room’ by not involving and listen to the aspirations of stakeholders.

According to Syahwan, ‘closed spaces’ actually prevented the wider public from participating in studying the material aspects and their development. In fact, it causes confusion and noise due to confusion related to regulatory material circulating in the midst of society.

From the statement of attitudes, several points emphasized include: the legislation product needs to pay attention and listen to the aspirations of the public and therefore expressly requests that the government and the House of Representatives open the widest possible space for public involvement in each stage of the drafting of the CLK Bill.

LBH Anshor also suggested that the government and the DPR RI first prepare and perfect the academic paper on the CLK Bill which is based on a normative study and empirical, by involving academics, practitioners, and stakeholders. In addition, the government and the House of Representatives do not need to be in a hurry ratify and enact the CLK Bill in which there are hundreds of articles material content is very important and strategic.