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NEWBIES - Beware of illegal employment offers - Updated.

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  • gffgold
    replied
    With respect, Atlantis, you have been here a while, have a stable home base and know the territory. You also have - through your own efforts - a better understanding of national law than most Indonesians. When confronted with an uncooperative/dishonest employer a relative newcomer will feel a good deal less confident than you would in the same situation and may simply conclude that the law offers them no protection.

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  • indotom
    replied
    Originally posted by atlantis View Post
    This may be a very western way to approach a problem. Indonesia is a culture favoring the musyawarah process. I would have first favored it rather than hiring a lawyer. Lawyers in Indonesia are a recourse only in penal situation. In civil cases or for any other matter they are a waste of time, with only one purpose: inflating the costs and making it last as long as possible (in the purpose of fees). A quickly settled case is in no way a good business for a lawyer.
    I am not familiar with the musyawarah process as most expats probably don't get too involved in the legal peticulars here. A natural western reaction when faced with an obvious legal law violation would be to seek legal council. My statement about Jungle law, etc is a simple way of saying expat beware. The legal system here may not protect you! Atlantis you should know me by now, that I admittedly use colorful statements but I don't lie about the basic facts or observations.

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  • atlantis
    replied
    Originally posted by indotom View Post
    My friend did go the legal pathway, hired a lawyer, issued several formal letters of accusation to the employer, immigration dept, manpower dept and police.
    This may be a very western way to approach a problem. Indonesia is a culture favoring the musyawarah process. I would have first favored it rather than hiring a lawyer. Lawyers in Indonesia are a recourse only in penal situation. In civil cases or for any other matter they are a waste of time, with only one purpose: inflating the costs and making it last as long as possible (in the purpose of fees). A quickly settled case is in no way a good business for a lawyer.

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  • indotom
    replied
    My friend did go the legal pathway, hired a lawyer, issued several formal letters of accusation to the employer, immigration dept, manpower dept and police. At the end of the day the police asked for bribe money to do anything and the other Indo depts did not take any action. How long can a foreigner stay in Indonesia and fight a legal case without income when it could take a year or more to settle at great cost. Another tricky situation is the foreigner can not work for another company during this time. The employer never completed the IMTA (work permit), police registration, etc as required by Indo law. When these facts were stated to the Indo officials they didn't do anything. My observation is now that there is not a foreigner to deport or threaten for money for not having a work permit, no government official seems to care that the company broke the law.

    In this case my friend was blackmailed to change their employment contract under threat by the company not completing the employees immigration and work papers.
    Last edited by indotom; 04-05-10, 07:59.

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  • atlantis
    replied
    Originally posted by indotom View Post
    So "at the end of the day", I can tell you the only law in Indonesia is Jungle Law. Basically the law is only enforced here when it is beneficial to one or more government officials.
    I understand that you had personal issues in your work experience in Indonesia. However, I believe that your statement is highly exagerated. I would not say that having the law enforced is easy and without troubles but stating that it is impossible is definitively wrong. It requires:
    - a basic knowledge of bahasa indonesia,
    - a fair understanding of one's rights,
    - a fair understanding of the local culture and way of thinking (here I mean to know how to speak to locals so that they receive the message one wants to deliver and act accordingly)
    - a formal written articulated complaint for the thoughest cases.
    With the above, one would settle 99% of the problems that could occur. It is I understand hard to achieve for newcomers, but after a period of 1 year+, I believe that anyone could manage to do it with some success.

    Just as a side comment, I've been acquitted in a penal trial in Indonesia where I could have been sentenced to three years in jail. I got acquitted without paying a single bribe to the police, the prosecutor and/or the judges. An indonesian (WNA who became WNI to be exact) tried to set me up because of business rivalry and jealousy. After the acquittal, prosecutors decided to apply for a cassation of the judgement. If the acquitment is confirmed by Mahkamah Agung, and I have no doubt about it, the Indonesian who tried to set me up will have to face the legal consequences of his foolish behaviour. His attitude could earn him up to seven years in jail, and he can be sure that I will put all my energy and knowledge of the law and the culture to put in him for the longest period.
    Also, I am quite used to deal with the police, the immigration, depnaker, BPN and other administrations but I can not recall of anything that my wife (indonesian) or me (foreigner) were not able to have done properly and by the book. Many of the things required a lot of patience, but ultimately we were succesful.
    Indonesia is notoriously corrupted and its administration is plagued with problems, but there is no point to described it worst than it is really or to be overly pessimistic.
    Last edited by atlantis; 04-05-10, 08:35.

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  • indotom
    replied
    I can relate a work horror story of a "friend" in Indonesia.

    The job offer and hiring process started normally. After being sponsored into Indonesia by the employer with a work visa, the monkey business soon started. The company then insisted on changing the previously signed work contract and refused to finish the official immigration paperwork of the employee. Seeing that the initial friendly smiles of the company management was just the natives salivating before the meal, my friend left their employment before it got worse. Now my friend is stuck here without an exit permit (EPO) and has to pay their own return flight home. Indonesian law provides several layers of protection for foreigner workers, such as mandating the company provide a paid return flight home and as the sponsor they are ultimately responcible for employee's welfare (providing financial support, ie salary). To make a long story short, the government agencies in this corrupt joke of a country refused take action to enforce their laws unless given a bribe to investigate the case. So "at the end of the day", I can tell you the only law in Indonesia is Jungle Law. Basically the law is only enforced here when it is beneficial to one or more government officials.

    So even though a company wanting to hire a foreigner says they will do everything properly. You as a foreign worker can be put in harms way, arrested, deported, etc without legal recourse.

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