Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 29,521 confirmed infections, 1,770 deaths (5 June 2020)
05 June 2020 (closed)
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It was common in numerous Indonesian companies and sectors to discourage colleagues or coworkers in one company to marry each other. Usually, when Indonesians sign a contract to start a new job at a company, one of the requirements that is set in the contract is that employees are prohibited from marrying a colleague (in the same company). In case two colleagues would fall in love and decide to marry, then one of them would have to leave their job at the company.
This was common practice in Indonesia as it was feared that having a married couple in one office could lead to a conflict of interest. For example, one could promote one's spouse to a better position within the company or raise the spouse's salary. Or a married couple could bring their (potential) personal problems to the office (which could impact negatively on the company's performance).
On Thursday (14/12) Indonesia's Constitutional Court put a stop to this practice by rejecting the clause in the 2003 Labor Law that allowed employers to offer employees contracts in which they were barred from marrying colleagues. According to the court, this clause collides with human rights as marriage is part of people's fate. Moreover, when employees sign a contract they are usually in the weaker position (compared to the employer) and therefore would agree to various things in order to get the job (things that could later become a major burden for the person). In that context, it is not fair of employers to discourage coworkers to marry.
The case went to the Constitutional Court in January 2017 after eight employees of state-owned utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) requested a judicial review of the Labor Law, arguing that they were entitled to marry the person of their desire.
Meanwhile, in another case (that was handled on the same day), the Constitutional Court rejected a petition that was put forward by a conservative Muslim group. The group, called Family Love Alliance (AILA), wants to make extramarital sex an illegal act in Indonesia. It was a narrow rejection, however, as only five out of the nine judges voted against the petition. Human rights activists applauded the court's decision as there was concern that the petition would imply further discrimination against the gay community in Indonesia.