Indonesia weighs in on long holidays affecting productivity

Indonesia debates on whether the number of national holidays and collective leave is beneficial for the country's productivity and competitiveness.
By: | May 27, 2024

Too many holidays? Ida Fauziyah, Indonesia’s Manpower Minister, has addressed the question on whether the government would consider reducing the number of long holidays that seem to impact Indonesia’s competitiveness and workforce productivity.

When asked whether the government would consider reducing the number of long holidays, Ida clarified that collective leave is an optional policy granted by employers to their employees, and that long holidays, like national holidays and collective leave, can boost tourism, thus contributing to economic growth.

“Regarding the leave, I believe it is facultative (not mandatory). It depends on the mutual agreement within the company,” she said at the Parliament Building in Jakarta.

This debate comes as Sapta Nirwandar, former Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, suggested that long holidays and collective leave should only be granted during major religious celebrations, such as Eid al Fitr and Christmas.

“Not all holidays or public holidays should have collective leave. If implemented, many companies and institutions in the country could go bankrupt. In my opinion, the long holiday policy with collective leave needs to be reconsidered; otherwise, the country could face difficulties,” he asserted.

Regular holidays that are not religious celebrations do not need regulation, and could even be reduced, suggested Sapta, as a way to ensure productivity is maintained.

“If all public holidays are combined with long collective leave, Indonesia’s productivity will decline further, impacting competitiveness and worker productivity,” he warned.

In 2024, employees in Indonesia will experience 17 national holidays and 10 days of collective leave. In comparison, Vietnam only has 13 national holidays.

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However, Sapta acknowledged that numerous holidays and collective leave can boost the tourism and entertainment sectors overseas, using the three- to four-day holidays to travel abroad and visit countries across various regions.