Indonesia court orders government to amend controversial labour law

Workers protesting against the omnibus law on job creation in Banda Aceh on Nov 17, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's Constitutional Court on Thursday (Nov 25) ordered the government to amend parts of a controversial job creation law within two years, describing it as conditionally unconstitutional.

The legislation, which was passed last year, sparked widespread protest across Indonesia over claims it undermined worker rights and weakened environmental protections.

Chief judge Anwar Usman said that if the changes were not made in two years, the legislation would be deemed "permanently unconstitutional".

The court ruling followed the pursuit last year of judicial review by Indonesia's two largest trade unions, which contested what they said were procedural flaws in its formation.

The government had no immediate comment on the court's decision on Thursday.

Revising more than 70 existing laws as part of the legislative overhaul, the government had said the law was designed to streamline red tape, spur investment and boost labour competitiveness.

Unions, environmentalists, academics and students, however, had argued it was rushed through without sufficient consultation, and would undermine worker rights and weaken environmental protections.

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