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New Law on Maternity and Paternity Leave in Indonesia

On 4 June 2024, the Indonesian House of Representatives passed the Draft Bill on Mother and Child Welfare for the First One Thousand Days of Life (the Mother and Child Bill), which enhances maternity and paternity leave entitlements.


The Mother and Child Bill is aimed at ensuring the welfare of mothers and children in the first 1,000 days of their lives, from their conception. The law will take effect once the President signs the law or 30 days after its passage by the House of Representatives on 4 June 2024. However, further regulations are anticipated to provide clarity on its implementation.

Currently, Law No 13 of 2003 on Manpower (as amended) (the Manpower Law) provides for maternity and paternity leave for working parents. The Mother and Child Bill provides that existing laws continue to apply so long as they are not inconsistent with the Bill.

The entitlements under the Mother and Child Bill are considered employment rights, allowing employees to challenge any non-compliance through the relevant industrial dispute settlement process. Employers will need to consider how the new requirements interact with the Manpower Law and whether their policies and processes need to be amended to ensure compliance.


We set out below a comparison between the requirements under the existing Manpower Law and the Mother and Child Bill:

Table 1 - Maternity Leave and Benefits

The Mother and Child Bill enhances the maternity leave entitlement by specifically regulating that maternity leave may be extended by three additional months in specific circumstances, though employees are only entitled to full pay in the first month of the extended maternity leave. 

However, the Bill's drafting creates an ambiguity regarding the commencement of maternity leave, potentially leading to differing expectations and disputes between employers and employees. The Manpower Law allows maternity leave to start 1.5 months before the child's birth. In contrast, the Mother and Child Bill only provides for maternity leave from the birth of the child so it is unclear whether female employees may commence the leave prior to the birth of the child. 

Considering the potential need for leave before the child's birth, a more generous interpretation would suggest that maternity leave could commence anytime within 1.5 months prior to the birth. So long as employers provide at least three months' paid maternity leave, they should be considered compliant with their legal obligations, even if the leave begins before the child's birth.



The Mother and Child Bill continues to provide the same duration of paternity leave, though the leave may now be extended:

Table 2 - Paternity Leave and Benefits

While the Bill does not specify payment during paternity leave, as the leave is not expressly stated to be unpaid, employers should consider the entirety of the paternity leave (including any extension) to be paid leave.  

Additionally, unlike the new maternity leave entitlement, the extension to paternity leave does not require proof of specific medical conditions. However, it appears that the extension is to be granted at the discretion of the employer and does not create an entitlement.



Across Southeast Asia, there is a growing emphasis on employee wellbeing, as demonstrated by changes in parental leave entitlements. These include the introduction of extended maternity and paternity leave and allowing working mothers to share their maternity leave with their spouses. 

For example, Singapore has enhanced its paternity leave entitlement, allowing employers to voluntarily grant an additional two weeks of government-paid paternity leave. From 1 January 2024, unpaid childcare leave was also extended to 12 days. In the Philippines, a recent amendment to the law permits a female employee to share up to seven days of her benefit with the child's father, regardless of their marital status. This benefit is in addition to the paternity leave granted under the Paternity Leave Act. The enhancement of maternity and paternity leave, coupled with shared childrearing responsibilities, facilitates the re-entry of working mothers into the workforce, thereby promoting employee wellbeing. 

The enactment of the Mother and Child Bill in Indonesia aligns with this regional trend, reflecting a broader shift towards policies that support employee wellbeing and family-friendly practices. Employers should pay close attention to these developments to ensure compliance, promote a supportive work environment and contribute to the overall wellbeing of their employees. 

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