On 27 August 2019, Indonesia's Ministry of Employment issued Regulation No. 228 of 2019 on Certain Titles Open for Foreign Workers ("Decree 228"), which (amongst other things) widens the number of available positions for expatriate workers.

Decree 228

Decree 228 was issued to further the Indonesian Government's efforts to attract skilled and experienced foreign workers to the country, so as to improve its business competitiveness and economic growth. It sets out the job titles and positions that foreign workers are allowed to hold in Indonesia, and widens the total number of positions open to foreign workers, in particular, for white collar workers. 

It also provides clarity by:

  • consolidating 19 previous decrees on titles and positions that can be held by foreign workers into a single list; and
  • simplifying the approval process for foreign workers and their employers. 

Key provisions 

The key provisions set out in Decree 228 are as follows:

  • subject to prevailing laws and regulations, foreigners continue to be able to hold the positions of director and commissioner in Indonesia, save for HR-related roles;
  • foreign workers who seek to work in Indonesia must have at least 5 years of relevant experience (or 8 years for directors/commissioners), and must transfer their expertise to their Indonesian colleagues and employees while employed;
  • for foreign workers who hold titles or positions which are not set out in Decree 228, approval from the relevant technical ministry is no longer a requirement for work permit applications. Instead, approval from the Ministry of Employment will suffice;
  • the titles and positions open to foreign workers will be evaluated by the Ministry of Employment every 2 years or whenever necessary; and
  • work permits issued before the issuance of Decree 228 (i.e. before 27 August 2019) will remain valid until their expiry.

​Key Takeaways 

The issuance of Decree 228 is likely to result in an increase in the number of foreign workers in Indonesia. Internally, employers should take care to match job titles for their employees to those on the list and may also wish to consider whether Decree 228 opens new opportunities for companies to move talent around their organisation.