1.6 million workers laid off, forced to take unpaid leave

1.6 million workers laid off, forced to take unpaid leave

Chief of the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling Doni Monardo, who is also Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). ANTARA PHOTO/Aprillio Akbar/aa.

Reports from ministers show that 1.6 million workers have been laid off and forced to take unpaid leave, and that pre-employment cards must be issued to them soon
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Some 1.6 million workers have been laid off and forced to take unpaid leave due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Chief of the Task Force for Acceleration of COVID-19 Handling Doni Monardo said.

"Reports from ministers show that 1.6 million workers have been laid off and forced to take unpaid leave, and that pre-employment cards must be issued to them soon," he said during a virtual press conference, following a limited meeting led by President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

At the meeting, the president ordered ministers to immediately channel incentives under the pre-employment program to workers who have lost their jobs, Monardo said.

The President also ordered the distribution of social assistance to those people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, starting this week.

The social assistance covers benefits channeled under the family hope program (PKH), direct cash assistance, basic necessity cards and additional basic necessity assistance in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi (Jabodetabek), along with other social assistance.

"The social safety net program will also be started this week, so the affected people, particularly those residing in and around Jakarta, will receive assistance in the form of basic necessities from the Social Affairs Ministry," he said.

The newest social assistance from the government includes basic necessities worth Rp600 thousand per month for each affected family in and around Jakarta for three months. The assistance is also aimed at preventing Jabodetabek residents from travelling to their hometowns during the Eid-al-Fitr festivities.

Additionally, the government will provide cash social assistance worth Rp600 thousand per month to families outside Jabodetabek that do not receive assistance under the family hope program and basic necessity assistance.

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