Background Checks Under Indonesian Employment Law

Legal Updates
Background Checks Under Indonesian Employment Law
29 January 2019

Fahrul S. Yusuf, the head of SSEK's labor and employment practice, looks at background checks in Indonesia.

What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following:

Criminal Records

Employers may require prospective or existing employees to obtain a statement of good behavior (surat keterangan catatan kepolisian or SKCKS) from the local district office of the Indonesian National Police. 

An SKCK is a letter issued by, or on behalf of, the chief of police in the district in which an individual is domiciled confirming that the individual named in the letter is of good behavior and not presently involved in any criminal investigation or proceedings. This statement is based on the information provided by the head of the village or sub-regency where the individual lives, and a review of the local criminal record. An SKCK does not indicate whether an individual has a criminal record, but rather confirms that the individual is not currently involved in criminal proceedings within that specific district only. Centralized/national criminal records are not available.

Medical History

An employer can require a potential employee to undergo a physical examination as a condition of employment. It is important that all potential employees be subject to the same conditions. The potential employee should give his or her written consent to both the examination and the release of the results to the employer. The employer can also require that prior medical records be made available to the employer, on a non-discretionary basis and with the potential employee's written consent.

Drug Screening

The test can be carried out, but only in limited circumstances - for instance, where working under the influence of drugs or alcohol could give rise to health and safety considerations (e.g., where employees drive or operate machinery) or serious damage to the employer's business. The applicant would need to consent to the test. Drug and alcohol testing should be carried out during employment only if justified, necessary and proportionate, and with the consent of the employee.

Credit Checks

Information of this kind is seldom used in the recruitment process in Indonesia. However, the central bank, Bank Indonesia, produces comprehensive individual credit history reports, which are issued only upon the request of both financial institutions and the individual that the information concerns, as this information is considered confidential.

Immigration Status

A local employer in Indonesia that wants to employ a foreign national must arrange for a work permit for the foreign national. \"Work permit‚Äù in this context involves an array of registrations and approvals. Foreign nationals may come into Indonesia under business visas to do business-related activities on behalf of their overseas employer, such as participating in meetings, and for investment purposes.

Social Media

There is no prohibition on verifying information provided on public websites, such as news sources, Google searches or social network site searches. The only information that can be collected and retained by employers is information that can be accessed or obtained publicly, not private information.


Employers in Indonesia frequently carry out background checks on applicants. Indonesian employment laws do not expressly regulate background checks. Certain background checks are in practice subject to the consent of the applicant.

About SSEK

SSEK Legal Consultants is a leading full-service corporate and commercial law firm based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Since its founding in Jakarta in 1992, SSEK has grown to one of the largest and most highly regarded corporate law firms in Indonesia. SSEK is recognized by independent legal directories including Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Asia Law as a leading law firm in Indonesia across all major practice areas including banking and finance, capital markets, corporate law and mergers and acquisitions, construction and real estates, energy and natural resources, IT and telecommunications, labor and employment, project finance, restructuring and insolvency, and shipping. SSEK has been named the Indonesian Law Firm of the Year on multiple occasions.

This publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance on the material contained herein is at the user\'s own risk. You should contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction if you require legal advice. All SSEK publications are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of SSEK.

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