Understanding Informal Employment Relationships in Indonesia: A Pilot Study in Restaurants in Yogyakarta

Understanding Informal Employment Relationships in Indonesia: A Pilot Study in Restaurants in Yogyakarta

Thursday, 6 February 2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: 
Dahrendorf Room, Founder’s Building, St Antony’s College
Speaker(s): 
Petra Mahy (Oxford)
Chair: 
Dr Matthew Walton
Convenor: 
Dr Matthew Walton
Series: 
Southeast Asia Seminar

Much of the developing world is dominated by informal employment (that is, employment which is not regulated by the state). In Indonesia, it is estimated that around 70% of workers (or approximately 85 million people) remain outside the reach of formal labour law protections due to weak law enforcement. While there has been considerable scholarly attention paid to the failure of formal labour law to protect vulnerable workers around the world, there has been far less attention devoted to the social norms and rules which do play a role in informal employment relationships. This project is situated within this research gap. It aims to describe these social norms in a specific geographical and cultural context. It also aims to advance understanding of the relationships (if any) between such social norms with formal labour laws, customary laws and other traditional social practices. In this seminar I will present the results of a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with restaurant workers in the city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia.