Bali hotel apologizes for posting job ad seeking non-Hindu employees

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A hotel in Hindu-majority Bali has apologized for a controversial job ad that called for only non-Hindu applicants.

The hotel, the Rich Prada Bali, located in Pecatu on the island’s Bukit Peninsula, claims its job postings weren’t meant to communicate a bias against Hindus but were rather advertised for “technical needs.” But the hotel’s ad was shared on social media, bringing it into the spotlight with netizens calling out discriminatory recruitment.

“In this case, I am humbly sorry, on behalf of the management of The Rich Prada Bali to apologize profusely to all Hindus, everywhere because of our mistake,” said the head of the hotel’s Human Resources department, Gede Utaya.

Rich Prada Bali non-hindu ad

But the questionable job ad seems like it just may have been an ill-thought-out solution to an actual practical problem the hotel is facing—unlike plenty of illegal job ads in Indonesia that are willfully discriminatory.

Speaking in the regional council office on Monday, Utaya explained that the hotel is looking for non-Hindu employees, especially for the housekeeping department, that can work during Hindu holidays since 100 percent of the hotel’s current housekeeping staff is Hindu.

“In housekeeping, all are Hindu, so during Nyepi, all must go on holiday. If we make them work, that would be disrespectful. So, it ends up being empty,” Tribun Bali quoted Utaya as saying.

Nyepi, the Balinese Hindu New Year, is practiced as a day of silence on the island, where people on the island pass the day at home, inside, with noise kept down and lights turned off.

Which is why Utaya says the Rich Prada Hotel started a search for one to three non-Hindu employees, so he would have staff who could work on Nyepi and other Hindu holidays. He says he made a recruitment announcement with no intention of it being shared on social media—but given the times, he certainly should’ve known better.

Utaya says that he, himself is Hindu and claims he had no intentions of upsetting the Hindu community.

Head of Bali Province’s Manpower Office Ni Luh Made Wiratmi said the recruitment post is a violation of Article 5, Law No. 13 of 2003 on employment that says there shall be no discrimination when hiring employees.

According to Wirtami, the hotel could be sanctioned with a verbal reprimand, written warning, restrictions on business activity, but the most severe punishment would be the revocation of their business license.

It’ll be a written warning delivered to the hotel this time, Wiratmi said, who added that the Manpower Office will be sending staff to check the hotel and that it’s within full compliance of the law.

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