This paper reviews Indonesia's Manpower Law 13/2003 and related regulations, against a backdrop of slow employment growth, business concerns about the legislation and government attempts to change it in 2006. The paper focuses on severance rates and dismissals, short-term contracts and out-sourcing, and minimum wages, also briefly discussing other articles, and comparing the law with those in neighbouring countries. It suggests that certain articles have contributed to significantly higher wage costs and reduced flexibility in the management of labour in Indonesia's formal sector, even though compliance is by no means universal within the private sector. Key provisions, especially large increases in severance rates, and needs criteria imposed for the purpose of setting minimum wages, are also out of step with labour market policies in other developing countries. Circumstantial evidence suggests that these measures have adversely affected the investment climate and damaged prospects for a recovery in employment.