SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS–The measures taken in connection with the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 have profound consequences for many companies in the Caribbean Netherlands. The Social Affairs and Employment SZW unit of the Civil Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN wants to prevent employers from having to fire employees. To help employers to keep their personnel, SZW has implemented an emergency regulation for Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.
From Tuesday, March 31, employers can submit a request to the RCN unit SZW for a contribution in labour cost. To qualify for the contribution there must be a loss of turnover of at least 20 per cent due to the coronavirus, as a result of which personnel cannot be kept (fully) at work.
When entitled, 80 per cent of the employees’ salaries is paid to the employer for the hours that the employees cannot work. This amount must be passed on to the employees. The regulation can also be used for employees with a zero-hour or a temporary contract.
SZW will not approve dismissal permits for commercial reasons related to the coronavirus as long as this regulation applies. The emergency regulation is intended to protect personnel from being fired.
People who in connection with the coronavirus no longer have an employer can apply for support themselves. This may be the case if their contract has not been renewed, or because they were on probation. These persons can apply for 80 per cent of their last-earned wages.
The emergency regulation can also help independent entrepreneurs who are affected by the coronavirus. Their income can be supplemented to 80 per cent of the statutory minimum wage.
The emergency regulation is valid for a period of three months and will be granted retroactively from March 13, 2020.
More information and application forms are available at
www.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19. Fully completed application forms can be sent to
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Individuals who need support can make an appointment with the RCN units SZW tel. 416-5652 (Saba) and tel. 319-5693 (Statia).
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/szw-implements-emergency-regulation-for-statia-and-saba