The consequences of the measures in connection with the coronavirus are profound for many companies. The RCN unit of Social Affairs and Employment (Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, SZW) wants to prevent employers from having to fire employees. In order to help employers to keep their personnel, SZW has implemented an emergency regulation for Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.
Starting today, Tuesday, March 31, employers can submit a request to the RCN unit SZW for a contribution towards labour costs. There must be a loss of turnover of at least twenty percent due to the coronavirus, as a result of which the personnel cannot be kept (fully) at work. When entitled, eighty percent of the employee’s salaries are paid to the employer for the hours that the employee cannot work. This amount must be passed on to the employee as salary. The regulation can also be used for employees with a zero-hour contract or a temporary contract.
SZW will not approve dismissal permits for commercial reasons related to the coronavirus as long as this regulation applies. This emergency regulation is intended to protect personnel from being fired.
People who no longer have an employer in connection with the coronavirus can apply for support themselves. This may be the case if their contract has not been renewed, or because they were on probation. They can apply for eighty percent of their last-earned wages. The emergency regulation can also help independent entrepreneurs affected by the coronavirus. Their income can be supplemented to eighty percent of the statutory minimum wage. The emergency regulation is valid for a period of three months and will be granted retroactively from March 13th 2020.
More information and application forms are available at www.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19. Fully completed application forms can be sent to emergency noodregelingSZW@RijksdienstCN.com. Entrepreneurs on Bonaire can contact the Chamber of Commerce for assistance with their application via steunloket@KvKbonaire.com or via 717 5595. Individuals who need support can make an appointment by telephone with the RCN unit SZW (Bonaire: 781 5555 or 781 5556, Saba: 416 5652, St. Eustatius: 319-5693).