Caribbean Netherlands to receive unemployment benefits.

THE HAGUE – The Dutch cabinet has announced plans to introduce an unemployment benefit scheme in the BES islands: Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius.

This move, in line with the recommendations of the Social Minimum Commission led by Glen Thodé, is intended to better support individuals who are temporarily without work, as is already the case in European Netherlands.

The Minister for Poverty Policy, Participation, and Pensions, Carola Schouten, is currently working with the RCN on the contours of this new provision.

This initiative is a response to the observation that in the Caribbean Netherlands, there is a lack of an adequate social safety net for people who lose their job.

The Thodé Commission emphasized the importance of this type of support for an increasing perspective on self-reliance.


In developing the social security system, the government encountered a lack of good, current data necessary to implement a scheme based on income and employment history.

The importance of reliable data, both for the implementation of policy and its design and maintenance, was strongly emphasized by the commission.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is currently investigating how the wage declaration chain in the Caribbean Netherlands can be used to establish a policy administration, which is essential for introducing an unemployment benefit scheme.

These developments are in addition to earlier steps to improve data management in the Caribbean Netherlands, such as the CBS’s multi-year program Caribbean Netherlands (2024-2028), which focuses on poverty, housing, and broad prosperity, and increasing access to data.

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