Kralendijk, The Bottom, Saba, Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – The emergency regulation for wage costs and income support from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) will be extended from the 13th of July until the 12th of October, 2021. Although tourism is restarting and the labour market is picking up, it is still an uncertain period for the business community. The regulation has been adjusted on a few points to promote the restart of businesses.
The emergency regulation from SZW initiated in March 2020 to support employers in the Caribbean Netherlands with the wage costs for employees they could not keep at work due to the corona crisis. Within the extended phase, employees who fall under the emergency regulation are allowed to work. This gives entrepreneurs more scope to do business, while they still receive support for paying wages.
During the extended period the support will be reduced from 80% to 60% of the salary. No new employees may be registered for the extension. Support will continue for employees who were already covered by the emergency regulation on reference date 24th of June, 2021. The condition of having at least 20% loss of turnover remains in force, so that the subsidy is granted to companies that still really need the support.
Employers must report to the SZW unit of RCN if they no longer meet this condition, or if they do not retain employees for whom they receive support. If the previously submitted information is still correct, no action is required to qualify for the extended period.
The flexibilization on the one hand, and the lowering of the percentage on the other, creates a new balance in which it becomes more attractive for companies to (fully) start up again. The details of this extension came about after conversations with local representatives of the business community.
For independent entrepreneurs and former employees, the regulation will be extended with no changes until the 12th of October, 2021. Changes in the person’s situation must always be communicated to the SZW unit of RCN. For example, when someone has (more) income again, or leaves the Caribbean Netherlands. New applications can still be submitted by independent entrepreneurs and former employees during the extended period. However, since the situation in the Caribbean Netherlands is heading in the right direction, making a new application is not obvious.
More information and the necessary forms can be found at english.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19 under ‘Emergency package government’. Entrepreneurs on Bonaire can also contact the Chamber of Commerce for questions and advice via email@example.com.