SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS--Since last Tuesday, applications can be made for the emergency regulation in connection with the coronavirus at the Unit of Social Affairs and Employment SZW of National Department Caribbean Netherlands RCN. This regulation is to assist employers in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in retaining their personnel. Employees and self-employed entrepreneurs who no longer have an income can also apply for the emergency regulation. SZW said it has already received many applications.
An obstacle for many employers in obtaining support is that employees are not allowed to work within the hours for which they are making use of the regulation.
The SZW unit has therefore decided, in consultation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, to make exceptions to this point.
Employers can submit a request to the SZW unit in which they explain why it is required that work is performed while the company is shut down.
This only applies to work that is necessary to be able to continue business activities after the crisis. For example, the exception may apply to a hotel that no longer receives guests. Security, essential cleaning or minor maintenance that cannot be postponed may continue while making full use of the regulation. Maintenance work that can also be carried out at a later date is not regarded as necessary work.
Employers wishing to make use of the exception can add a request to their application by explaining their situation. SZW will assess the requests on “reasonability,” it was stated.
Another exception to the regulation applies to the self-employed, who must have been registered with a Chamber of Commerce in the Caribbean Netherlands on March 13, 2020. In exceptional cases it is also possible to qualify without registration with the Chamber of Commerce. This may be the case, for example, for taxi drivers or fishermen, but it must be established that the applicant is an independent entrepreneur. Therefore, the self-employed applicant must be registered with the Tax Office.
More information about the emergency regulation and application forms is available at
www.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19. Completed forms with all necessary attachments can be sent to
Individuals who need support can contact the SZW unit by tel. 416-5652 (Saba) and tel. 319-5693 (Statia). In connection with the social-distance rules, SZW requests that public file their requests digitally, where possible.