In early May, the Dutch Caribbean Police Force (KPCN) together with the Labour Inspectorate of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (SZW) and the Belastingdienst Caribisch Nederland (B/CN) carried out controls on labour by foreigners. The checks focused on the detection of illegal employment of foreigners and the conditions under which the foreigners work. In addition, the controls aimed to identify possible cases of labour exploitation.
Within the Caribbean Netherlands, for the implementation and control of foreigners, there is intensive cooperation between the Police, Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar), Tax Office, Labour Inspectorate and Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). On the initiative of the IND supervisors within the so-called chain consultation, the supervisors discussed how to control the in-flow-and out-flow of foreigners and how the compliance of the various laws can be monitored. The various supervisors can take the initiative with regards to carrying out supervision.
Reason for action
For this action, the Labour Inspectorate took the initiative. The reason for the initiative was several signals from the Unit of Social Affairs about work permits.
During the checks KPCN was charged with the operational management and confirmed the identity of the persons found. The Labour Inspectorate inspected if the employer had a work permit to allow the foreigner to carry out work. In addition, the Labour Inspectorate inspected if the minimum wage was paid, the working hours and the safety in the workplace.
During the controls on Saba and St Eustatius eight locations were checked. It concerned six supermarkets, a metalwork shop and a non-profit institution. During the checks, a total of 23 employees were found, of which 18 foreigners. The foreigners encountered were from different countries. It concerned mainly foreigners from China, Central and South America. In addition, foreigners from North America, the Philippines and Western Europe were found.
Several supermarkets had no or insufficient fire-fighting equipment or other means of in-house emergency response service. In one case the property was not equipped with an emergency exit at the rear of the property. While, based on the lay out the shop, it is a must. In one case an unhygienic situation was encountered. It partly regards businesses where the Public Entity carries out inspection. The Public Entity was informed about this.
Of the eight companies that have been checked four companies (50%) received a warning from the Labour Inspectorate. The warnings mainly concerned non-compliance with the rules regarding work by foreigners. In two cases it concerned even a second warning. In a subsequent confirmation of the same facts a fine will be unceremoniously made up.
At two companies, the Tax Office established irregularities which give rise to a more far-reaching research.
Press release RCN