Home / 1-News / Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba relief package 13M euros – Correction by RCN

Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba relief package 13M euros – Correction by RCN

UPDATE by RCN:

Good morning,
Could you please delete the following paragraph from the Daily Herald article.
This newspaper understood that the temporary subsidy arrangement presents a dilemma for the employers on the islands. Apparently, employers who make use of the subsidy arrangement, whereby 80 per cent of the maximised daily wage is compensated for their employees, need to send these workers on sick leave. That is because the regulation falls under the existing sickness insurance law, “Wet Ziekteverzekering BES”.
It is not the case that workers need to be send on sick leave. We do our best to inform the media and the public with all the correct and up to date information, and it would be confusing if your readers understand the regulation in the wrong way.

The most actual Q&A’s can be found here: https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19/emergency-package-government/emergency-regulation-szw. We try and update this information on a daily basis.

RCN

Article by The Daily Herald

The Dutch government expects to spend about thirteen million euros in the first three months on the emergency package for employers, employees and self-employed persons in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour Tamara van Ark wrote this in a letter that she sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday in which she provided details on the temporary subsidy arrangement wage cost and loss of income for the Caribbean Netherlands.

As has been stated before, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, which are part of the Netherlands, are included in the comprehensive Dutch emergency package of about 10 billion euros to support employees, companies and self-employed persons during the COVID-19 crisis.

The State Secretary explained that it is difficult to project how much the temporary subsidy arrangement for the Caribbean Netherlands will cost. The expenditures will greatly depend on the number of requests of employers and the size of these requests.

For now, it has been calculated that the temporary subsidy arrangement will cost the Dutch government about 13 million euros for the first three months. This figure is based on the calculation that employers will make use of the regulation for more than 35 per cent of their employees. The cost will increase if the number of requests and/or the size of the requests is higher than anticipated.

Paragraph to be removed:
This newspaper understood that the temporary subsidy arrangement presents a dilemma for the employers on the islands. Apparently, employers who make use of the subsidy arrangement, whereby 80 per cent of the maximised daily wage is compensated for their employees, need to send these workers on sick leave. That is because the regulation falls under the existing sickness insurance law, “Wet Ziekteverzekering BES”.

According to entrepreneurs, this makes the subsidy arrangement neither practical nor helpful. Companies are now faced with a choice: to continue paying their employees out of their own pocket so they can remain at work, or use the subsidy arrangement and be unable to use their staff.

The letter that Van Ark sent to the Second Chamber doesn’t mention this dilemma. It merely states that the objective of the arrangement, in both the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands is the same, namely to keep jobs and to offer support in cases of acute income problems that employers, employees and self-employed persons are facing.

For the duration of the subsidy, employers may not fire employees for business-economic reasons. Self-employed persons can apply for a maximum subsidy of 80 per cent of the legal minimum wage, which is around US $900. In the Netherlands, this amounts to 1,500 euros per month. Dismissed persons receive 80 per cent of the maximised daily wage at the time of dismissal.

The temporary subsidy arrangement wage cost and loss of income will be executed by the Social Affairs and Labour SZW unit of the Civil Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN. The subsidy will be paid retroactively each time.

The urgency of the measure will result in a marginal assessment of the requests by the SZW unit. Controlling will be done afterwards through a random sampling. In cases of suspected misuse, the SZW unit can file a complaint at the Prosecutor’s Office.

The Daily Herald.

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3 comments

  1. This is a joke! Sure, we should be glad that there is at least some support from the Netherlands, however, this is almost an insult. Think about it. If you make use of the subsidy, you have to send your workers home on sick leave? What sense does that make, how can you keep your business running? I have always said that the small businesses on the islands should be counted as well as the backbone of these small communities – how can they think this will help us? We still have our “vaste lasten” such as rent, electric, phone, internet, you name it. Wish us luck, because that is all we can count on.

  2. Peter R Johndon

    Big difference between $900 and €1500!

  3. We are all confused. Each day The Who, where and how become become more confusing and more stressful. Are the only winners are those employed make these rules and policies? The year after the hurricane I struggled to keep my tourist based open and break even for the year. This year there is no choice but to close my doors. It is confusing if I will get help to open the doors again and put my employees back to work to developer an export businesses? Congratulations government folks for having jobs and incomes and no ongoing business expenses.

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