Salary subsidy and employees rights during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dit item is gearchiveerd op 26-06-2020.

ORANJESTAD — The Department of Labor and Research is addressing concerns about the salary subsidy and employees' rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the salary subsidy?

 Salary subsidy is a financial relief from the government to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis and that have seen a drop of over 25% in revenues per month.

The primary objective of the salary subsidy is to help retain employees at work, despite loss in sales and revenue. The salary subsidy helps cover the employees’ salaries partially. The payment of the salary subsidy is done by the SVB. Businesses who qualify and need the relief should apply every month for the salary subsidy.

What is paid to the employee according to the salary subsidy?

The Government gives each employer subsidy based on their monthly loss of revenue, to pay their employees a maximum of 60% of their salary, as registered at the SVB and up to the limited amount of monthly Afl. 5.850,- as indicated at the SVB.

Employers should cover 20% and employees should give in 20%. In the event an employer is not able to pay its 20% of the employee’s salary, they should mutually agree on reducing the employee’s working schedule based on the 40% loss of income. The employee should only work for what he or she is receiving payment for unless both parties agree on something different.

Are employers allowed to only pay 60% of the salaries?

Employers who are granted the relief have the obligation to pay 60% of the employee’s gross salary, as registered at the SVB. Since employers have to re-apply each month for the subsidy, the salaries paid are based on the monthly losses of revenue, and the economic activity is evaluated monthly. Once there is more economic activity, more working hours, and also more revenue, each company should adjust the working hours and corresponding salaries.

Can employers make employees sign an agreement regarding the payment of the salary subsidy?

Employers should always be able to prove that they reached agreements with the employees about their salary subsidy. In the event, an employee feels uncomfortable signing any agreement or wants legal advice before signing, can call the Department of Labor and Research at tel.: 5237720 for advice, or send an email to
Soon the DAO will reopen to the public.

Keep in mind that should an employer not apply or qualify for the salary subsidy, that the employer is responsible for the payment of the employee’s salary. For employers to reduce working hours and salaries, they have to come in mutual agreement with the employee.

For more information on the salary subsidy, please contact the Service Center of the SVb by

sending email to or by sending a WhatsApp message to +297 5272801.

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