Government of St. Maarten announces major revision of employment permit policy

On November 12th, 2008, the Governor of Sint Maarten put his signature to and thereby promulgated a revised Decree on the issuance of employment permits (‘Uitvoeringsbesluit arbeid vreemdelingen’).

The present decree dates back to January 21st, 2003. Said decree was the first ever, following implementation of the Federal Ordinance of August 3rd, 2001, which explicitly creates for the Island Government the authority to issue employment permits. The revised decree takes effect two months after promulgation, therefore on January 12th, 2009.

The need for a revised policy on the issuance of employment permits, culminating in a revised Decree, was felt as early as two years after the implementation of the Decree of 2003.

In particular, it was determined that the primary goal of this new legislation was not being fully achieved, namely to limit the employment of foreign labor to the strictly necessary measure and at the same time promote employment of local persons as much as possible.  

online casino

Despite the existence of a specific piece of legislation, it was noted that still too much unskilled foreign labor in particular was infiltrating the market place, whereas the unemployment numbers under the local population were not visibly decreasing. The revised policy is meant to address the aforementioned shortcomings.

The revised employment permit policy was prepared in close cooperation with representatives of business and labor (the so called Tripartite Comité) and therefore reflects a great degree of consensus across the board.

In the coming two months leading up to the date that the revised policy goes into effect (January 12th, 2009) as well as in the weeks thereafter, the Executive Council will execute a program whereby maximum publicity will be given to the revised policy and whereby the policy will be explained in further detail.

This program kicked off at last Wednesday’s weekly press briefing with a statement given by the Commissioner in charge of Labor Affairs, Mrs. S.Wescott-Williams, and is to be followed immediately by a separate press conference on the subject on Friday, November 21st, 2008.