Social and Economic Council Presents Flexicurity Advice on Labor Relations to Prime Minister

The Social Economic Council (SER) submitted their latest unsolicited advice entitled "Flexicurity for Sint Maarten" to the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams last Friday. In the advice the SER offers an integrated approach to dismissal procedures, the use of short-term labor contracts and the introduction of unemployment insurance for Sint Maarten workers.


Photocaption: Dwight Williams, SER acting chairman; Prime Minister Wescot-Williams; Arjen Alberts, SER senior policy advisor


The term ‘Flexicurity’ was coined in Europe in the 1990s and signifies a balanced approach to the reform of labor relations with on the one hand breaking the deadlock on needlessly complicated dismissal procedures that are felt by many to make employers reluctant to hire new personnel and on the other hand offering the worker more security in the event of unemployment in addition to more opportunities to quickly find a new job.

The present Flexicurity advice is a follow-up to the 2012 SER advice on short-term labor contracts, which at that time was requested by Parliament. The SER felt the use and possible abuse of short-term contracts can not be seen in isolation from existing dismissal laws and from the social security system for workers, especially in light of St. Maarten’s seasonal tourism-driven economy. For that reason, an advice with a broader scope was initiated, resulting in the present ‘Flexicurity’ proposal.

The SER is convinced this advice will contribute to further debate and policy making on dismissal rules and social security. The council is confident the government will be able to use this advice to its advantage, and is looking forward to the government’s response to its proposals.

After publication in the National Gazette the advice of the SER will be available for downloading at together with all SER advices published so far.