Updated as per 31 March 2020 (see below)
Earlier this week we informed our clients about a forthcoming emergency measure for employers on Bonaire. The emergency measure is not yet officially in force, but the contours thereof are getting clearer.
Compensation for labor costs
The main points of the measure are that employers will be compensated for labor costs (80% of the maximized daily wages of the employee), if they have a loss of their turnover of at least 20% due to the corona-pandemic and their employees can therefore not work. To keep the execution of the rule as simple as possible, an employer does not have to prove the loss of turnover by financial documents. The applicant only has to sign a declaration that he has submitted the application truthfully. This is subject to the condition that employers keep their employees in service and pay the full wages to them. The employees however are not allowed to work, if the employer wants to appeal to the compensation of wages.
In addition to that, also self-employed people (sole proprietorships and one-man limited liability companies or private companies) will be compensated. This compensation is however (way) less generous. For example, they are compensated for only 80% of the statutory minimum wage.
The aim is to implement the emergency measure at the end of April (around the regular salary payment period). The measure will however be implemented retroactively from the 13th of March 2020 (the day the airspace of Bonaire was closed), which allows employers to appeal for a compensation starting that date, if they comply with the conditions as laid down in the emergency measure. As a result, employers must advance the full salary of all their employees for the month of March, of which they can be compensated for 80% of the maximum daily wages if their application is approved.
The emergency measure concerns a compensation arrangement and therefore does not affect the rights and obligations of employees and employers under the BES Civil Code and other (specific) rules regarding the termination of employment contracts. Criminal sanctions will be imposed for misuse of the emergency measure.
In the meantime, companies that are entitled to the emergency measure referred to in this article, can now apply for the compensation. To apply, we refer you to the website of the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland.