Chamber: No position yet on employment agencies

POSTED: 01/21/13 12:58 PM

St. Maarten -The discussion about employment agencies remains alive. The Ministry of Labor is expected later this year to table several pieces of legislation that are expected to further regulate the labor sector.
Unions contend that employment agencies are responsible for numerous international labor violations, but when the agency that looks after the interests of employers and businesses was asked to give its position on the issue, it declined. The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry admits that there are “a lot of irregularities” with employment agencies, but cautiously stays away from dismissing them altogether.
Chamber vice president Hubert Pantophlet, who sits on the Labor Ministry’s Tripartite Committee as representative of the business sector, said that “employment agencies are being regulated and there are concept laws to deal with that matter.” He said that he was recently given some new information by the ministry’s policy advisor. This information Pantophlet intends to take to the Chamber board “before the chamber can give its position on it.”
The board itself is headed by Tamara Leonard, who has various business interests and also owns an employment agency. Leonard declined to speak on the matter on Friday. However, Pantophlet offered that there are also irregularities in the way businesses register at the Notary and Chamber under the category of employment agency. The term, employment agency itself, may need to be carefully studied, Pantophlet hinted.

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