De Weever: Amendments to foreign labor policy ready soon

POSTED: 05/18/12 1:37 PM

St. Maarten – Amendments to the existing foreign labor policy are expected soon, with significant changes to most likely to be made in the security industry, domestic workers and the removal of an age moratorium for skilled and unskilled foreign labor.
Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Affairs Cornelius de Weever announced at Wednesday’s weekly Council of Ministers press briefing that upon taking office he immediately instructed staff to revise the 2009 island resolution and work on a draft regulation to be presented to the nation.
He said that it became necessary to implement changes because the existing resolution has brought “many challenges for many businesses.” The minister noted that the amendments will only be a “temporary solution” to be discussed with social partners before a final legislation governing foreign workers is presented.
Based on complaints from “primarily employers,” the resolution was revised in 2009, the minister said but it still needed to be examined again. “The aim of this is to be transparent, responsible and flexible without compromising the ability of local workers to find a decent job on the island.”
The work permit policy was implemented to ensure that locals are not excluded in the job market in favor of foreign workers.

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