Minister Ottley signs off updated incidental work instruction that strengthens local labor resources.

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Minister of VSA, Omar E.C. Ottley

 

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley hereby informs the public that the legal framework established in the National Ordinance on foreign labor and the National Decree constituting general measures on foreign labor remains in full effect.

For applications concerning projects, the legal framework must be considered and applied in its entire context, whereby there is an obligation for the employer pursuant to Articles 5 and 9 of the National Ordinance and Article 3 of the National Decree, to first recruit on the local labor market before hiring foreign workers.  The employer must submit proof of sufficient efforts to do so on the basis of Article 3 of the National Decree.

Article 2; prohibits employers from employing foreign workers without a work permit. The concept of employment should be interpreted broadly. This applies to labor on the basis of an employment contract and for services that are based on consultancy services or labor deriving from an agreement to provide services. 

Exceptions to this prohibition are included in article 3 of the National Ordinance on foreign labor and Article 5 of the National Decree constituting general measures on foreign labor.

Work permits must be issued for labor deriving from projects, if this work is carried out by migrant workers. The issuing of work permits can be conditioned based on article 6 of the National Ordinance on foreign labor.

The Division of Labor Affairs & Social Services together with the National Employment Service Center (NESC) will:

  1. Facilitate the recruitment process, to ensure persons on the local labor market receive the first opportunity for employment.

  2. Facilitate and coordinate Job Fairs which will be in alignment with the phases of the project, in keeping with the NESC work procedures.

  3. Provide the vacancies and job requirements per position, per phase of the development, with usage of the official job portal platform.

  4. Provide guidance on matters related to the project and in the interest of the Country, pertaining to employment of locals on the labor market, and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education ( Study Finance).

  5. Provide the database reports, taking the relevant privacy legislation into consideration, on possible suitable candidates (job seekers) for the review of the Developer.
  6. Work in liaison with all local institutions that provide a recognized vocational curriculum amongst others the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA), to source suitable training for job seekers aiming on employment opportunities.

  7. Facilitate the possible funding of training courses at locally recognized institutions which provide certification programs for job seekers on local labor markets.

  8. Work collaboratively with the Ministry of Justice to facilitate a ‘one stop shop’ approach for the critical permits.

  9. Inform the Ministry of Justice about the issued work permits and the conditions set, by way of a monthly report.

  10. Promote and facilitate via the Scope of Services Agreement, the usage of local heavy construction equipment and the labor for the operation of the equipment, provided that the availability and quality make it commercially reasonable to do so, and the cost locally does not exceed a margin of 10 to 15% of the cost of comparable heavy construction equipment in accordance with prices relevant to the current market.

  11. Promote and facilitate via the Scope of Services Agreement that the import of heavy construction equipment is only allowed when the local availability of same is depleted or the local supply does not satisfy the demand.