Sint Maarten : Businesses advised to have documents in order

In the Ministry’s effort to increase labor compliance, Minister of public health, Social development in Sint Maarten, and Labor Emil Lee held discussions with SZV and the inspectorate of VSA about joint controls, and informed that this week, they will start to conduct joint controls.

“This is a good idea because both inspectors will have complimentary authorities, and responsibilities. Instead of sending 2 labor inspectors out at the same time, we can now pair off 1 VSA inspector with 1 SZV inspector” Minister Lee said during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday. The Minister also indicated, that after having conversations with various businesses, he understands that government’s bureaucracy can sometimes make even simple compliance a challenge.

He stated that if a business can prove that they have been proactively trying to comply, but have not been able to because of the bureaucracy, then that would be taken into consideration when inspecting their business. In addition, Minister Lee said that: “this exercise of joint controls will also help to identify where the bottlenecks are in our Economy” .

From previous explanations given by the Minister, about increasing compliance, he reported that the Labor department has already received an increase in the requests for work permits. SZV has also reported an improvement in collections. The minister advises businesses to have documents in order. Businesses of St.Maarten should be prepared for inspections. Inspectors will look to see if you have a business license, a crib number, an employee registry, a work schedule posted publicly, and pay slips for employees.

We would also request information as to what your turnover is. In addition, worker safety requirements are also expected to be in place” said Minister Lee. “We strongly recommend businesses to be proactive about complying with the laws. The inspectors understand that the goal of the Ministry is to improve compliance, and inspections are just one tool to improve compliance. Other tools include awareness and education. We are partners and can facilitate increased compliance” said Minister Lee.

Businesses are urged to contact the inspectorate for any assistance they may need in this matter” concluded the Minster.