Published On: Wed, Jun 24th, 2020

New rules for payroll support

New SSRP Conditions per 23 Jun 2020PHILIPSBURG – In a press release dated June 23 the Ministry of Finance has announced new rules for payroll support; they are retroactively effective per June 1. The new rules follow the recommendation by financial supervisor Cft to implement a 1:1 ratio for turnover loss versus payroll support. The new rules make the payroll support program less expensive and they negatively affect all qualifying companies.

The payroll support is now set at a maximum of 60 percent of SZV-wages with a maximum of 5,651.36 guilders ($3,157.18) per month. Companies that can prove turnover losses between 20 and 59 percent will get the corresponding percentage in payroll support. (A company with 25 percent turnover loss will get 25 percent support, a company with 45 percent turnover loss will get 45 percent).

Companies that have suffered turnover losses of 60 percent or higher (up to 100 percent) get the maximum of 60 percent payroll support.

To qualify for the program, employees also have to contribute: they have to give up 20 percent of their salaries and this has to be regulated in writing between employees and employers.

In the initially introduced payroll support program companies with turnover losses above 80 percent stood to receive 80 percent payroll support. For losses between 20 and 50 percent the support was 60 percent and for losses between 50 and 80 percent, it was 70 percent.

The new rules indicate that companies suffering turnover losses of up to 59 percent are now far worse off, while companies with the largest dip in turnover stand to lose 20 percent.

Employers whose application for payroll support has been denied can file an appeal against the decision through the employer portal of SZV, the entity that handles payroll support payments.

For sole proprietors, vendor license holders, bus drivers, and independent taxi and tour drivers the St. Maarten Development Fund is the executing body. This group should file appeals ar ssrp.objections@sintmaartengov.org.

Meanwhile the secretary general of the committee for civil servants unions (CCSU), Suenah Laville-Martis stated in a brief press release that there is no agreement with the finance ministry yet about the payment of vacation allowances. “Contrary to the letter sent out by the minister of finance no agreement has been reached on this matter.”

Laville-Martis notes that on top of the 12.5 percent cut in the remuneration package for civil servants, the government now has added an additional 2 percent by freezing the indexation for the year 2019.

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