Further hike of minimum wage and social benefits BES per July 1

From July 1, 2024, the Ministry of So­cial Affairs and Employment SZW will be increasing the statutory minimum wage on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba by 11.4 per cent, 12.6% and 5.8% respective­ly.

In compliance with the advice of the Social Minimum Commission, the minimum wage on all three islands will then amount to US $1,750 dollars per month for a 40-hour working week. There will also be an increase in the social benefits paid for such as the AOV pension and social relief.

From the July 1, 2024, the statutory minimum wage for a working person as of 21 years will amount to 10.10 dollars per hour. This minimum wage will be the same on all three islands. For youngsters, the statutory mini­mum wage will be age-dependent, and amount to $9.09 (20 years old), $8.58 (19 years old), $7.57 (18 years old) and $6.56 (16/17 years old) respectively.

The statutory old-age pension AOV will amount to $1,488 per month (if fully accrued) as of the July 1, 2024. The allowance paid under the General Law on Widows and Orphans AWW will be age dependent. For widows and widowers of 58 years and older, the allow­ance will also increase to $1,488. As of the July 1, 2024, the welfare allowance for a person living alone will also increase to approximately $1,488 per month; this allow­ance will be paid every two weeks. If a person that lives alone is also work incapacitated, then the welfare al­lowance will amount to circa $1,750 per month.

The child benefit will not change and will remain $225 per child per month on Bonaire and Saba, and $216 on St. Eustatius.

An overview featuring the exact amounts for the stat­utory minimum wage and social benefits in 2024 can be found at www.rijksdienstcn.com.

The government will help employers to partly cover the costs associated with increasing the statutory mini­mum wage by decreasing the premiums that employ­ers must pay on the gross salary by a total of 3.1%. As of the January 1, 2024, the contributions payable by employers via the Belastingdienst CN were reduced from 13.4% to 11.9%. As of the January 1, 2025, the employer’s contributions will be reduced further to 10.3%. What this contribution reduction will mean for businesses will vary from employer to employer and depends on the number of employees and the level of their salaries.

The ministries of SZW and Interior Affairs and King­dom Relations BZK will be monitoring the economy and labour market for possible effects of this increase in statutory minimum wage and social benefits.

The Daily Herald.

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