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Hiring in Curacao

Curacao is a Dutch Island Country in the Caribbean. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands. Willemstad is the capital and the largest city of Curacao. The main sectors of Curacao are tourism, international trade, shipping services, oil refining, banking and financial services. Curacao’s main trading partners are the United States, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico. Global PEO or Employer of Record (EOR) play a pivotal role in providing companies with services related to hiring employees, and ensuring compliance with Curacao’s legal and tax regulations. Employment regulations including probation, holidays and termination are covered by the Labor Code. The Labor Code stipulates that employees are entitled to a minimum of 15 days of paid annual leave. Residents are taxed on their worldwide income. Nonresidents are taxed only on income derived from certain Curaçao sources. Global PEO’s facilitate companies by ensuing compliance with Curacao’s Labor Code and tax laws.

statutory labor requirements

Probation Period

  • This trial period must be agreed to in writing and may not exceed two months; any stipulation to the contrary renders the entire trial period stipulation null and void.

Annual Leave

  • Every employee is entitled to an amount of vacation days per year equal to at least three times the contracted number of working days per week, with a minimum of fifteen days per year for employees who work six days per week. 
  • During an employee’s vacation, the employee remains entitled to receive his salary.

Public Holidays

  1. New Year's Day (1st January)
  2. Rosenmontag (24th February)
  3. Good Friday (10th April)
  4. Easter Monday (13th April)
  5. Labor Day (1st May)
  6. Ascension Day
  7. Whitsun (31st May)
  8. Flag Day (2nd July)
  9. Curaçao Day (10th October)
  10. Christmas Day (25th December)
  11. 2nd Day of Christmas (26th December)

Maternity Leave

  • An employee is entitled to payment of 100% of her salary when she is on pregnancy- and maternity leave. 
  • The pregnancy leave can be two to six weeks before the estimated due date and the maternity leave can be eight to twelve weeks as of the date the employee gave birth. 
  • The total amount of time on leave (pregnancy leave and maternity leave combined) must in all events be at least fourteen weeks.

Paternity Leave

  • Fathers are entitled to 5 days of parental leave

Sick Leave

  • In the event an employee is unable to perform his/her labor due to sickness (that is not intentionally caused by the employee), the employer is obligated to continue payment of (100% of) the employee’s salary during a relative short period of time (unless otherwise stipulated in the labor agreement).

Work Hours

  • For non-schedule workers the maximum working hours per week calculated over a four weeks’ period is forty hours, provided the employee does not work more than ten hours a day.
  • For schedule workers the maximum working hours calculated over a four weeks’ period is forty-five hours per week, provided the employee does not work more than ten hours a day.

Overtime

  • An employee is, amongst others, entitled to overtime payment if the employee works during his break or if the employee works longer than the maximum working hours.
  • Employer and employee may agree in writing that instead of paying out the overtime in money, the overtime shall be compensated completely or partially in days off (time-back).

Notice Period

  • The notice period is related to the years of service of the employee at the time of termination
  • The mandatory notice periods that must be taken into account by the employer are as follows:
  • In case of an employment of less than five years: one month;
  • In case the employee has been employed more than five but less than ten years: two months;
  • In case the employment has lasted longer than ten years but less than fifteen years: three months;
  • In case the employment has lasted more than fifteen years: four months.

Severance

  • The employee whose employment agreement is terminated without fault on his part or for a reason that cannot be attributed to him is entitled to a onetime monetary compensation known as the ‘cessantia’ (provided the employee has been employed for at least one year). 
  • This cessantia payment is regulated in the Cessantia Ordinance (Landsverordening Cessantia) and is calculated based on the years of service. 
  • The employee must claim his cessantia pay within one year after termination of the employment agreement.

13th / 14th Month Pay

  • No
  • There is no statutory requirement to pay the 13th or 14th month.
  • Employees are entitled to their wages while on holiday but the employer is under no obligation to give a vacation allowance.

income tax

  • Residents are taxable on their worldwide income. Nonresidents are taxable only on income derived from certain Curaçao sources. 
  • A resident individual who receives income, wherever earned, is subject to income tax in Curaçao. 
  • Residence is determined based on an individual’s domicile (the availability of a permanent home) and physical presence, and on the location of an individual’s vital personal and economic interests. 
  • Resident and nonresident individuals are subject to income tax at the same progressive rates.
  • The following are the individual income tax rates and tax brackets for the 2019 fiscal year.

Taxable amount

Tax on Lower Amount ANG

Rate on Excess (%)

Exceeding ANG

Not exceeding ANG

0

30,643

0

9.75

30,643

40,858

2,988

15.00

40,858

61,287

4,520

23.00

61,287

86,823

9,219

30.00

86,823

127,681

16,879

37.50

127,681

-

32,201

46.50

deductible expenses

Employment Expenses

  • A resident taxpayer is entitled to more deductible items than a nonresident taxpayer. 
  • A fixed deduction of ANG500 may be deducted from employment income. 
  • Alternatively, actual employment-related expenses incurred may be fully deducted to the extent that the expenses exceed ANG1,000 annually. 

Personal Deductions

  • Residents may claim the following personal deductions: 
    • Alimony payments to a former spouse 
    • Mortgage interest paid that is related to the taxpayer’s dwelling (limited to ANG27,500 annually) 
    • Maintenance expenses related to a taxpayer’s dwelling that qualifies as a protected monument 
    • Interest paid on consumer loans (limited to ANG2,500, or ANG5,000 if married, annually) 
    • Life insurance premiums that entitle taxpayers to annuity payments (up to a maximum of 10% of the income or ANG3,000, annually)
    • Pension premiums paid by an employee 
    • The General Old Age Pension Ordinance (AOV)/General Widows and Orphans Ordinance (AWW) premiums paid by an employee 
    • Qualifying donations in excess of certain threshold amounts 
    • Repayments of the principal amounts, interest and costs related to student loans up to ANG10,000 per year for a maximum of 10 years

Business deductions

  • In general, business expenses are fully deductible. However, the deduction of certain expenses is limited. 
  • Restrictions on deductions for self-employed persons are described below. 
  • Costs of donations, promotional gifts, courses, conferences, seminars, symposiums are 100% tax-deductible. 
  • However, the travel expenses related to these expenses are 80% tax deductible. Costs incurred for food, and beverages are 80% tax deductible. 
  • The above two restrictions do not apply if the main purpose of the business is to deliver such goods or services. 
  • An investment allowance of 10% is granted for acquisitions of or improvements to fixed assets in the year of investment. 
  • This allowance applies only if the investment amounts to more than ANG5,000 in the year of investment.

Personal Tax Credits

  • The following personal tax credits may be subtracted by a resident taxpayer from actual income tax due for the 2019 fiscal year: 
    • Standard tax credit: ANG2,222 
    • Sole earner tax credit: ANG1,395 
    • Senior tax credit: ANG1,052 
    • Child tax credit per child: varies between ANG75 and ANG743, depending on the children’s age, residence and education

Deductible Expenses

Employment Expenses

  • A resident taxpayer is entitled to more deductible items than a nonresident taxpayer. 
  • A fixed deduction of ANG500 may be deducted from employment income. 
  • Alternatively, actual employment-related expenses incurred may be fully deducted to the extent that the expenses exceed ANG1,000 annually. 

Personal Deductions

  • Alimony payments to a former spouse 
  • Mortgage interest paid that is related to the taxpayer’s dwelling (limited to ANG27,500 annually) 
  • Maintenance expenses related to a taxpayer’s dwelling that qualifies as a protected monument 
  • Interest paid on consumer loans (limited to ANG2,500, or ANG5,000 if married, annually) 
  • Life insurance premiums that entitle taxpayers to annuity payments (up to a maximum of 10% of the income or ANG3,000, annually)
  • Pension premiums paid by an employee 
  • The General Old Age Pension Ordinance (AOV)/General Widows and Orphans Ordinance (AWW) premiums paid by an employee 
  • Qualifying donations in excess of certain threshold amounts 
  • Repayments of the principal amounts, interest and costs related to student loans up to ANG10,000 per year for a maximum of 10 years

Business Deductions

  • In general, business expenses are fully deductible. However, the deduction of certain expenses is limited. 
  • Restrictions on deductions for self-employed persons are described below. 
  • Costs of donations, promotional gifts, courses, conferences, seminars, symposiums are 100% tax-deductible. 
  • However, the travel expenses related to these expenses are 80% tax deductible. Costs incurred for food, and beverages are 80% tax deductible. 
  • The above two restrictions do not apply if the main purpose of the business is to deliver such goods or services. 
  • An investment allowance of 10% is granted for acquisitions of or improvements to fixed assets in the year of investment. 
  • This allowance applies only if the investment amounts to more than ANG5,000 in the year of investment.

Personal Allowances

  • The following personal tax credits may be subtracted by a resident taxpayer from actual income tax due for the 2019 fiscal year: 
  • Standard tax credit: ANG2,222 
  • Sole earner tax credit: ANG1,395 
  • Senior tax credit: ANG1,052 
  • Child tax credit per child: varies between ANG75 and ANG743, depending on the children’s age, residence and education

immigration

  • U.S. citizens and Dutch national are allowed to stay in Curacao without a visa or permit for a maximum consecutive period of six months each calendar year. 
  • If you want to stay longer than 180 days, or if you want to work, you must apply for a residence permit.
  • A short stay Caribbean visa allows nationals who do require a visa to make short visits to Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius, and Saba
  • The Caribbean visa is a multiple entry visa and is valid for a maximum of 90 days
  • In order to obtain a work permit, you need an employer to sponsor your work permit and initiate the application of the same, after having advertised a position in local newspapers and failed to fill it. 
  • The work permit is needed in addition to the residence permit. 
  • In general, a residence permit does not allow employment.
  • The Landsverordening Arbeid Vreemdelingen (LAV) is Curacao’s National Ordinance on Labor by Foreigners. 
  • They provide the rules with regard to the working permits for those foreigners who wish to work on the island.

Type of Visa/Permit

Documentation

Validity

Eligibility

Short Stay Caribbean Visa

  • Completed application form
  • Passport
  • Proof of legal residence
  • Passport photograph
  • Travel itinerary
  • Proof of transit
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Medical insurance

90 days

  • A short stay Caribbean visa allows nationals who do require a visa to make short visits to Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius, and Saba

Work Permit

  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Copy of the birth certificate
  • Certificate of Good Conduct
  • If you are married, a copy of your marriage certificate
  •  Proof of sufficient funds

Varies

  • Foreigners must apply for a work permit in conjunction with a residence permit in order to work in Curacao

value added tax

  • Sales tax is levied on the sale of goods and provision of services
  • The standard rate is 6%, with 0%, 7% and 9% rates applicable in certain cases

VAT

Higher Rate

9%

Higher Rate

7%

Standard Rate

6%

Zero Rate

0%

withholding tax

Dividends

  • There is no withholding tax on dividends

Interest

  • Interest received by resident individuals from domestic banks is subject to an 8.5% withholding tax

Royalties

  • There is no withholding tax on royalties

Fees for Technical Services

  • There is no withholding tax on fees for technical services

WHT

Dividends

0%

Interest

8.5%

Royalties

0%

Fees for Technical services

0%

termination

Generally, there are four ways to terminate an employment agreement in Curaçao:

  1. Termination by giving notice, 
    • in which event the prior approval from the Director of the Ministry of Social Development, Labor and Welfare (Ministerie van Sociale Ontwikkeling, Arbeid en Welzijn) has to be obtained pursuant to the National Ordinance Termination Employment Agreements (Landsverordening Beëindiging Arbeidsovereenkomst).
    • Without such prior consent, a termination by giving notice will be considered null and void, unless, the National Ordinance Termination Employment Agreements is not applicable to a certain labor relationship.  
    • The National Ordinance Termination Employment Agreements is for example not applicable to teaching and lecturing personnel who work at an educational institution.
    2.Termination by mutual consent
    • Termination by mutual consent is possible at any time, in which event the employer and the employee can freely negotiate the terms and conditions for the termination of the employment agreement.

    3.Dissolution of the employment agreement by the Court of First Instance of Curaçao.
  • 4.Immediate termination of the employment agreement, which is only allowed if there is an urgent reason, justifying an immediate termination. Such urgent reason and the immediate termination would have to be communicated to the employee ‘forthwith’.

statutory benefits

  • These are mandatory benefits as postulated by law
  • These include probationary period, annual leave, public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, overtime pay, notice period, and severance pay
  • Statutory benefits also include social security benefits

Statutory Benefits

Probationary Period

Annual Leave

Public Holidays

Maternity Leave

Paternity Leave

Sick Leave

Overtime Pay

Notice Period

Severance Pay

Social Security Benefits

payments and invoicing 

  • employers must file wage withholding tax returns on a monthly basis. 
  • The wage tax return must be filed before the 16th day of the month following the month in which the salaries are paid to employees. 
  • For most employees, wage withholding tax is the final tax. 
  • The personal income tax returns for the calendar year must be filed within two months after the issuance of the tax return forms, unless extensions for filing are obtained. 
  • Any additional income tax to be paid is normally due within two months after the date of the final assessment.
  • If both spouses earn income, married persons are taxed separately on the following types of income: 
    • Employment income 
    • Self-employment and business income 
    • Certain periodic allowances, including old-age pensions, alimony and disability allowances

employee accruals

   
Christmas Bonus%

0%

Christmas Bonus Over Vacations %

0%

Severance per Year %

Employees are entitled to severance pay that equals one week's pay after one year of employment (1.37% of annual salary)

Vacations % Employees are entitled to 15 days of paid leave given that they work for 6 days a week (4.12% of annual salary)
Notice %

Employees are entitled to 30 days of notice period for one year of service or more (8.24%)

Christmas Bonus Over Notifications% 0%
Vacations Plus% 0%
Total percentage of Salary (yearly) The total employment accruals as a percentage of salary per anum are equal to 13.82%

employer accruals

Additional information (Country Accruals)

   
Old age (AOV) and surviving dependents (AWW) insurance

9.50%

Health Insurance 

9.30%

Accident Insurance

5.00%

Insurance for loss of Income due to illness

1.90%

General insurance for exceptional medical expenses

0.50%

Description: Employers’ social security contribution rates for 2019 are as follows:

 

Old age (AOV) and surviving dependents (AWW) insurance

9.5% 

Basic health care insurance (BVZ) 

9.3%

Accident insurance (OV), depending on risk level

0.5% to 5%

Insurance for loss of income due to illness (ZV)

1.9%

General insurance for exceptional medical expenses (AVBZ)

0.5%

Employer Accruals Additional information

    Employment Accruals
Annual Leave Every employee is entitled to a minimum of fifteen days per year for employees who work six days per week. This equals 4.1% (15/365 days) of annual income
Maternity Leave An employee is entitled to payment of 100% of her salary when she is on pregnancy- and maternity leave. The total amount of time on leave (pregnancy leave and maternity leave combined) must in all events be at least fourteen weeks. This equals 26.9% (14/52 weeks) of annual income
Paternity Leave Fathers are entitled to 5 days of parental leave This equals 1.37% (5/365 days) of annual income
Sick Leave In the event an employee is unable to perform his/her labor due to sickness (that is not intentionally caused by the employee), the employer is obligated to continue payment of (100% of) the employee’s salary during a relative short period of time (unless otherwise stipulated in the labor agreement). Subjective
Overtime Employer and employee may agree in writing that instead of paying out the overtime in money, the overtime shall be compensated completely or partially in days off (time-back). Overtime is not monetarily compensated.
Severance The employee whose employment agreement is terminated without fault on his part or for a reason that cannot be attributed to him is entitled to a onetime monetary compensation known as the ‘cessantia’ (provided the employee has been employed for at least one year).
This cessantia payment is regulated in the Cessantia Ordinance (Landsverordening Cessantia) and is calculated based on the years of service.
Subjective
Social Security Employers must make the following social security contributions: - Old Illness Insurance (ZV) 1.9%; Basic Illness Insurance (BVZ) 9.3%; General Insurance Extraordinary Sickness Ordinance (AVBZ) 0.5%; Disability insurance (OV) 0.5% to 5% This equals 16.7% of annual income

 

 

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