Employers submit a verified request to the Labour Affairs Agency. There are special forms available for this purpose, which can be requested from this department.
The employee is then summoned to appear before the department's civil servants. Following that, if necessary, the employer may be summoned to remark on the defense. This step of hearing both parties is conducted in writing to the extent practicable.
Simultaneously, the two sides engage in mediation. The civil servant assigned to the investigation documents his findings and conclusions in a report. This information is forwarded to the dismissal commission. This commission, which is composed of at least two employer representatives, two employee representatives, and an impartial chairperson, meets on a weekly basis to advise the Secretary General of the Ministry of Labour Affairs on petitions for authorisation to fire employees. The Secretary General has the authority to grant or deny dismissal authorisation. Employers and employees will be notified in writing of the decision.
The employee may be given notice of termination of the labor agreement as soon as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Labour Affairs grants his authorization.
The notice period that the employer must observe is determined by the length of the employee's employment and is as follows: one month if employment lasted less than five years; two months if employment lasted five years or longer but less than ten years; three months if employment lasted ten years or longer but less than fifteen years; and four months if employment lasted fifteen years or longer.
There are no provisions in the Sint Maarten labor laws mentioning anything about severance payments.
The probationary period has a maximum of two months and has to be agreed upon in writing between the employer and the employee.