Understanding Employment Norms in Curacao: A Comprehensive Guide
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Hiring in Curacao? Read on to find out the employment norms (like taxes, payroll and benefits) and EOR (Employer on Record) norms in curacao.

Employment Norms in Curacao

Curacao is an island constituent country of the kingdom of the Netherlands located in the South Caribbean Sea. The country is widely known for its tourism and is a lucrative business destination because of its proximity to the Americas. Navigating the complex labor laws of the country may seem difficult for new businesses. EOR services help bridge this gap and provide employee management services while ensuring legal compliance.

General Information:

  • The currency of Curacao is the Antillean guilder (ANG)
  • Willemstad is the capital of Curacao
  • Dutch, English, and Papiamento are the official languages of Curacao. Documentation can be in Dutch, English, and Papiamento to be considered legally valid.
  • As of 2021, the GDP of Curacao was reported to be 2.69 billion USD.
The Ministry of Social Development, Labor, and Welfare (SOAW) is the official body that formulates labor norms in Curacao.
Curacao map

Table of Contents

  • Agreements
  • Onboarding Process
  • Visa
  • Minimum Wage
  • Payroll Cycle
  • Annual Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Leaves
  • Social Security
  • Taxes for Employers
  • Taxes for Employees
  • Probation
  • Termination
  • Severance Pay
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Final Words


  • Agreements in Curacao can be written or verbal. However, written agreements are recommended.
  • There are three types of agreements in Curacao -
    • Contracted work agreement: This is used for contractual works which have a fixed payment for that particular work.
    • Performance of fixed services agreement: This is used for the rendering of professional services (lawyer, accountant, etc.) as well as for work where there is no prior agreement (gardening, car washing, etc.)
    • Working agreement: This is used by full-time employees who are on a payroll, avail of various benefits and are required to work for the employer until the duration of the agreement. The agreement states the notice period, salaries, working hours, termination clauses, etc.
  • The working agreement can be for any period of time as agreed upon by both parties.
  • The agreement can be drafted in English, Dutch, or Papiamento to be considered legal.
Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

There is no prescribed onboarding process in Curacao. However, some common practices include -
  • The new employee must be enrolled with the relevant authorities.
  • The employer can conduct a background check of employees only upon receiving their consent.
  • The employer must give the employee a copy of the agreement.


Business visa:

  • For a short stay in Curacao, individuals must apply for a multiple-entry Caribbean visa which is valid for a maximum of 90 days.
  • There should be sufficient proof for the purpose of travel (such as a business letter or conference registration).
  • The individual should also mention the intended period of stay and hold flight tickets to and from Curacao.

Work permit:

  • Curacao permits U.S. and Dutch citizens to stay in Curacao for up to 180 days. However, a work permit is required for those who wish to work there. To stay longer, the individuals must also have a residence permit.
  • All foreign nationals must be approved by the Landsverordening Arbeid Vreemdelingen (LAV), which is Curacao's National Ordinance on Labor by Foreigners.
  • To obtain a work permit, potential employees require an employer to sponsor the permit as well as to initiate the application. This can only be done if the employer fails to receive a response from local individuals for the job.

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in Curacao is 10.70 ANG per hour as of 1 January 2023.
Payroll Cycle

Payroll Cycle

There is no legally stipulated payroll cycle in Curacao. However, most companies have a monthly or bimonthly payroll cycle in Curacao.
Annual Bonus

Annual Bonus

There is no mandatory annual bonus in Curacao.
Health Benefits

Health Benefits

Health benefits are covered under the Social Security scheme in Curacao. This includes:
  • Maternity benefits
  • Sickness allowance (up to a certain period)
  • Disability insurance
Working Hours and Overtime

Working Hours and Overtime

  • Work hours: A typical work week consists of 40 hours with a maximum of 10 hours per day.
  • Break: A break of at least half an hour is to be given for every 5 hours of work.
  • Overtime: Overtime payment is granted to those working for more than the maximum number of work hours. The overtime pay is decided in the agreement. The employer can also compensate the work by providing additional time off mutually agreed upon by both parties.


Sick Leaves

  • Employees can take sick leave for a short period of time as decided in the working agreement. The employee would receive a sickness allowance upon informing the employer.

Parental leaves

  • Maternity leave: Female employees are entitled to a total of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, with a minimum of 2 weeks before childbirth and a maximum of 12 weeks after.
  • Paternity leave: Male employees are entitled to 5 days of paternity leave.

Annual leaves

  • Workweek Employees are entitled to three times the number of workdays per week every year. For example, a five-day workweek would give fifteen days (five times three) of annual leave. Those working six days per week would also get 15 days as the maximum number of days is limited to fifteen. The annual leave can be for more days if previously agreed upon.

Public Holidays (for the Calendar year 2023)

The following is the list of public holidays in Curacao.
  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Carnival Monday (Rosenmontag) (February 20)
  • Good Friday (April 7)
  • Easter (April 9)
  • Easter Monday (April 10)
  • King's birthday (April 27)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Ascension Day (May 18)
  • Whitsun (May 28)
  • National Anthem and Flag Day (July 2)
  • Curacao Day (October 10)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • Day after Christmas (December 26)
  • New Year's Eve (December 31)

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Social Security

Social Security

  • All residents of Curacao are required to contribute to the social security schemes.
  • Social security in Curacao covers healthcare, old age insurance, and disability insurance. The benefits are provided under the General Old-age Insurance Act (AOV), the General Widows and Orphans Ordinance (AWW), and the General Insurance Extraordinary Sickness Ordinance (AVBZ).
Taxes for Employers

Taxes for Employers

The following is the social security tax breakdown (percentage of employee's salary) for employers in Curacao.
  • Old Illness Insurance - 1.9%
  • Basic Illness Insurance (BVZ) - 9.3%
  • General Insurance Extraordinary Sickness Ordinance (AVBZ) - 0.5%
  • Disability Insurance (OV) - 0.5 % to 5 % (depending on risk factors and industry)

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Taxes for Employees

Taxes for Employees

Income Tax

The following is the income tax breakdown in Curacao.
  • up to ANG 34,889 - 9.75%
  • ANG 34,889 up to 46,519 - 15.0%
  • ANG 46,519 up to 69,779 - 23.0%
  • ANG 69,779 up to 98,853 - 30.0%
  • ANG 98,853 up to 145,372 - 37.5%
  • ANG 145,372 - 46.5%

Social Security Tax

  • Basic Illness Insurance (BVZ) - 4.3%
  • General Insurance Extraordinary Sickness Ordinance (AVBZ) - 1.5%


The permissible probation period is a maximum of two months.

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  • The employer is required to file a request for the dismissal of an employee with the Directorate of Labor Affairs stating the reason for dismissal. Upon receiving the approval, the employee is to be given the agreed-upon notice period.
  • If the termination is by mutual consent, there is no need for any approval and it can be done at any time.
  • Immediate termination can only be done if there is a valid and urgent reason. This has to be conveyed to the employee immediately.
  • The notice period can be up to 6 months and should be mentioned in the agreement.
Severance Pay

Severance Pay

  • The severance pay is as agreed upon in the working agreement and is based on the number of years the employee has worked.
  • The employee must have worked for at least one year to claim severance pay.
  • Employees are entitled to severance pay only if they are dismissed with no fault of their own.
Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

  • Employees and contractors are treated differently and have different benefits in Curacao.
  • Employees are those who are on the company payroll, get social security taxes, and receive benefits from the employer.
  • Independent contractors are those hired on a project-to-project basis. They are paid fixed amounts for work previously agreed upon in the work contract. They do not get social security taxes and receive no benefits.
  • Employers must be careful when stating whether they are hiring employees or contractors. Misclassification could lead to heavy fines.
Final Words

Final Words

The high GDP of Curacao and its status as an excellent vacation destination attracts many remote workers. Its talented local populace only adds to the benefits of expanding business to Curacao. EOR services ensure proper employee management letting businesses focus on their goals hassle-free.

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  • agreementsEmployment agreements as per local laws
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