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CHATA Statement: Additional official holiday for Carnival

CHATA took notice of the desire of the government to designate the afternoon of the Farewell Carnival Parade as an official holiday in support of the Carnival Celebration as a cultural expression of Curaçao.

CHATA urges the government to take the impact of introducing an additional official holiday in the short term into account. The tourism industry in particular will be highly impacted by this decision because of the nature of its business. Businesses that operate within the tourism industry usually operate 365 days a year. Introducing an additional official holiday will result in unforeseen additional costs for employers throughout the sector who will have to pay higher wages to employees scheduled to work on this official holiday. This is a significance increase in expenses that has not been planned for.  Furthermore, an additional official holiday introduced on such short notice will also increase the tension on the already scarce workforce available for the tourism industry as suddenly more employees will be unavailable to work on this day.  

For this reason, CHATA requests the government to consider the below alternatives:

  • Maintaining the current self-regulating system that has been successfully used for years, where the employers and employees make mutual agreements about the interpretation of a free afternoon.
  • Applying the mechanism of exchange of holidays, as in the past has been applied
  • Implementing the national decree as of 1 March 2019 is a very short day. Employers are not prepared for this, neither organizationally nor financially. As a result, it is proposed that, if it is finally decided to introduce this proposal, the effective date as of 1 January 2020.

CHATA hopes that the government can take the position of the private sector into account.

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