Tuesday, October 20, 2020

August 18, 20202     -Occupational health provider Medwork and the St Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), in conjunction with health insurer SZV, provided a digital masterclass on Thursday, August 13, for how to manage employee sick leave. SZV used the opportunity to share some changes in SZV procedures with the 35 business and HR professionals from various business sectors, government and government-owned companies that attended.

Dr. Joanne Siebel of Medwork stated that clarity on this topic is good for both employee and employer, as rules are precise, and notices stipulated by law often short. Mrs. Parveen Boertje of SZV provided clarity on the health insurance and administration side of what rules and notices are defined for those involved.

“New SZV sick leave (AO) rules are in place, make yourself familiar with them” urged Boertje.  One key change is full digitalization of the process: “SZV started a journey of automation. The employer portal is your virtual SZV Office, allowing you to ensure your SZV administration is correct from the convenience of your office or home.” Another change aligned with current social distancing practices as well: “For SZV, it is no longer needed to visit the family doctor on the 1st or 2nd day of being unfit for work, in order to have the SZV yellow card signed. Essentially making the Yellow card obsolete.” Mrs. Boertje urged companies that have not yet done so to register on the employer portal of www.szv.sx.

Dr. Siebel continued; “Companies are now directly responsible for policy and procedure regarding their employee’s sick leave due to SZV changes. Managing sick leave and absenteeism, to reduce your sick leave requires specific knowledge and skills.” From their experiences on the matter of occupational health from all Dutch Caribbean islands, Medwork advised: “Make use of all sick leave management tools and recourses to get control over absenteeism.”

The sessions attendance well exceeded the expectations of the organizers, proving the relevance and importance of the topic. In a closing remark thanking the parties involved, Ricardo Perez of SHTA stated that a course like this in the difficult time of COVID19 is of great relevance for all employers of the private sector labor force.

PARIS (AP) — A Congolese activist was fined 2,000 euros ($2,320) on Wednesday for trying to take a 19th-century African funeral pole from a Paris museum in a protest against colonial-era injustice that he streamed online. A Paris court convicted Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza and two other activists of attempted theft, but the sentence stopped far short of what they potentially faced for their actions at the Quai Branly Museum: 10 years in prison and 150,000 euros in fines. Activists and defense lawyers viewed the case as a trial about how former empires should atone for past crimes. Diyabanza’s museum action took place in June, amid global protests against racial injustice and colonial-era wrongs unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

LONDON (AP) — Herbert Kretzmer, the journalist and lyricist best known for his English-language adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, has died. He was 95. His family confirmed Wednesday that Kretzmer died after a long illness with Parkinson’s disease at the London home he shared with his second wife, Sybil Sever. Tributes poured in from giants of the London stage, including theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh, singer Elaine Paige and lyricist Tim Rice. Les Miserables producer Mackintosh said Kretzmer was instrumental in bringing Victor Hugo’s classic tale of defiance and redemption in early 19th century France to the stage in English in October 1985, five years after it had opened in Paris.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday reflecting the current times that he hopes inspires change. The piano-playing icon dropped the tracks “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It In the Hands of Fate,” which he also announced would be released through his new label So What the Fuss Music, distributed through Universal Music Group’s Republic Records (Wonder was signed to Motown Records for the majority of his career).

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Conchata Ferrell, who became known for her role as Berta the housekeeper on TV’s “Two and a Half Men” after a long career as a character actor on stage and in movies, including “Mystic Pizza” and ”Network,” has died. She was 77. Ferrell died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles following cardiac arrest, according to publicist Cynthia Snyder. Ferrell soldiered through more than a decade on “Two and a Half Men,” playing opposite Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer until Sheen was fired from the sitcom for erratic behavior that included publicly insulting producer Chuck Lorre.