Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 12, 2020 (SKNIS): The Department of Labour has received some 2,000 applications from persons seeking financial assistance under the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Dr. Deon Webb, shared the statistics at the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing held on April 12, 2020. He reminded applicants that the welfare of workers is a primary responsibility of the department and said that the applications are being processed as quickly as possible.
“We are, therefore asking everyone to be patient. Do not panic. The Department of Labour, in conjunction with social security, will deliver this relief,” he stated.
Persons qualifying for this measure include full-time and part-time employees who were laid off; employees with reduced hours now earning less than $1,000 per month; persons whose positions were made redundant; and self-employed person registered with social security. Importantly, the changes in employment or income must be as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Webb strongly urged employers to submit information about employees who have been affected to the Department of Labour so that applications can be verified. Details must include the employees’ names, wage total, previous work hours, social security number and banking information.
The information should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Self-employed persons seeking relief must contact the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board directly. Relief forms are available at www.socialsecurity.kn and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have worked closely with the Department of Labour in Nevis and Social Security in this effort to bring immediate relief to our people,” the federal deputy labour commissioner stated. Our objective is to provide meaningful support to all those who qualify, who having lost earnings temporarily so [that] they can be able to carry on their lives.”
Dr. Webb added, “We prefer to keep people employed, but our main priority is the health and safety of all workers within the federation.” Appreciation was expressed to employers who have retained staff during this COVID-19 pandemic.