The Minister speaking at the Tuesday, September 22, House of Assembly (HoA) sitting said the lack of salary information has hampered many from receiving COVID-19 unemployment benefits.
“Mr Speaker, I acknowledge that there are persons yet to receive a benefit, but, sir, this is not due to the lack of effort on behalf of Social Security Board (SSB). It is mainly due to the lack of salary information from employers.”
According to Hon Wheatley, employers who continue to deduct monies from their employees and do not remit the contributions to the Board are also in violation of the Labour Code by not giving their employees pay-slips.
“Thus, this lack of information has led to the inability of the Social Security Board to calculate and pay benefits,” he said.
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has called out employers for continually deducting contributions from their employee salary, yet, not paying it over to the respective boards.
As of September 17, 2020, Hon Wheatley said 3,457 persons have been paid some $4,366,488.03 in unemployment benefits, with 2,117 claims denied and 2072 in new outstanding claims.
The Minister said that as a result of the lack of information, SSB staff has had to work tirelessly trying to secure the salary information from defaulting employers, including working late into the night and weekends to process the over 6,000 unemployment/underemployment and regular claims.