BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 03, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – In updating the nation at his press conference earlier today, Thursday, June 03, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris reported that a total of 2,892 claims against the Severance Payment Fund were received to date by the Federal Labour Department.
Ofthat amount, Prime Minister Harris indicated that 2,107 claims have been processed so far, of which 2,042 have already been paid as of May 31. Some 65 claims are still pending.
“The total amount paid out for Severance payments by the Federal Government is a whopping $33.4 million as of May 31, 2021. $22 million have been paid out from the Federal purse to employees who worked at entities in St. Kitts and $11 million had been paid to employees who worked at entities on Nevis,” Prime Minister Harris reported.
Thehonourable prime minister further noted that had it not been for the competent fiscal management of the public finances by the Team Unity administration “we would never have been able to disburse $33.4 million at a time when Government’s revenues have been significantly reduced as a consequence of the pandemic.”
Dr. Harris used his press conference to commend the staff of the Labour Department for the work being carried out.
Theprime minister added, “Never before have so many claims been processed by the department. I thank the severed employees for their patience. The good news is that the majority of them have now had their claims processed and paid. There is light at the end of the tunnel with only 59 claims submitted in 2020 which are yet to be finalized for a number of reasons including lack of information, including the fact that some employers are disputing the conditions of work et cetera and all these matters have to be finalized. The Labour Commissioner has assured me that her staff is working very hard to complete all outstanding matters.”
Asa result of the economic fallout associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of claims were made against the Severance Payment Fund in the last year alone.