Government Working To Resolve Backlog Of Severance Claims

SKNIS Photo: Prime Minister Harris said government will address all outstanding claims for severance and gratuity
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Press Release Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 31, 2016 (SKNIS):

  Workers who have filed claims for funds under the Severance Fund and Government’s Long Service Gratuity Programme can look forward to some redress soon.

The gratuity programme was created in 2014 and designed to provide support for eligible workers who would have been with the same company for 10 years. However, the monies were drawn from the Severance Fund and this reportedly caused even more stress on the system.

“This is why workers were having a long wait for severance payment,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said at press conference on Monday (May 30), adding that the fund was not managed properly by previous officials.

“And the results are that in 2016, we find that there are claims in relation to the Severance Fund and the Long Service Gratuity Programme going as far back as 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014,” Dr. Harris stated.

He quoted figures from the Director of Audit Report and said the fund had a deficit of $5.4 million in 2012. This continued in 2013 with a $5.1 million deficit and $5.5 million in 2014.

Prime Minister Harris dispelled the notion that the Government had stopped paying the gratuity and said efforts were ongoing to assist persons.

“We are working diligently and the Senior Minister, Honourable Vance Amory, and his team have spent considerable time in attempting to document what is happening,” said the prime minister, referencing Amory’s post in the Federal Cabinet as the Minister responsible for Labour and Social Security.

He said the Government was committed to resolving this issue as they were elected by the people to serve the people.


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