NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 13, 2021) — Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister responsible for Labour in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), has assured that severance payments to workers who lost their jobs on Nevis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, continue to roll out and so far in excess of $11 million has been settled in claims for 2020 and 2021.
The minister made the disclosure while addressing the status of the severance payments at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly at Hamilton House on July 13, 2021.
“In 2020 we saw some 759 claims submitted for severance payment. That was to the extent in 2020 of the impact of COVID on the island of Nevis. In 2021 thus far we have seen some 69 claims for severance payment.
“Of the 759 claims of 2020, we have seen some $5,067,772.72 paid. We still have some 184 claims of 2020 still outstanding. In 2021 thus far, we have seen some $6,530,268.24 paid in severance payment. That gives a combination of 2020 and 2021 of some $11,598,040.96 up until July 12, 2021,” he said.
Mr. Brand added that to date 740 claims have been approved. There are 83 claims pending and five have been disqualified. Also, all claimants who were receiving instalments of $20,000 have been paid in full.
The Minister of Labour also noted that 18 of the 69 applications submitted in 2021 have already been approved, and most of the 184 pending applications for 2020 have been processed in 2021.
Mr. Brand indicated that the volume of claims has undoubtedly been a shock to the severance system, and the numbers are indicative of what has transpired so far regarding severance claims on Nevis.
He called on those who are awaiting settlement to be tolerant since it has been a tedious, meticulous and time-consuming process.
Mr. Brand also used the opportunity to say to those who have already received payments to use it wisely and spend it carefully in light of the looming uncertainty COVID-19 has brought.