The Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union has denied calling for a law to suspend severance and gratuity payments.
The bill was being contemplated by the government to help resolve concerns raised by hoteliers.
The union is making several recommendations including the establishment of an unemployment fund.
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Fund it by taxing the massive profits the big cruise lines and hotels and banks make here. In all this crisis they and the government have been pushing to reopen the borders, when they could instead fund a living wage for all affected by the corona virus on Antigua, they have the money.
Better late than never but what have you done for workers in the last 30 years?
What about a severance pay fund? Every month the employer must put severance pay for all their workers.
Sounds good. The message also needs to go out that its essentially workers who will have to fund it. It will call for an increase in Social security contributions. Recall the discussions not only in ANU but other oecs islands regarding the percentage increase needed in Social security to fund unemployment insurance. The UPP in its 2009 manifesto declared pg 7:
“While working diligently to ensure the full employment of the country’s workforce, there will be times
when certain individuals will find themselves temporarily out of employment.The UPP government is the first
administration in the Caribbean Community that will institutionalize a system of Unemployment Relief…The procedure for persons who have lost their jobs to access unemployment relief will be simple and unbureaucratic. The programme will be administered by the Social Security Board. All eligible
persons will apply to the Board and on verifying their claims, the Board will disburse to those persons, every
month for a three month period, 60% of the income they last received.”
Social security realities made this unfeasible. Suspecting one of the recommendations from the ERC is we start the ball rolling by increasing the social security contributions. No doubt there will be those shouting its too heavy a burden. More work needs to be done to restore confidence in Social Security. Would suggest they do both at the same time.
When as Boxborough,I spoke about introducing an unemployment fund in Antigua and Barbuda.Many persons cut me and shredded me to pieces.It mazes me how persons are jumping on that wagon now.I am no genius.I am also not a fool either.As it stands right now.That fund if existed would be there to help the masses of unemployed persons now on the bread line.What we need in positions of leadership are forward thinkers.Whose ideas at times seems off the wall.However,when taken the time and be studied in details could work.
One of the things I also pushed.The way Social Security is paid out,all at once monthly.Restructure the system and pay it out throughout the month.Some would get it on the second Wednesday of the month.While others would get it on the 4th Wednesday of same month.I personally think it would be less strenuous financially on the system.This is not an original idea.Think outside of that bubble,people at Social Security.
An Unemployment Tax is normally paid by the employer not the employee.
Unemployment taxes are paid by employers to the government and states in order to fund unemployment benefits for out-of-work employees. The unemployment program for employers works like insurance, meaning that employers pay for the coverage. The rate charged (it’s called a tax) is based on the type of business.
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