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Employers refusing to apply for NIS assistance for workers

The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has encountered a challenge it is now trying to resolve regarding employers who refuse to apply for Unemployment Assistance Benefit (UAB) for workers.
The Grenadian Voice understands that there are a few employers who have laid off ‘long standing’ workers in the last two months and refused to apply on their behalf for the NIS $330 monthly payment.
Last month, the NIS commenced payments to workers who suffered job losses due to COVID-19.
The UAB form became available on the NIS website on May 25, and as of Tuesday (June 09) a total of $324,000 was paid out to contributors.
Public Relations Officer at the NIS, Lisa Douglas, on a local newscast this week urged employers to “please go online on the NIS’ website and complete the application on behalf of your employee. If you need assistance, please call us, we will gladly help you and guide you through the process.”
Since employers are expected to make application on behalf of employees, the NIS was asked by this newspaper, in the second month of unemployment -is the employer required to make another application for the financial assistance?
The NIS revealed that it is “working on a solution but it is not complete.”
Additionally, the Scheme said it has the names of the affected employees and will reach out to them once a solution is finalized.
Further, the PRO pointed out that employees who are seeking to get assistance are now discovering that their contributions are not up to date; thus, disqualifying them from receiving the monthly UAB.
She noted that in some cases the contributions were being deducted but not remitted to the NIS or it was not being deducted.
Nonetheless, the employee now wants to claim but is not eligible.
“Non-compliance is raising its head right now and we are encouraging employees to check their contribution status. It is very important to ensure that your contributions are being paid,” Mrs Douglas said.
She urged affected employees to provide the NIS with documentation such as pay slips, as proof that NIS deductions were made. More so, she requested documentation showing period of employment and salary information to help with the investigation.
UAB payments are expected to be made until October or until the $10 million allocated to the UAB is depleted.
There are multiple conditions employers must provide on behalf of their employees and claims must be made no later than the second week in each month for the period of six months using the online application process.
Entitlement to the $330 monthly payment requires recipients to be NIS contributors immediately prior to April 01, 2020 and under the age of 60.
Applicants must be unemployed, residents in Grenada, registered with the NIS for not less than 13 contribution weeks and was employed for at least 8 contribution weeks in the 13 contribution weeks.

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