By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) — St. Kitts and Nevis’ severance fund was empty so says Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, however the government had injected EC $11.1 million.
Prime Minister Harris made that disclosure at his monthly 10:00 a.m. Press conference on Thursday, October 01, 2020.
“Our Team Unity government, I should report, inherited a severance fund which had been in the red, and had hundreds of former employees dissatisfied with the lengthy delays in receiving payments, and when I say in the red, I should say that that means there was no money in the fund. We have been addressing these issues in a careful manner so as not to further hemorrhage the severance fund. Additionally, to correct errors and the neglect of the former administration, my government has procured the services of an actuary to make determinations and how the financial viability of the fund can be sustained to protect employees in the future”.
The Prime Minister added that the unsustainability of the present legislative mechanisms for the management of the severance fund has been further magnified by the loss of jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As of the 22nd of September 2020, the department of labor records 1800 claims for severance. It has been working assiduously during the workweek and overtime on weekends and on public holidays to process these claims in preparation for payment”.
The Prime Minister was speaking at his monthly Press Conference on Thursday, October 01, 2020, at the conference room of the National Emergency Management Agency.