Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 13, 2020 (SKNIS)
Persons with outstanding claims for Severance and Long Service Gratuity benefits from the Department of Labour have not been forgotten as the federation grapples with the economic fallout from the Novel Coronavirus. St. Kitts and Nevis has been on 24-hour lock-down for the most part since March 31, 2020. Restrictions are eased for two days per week to allow limited movement by residents during the daytime for shopping and other essential activities. The curfew was instituted by the Cabinet on advice from health and disaster officials tasked with flattening the curve of COVID-19.
Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Dr. Deon Webb, said that officials are closely monitoring the current situation as it relates to the curfew. “… [We] are devising a plan to have employees work from home if it becomes necessary to complete these claims,” Dr. Webb stated at the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing on April 12, 2020.
“It is a big undertaking at this time during this crisis,” he stated, adding that the process will be completed as per the mandate given by the Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, the Honourable Vance Amory.
In July 2013, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis amended the Protection of Employment Act to include the legislated Long Service Gratuity wherein persons who would have contributed ten (10) years or more of continuous service to the same workplace can opt to retire or resign and receive a Gratuity.
Once a valid application for Long Service Gratuity is made, and the Labour Commissioner is satisfied that it has met all the necessary requirements, he or she shall authorize the payment of the Long Service Gratuity and ensure that the payment is made within a period of 90 (ninety) days. The long service gratuity fund is payable out of the