Pay NIS contributions, says Jordan
Register with the National Insurance Department and pay your contributions.
And it should not take a situation such as the COVID-19 threat to do so.
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan made the appeal to self-employed workers during the daily Government update on the coronavirus in Barbados from Ilaro Court on Monday.
He was responding to a question from Vic Fernandes about national insurance arrangements and benefits for those who are self-employed or are small operators like craftsmen, mechanics and so on.
“This may not be the time – but I am not going to allow it to pass – to say that people need to register, need to pay national insurance contributions,” Jordan said, explaining pay outs and rates were determined by the actuaries.
“When something happens and you have to veer away from what has been decided and agreed, then you put additional pressure on the system. I want to use this opportunity, even though this may be a national emergency kind of situation, I am still going to use the opportunity to ask people not to wait until these kinds of scenarios.
“Register with the National Insurance Department; pay your contributions. There are flexible arrangements,” he said, adding there would be further discussion after this crisis.
Jordan said those self-employed people need to register quickly.
Earlier, he said the National Insurance Department was equipped to process applications online and had been moving towards this for some time. This means workers making claims will not have to join a queue to get their paper stamped.
He said he had come from a sub-committee meeting of the Social Partnership which addressed issues likely to arise from Barbados moving to Stage 3 of the National COVID-19 Response Plan. Essential services, work arrangements and alternative work arrangements were among the items discussed.
The Minister said the number of COVID-19 cases remains at 17. (SAT)