Grenada Broadcasting Network

14th July 2024

  

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The National Insurance Scheme (NIS), announces the commencement of the Unemployment Benefits Program which will take effect 1st May 2023.

This Unemployment Benefit provides unemployed individuals with 50% of their insurable income. The benefit can be claimed up to 15 days after the loss of employment and continues for a maximum of 13 weeks, or three months.

Workers in the private sector, public sector, statutory bodies, work permit holders, and the self-employed are eligible for this benefit.

This Unemployment Benefit will be funded with a contribution rate of 1% shared equally between employee and employer.

This means that the NIS contribution rate will be 6.5% for employers and 5.5% for employees, bringing the total to 12% effective February 1, 2023.

GBN spoke with President of the Public Workers Union, Brian Grimes about the NIS’s newest initiative. He applauds the move noting that it was something they have been clamouring for, for sometime now.

While many are eligible for this benefit, some conditions must be met to qualify. The person must have been an insured employee at the time of loss of employment, has paid at least 52 weeks of contributions, and must also be under the pensionable age. Additionally, the individual must not be at fault for the loss of their employment.

Someone who has voluntarily left their job or was terminated due to theft, fraud, or dishonesty will be disqualified from receiving this benefit. For the NIS to verify the cause for loss of employment, the employer must provide the individual with a termination certificate. The individual must conduct check-ins with the NIS twice monthly and must be actively seeking suitable employment while in receipt of this benefit.

The NIS is constantly looking for ways to better serve the evolving needs of the population. Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIS hopes this new benefit eases the stress of sudden unemployment.

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