Foggo: plan for new unemployment benefit
People unemployed because of Covid-19 could be helped by an emergency unemployment benefit scheme, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport said yesterday.
Lovitta Foggo said that a task force had been set up to implement the programme.
She explained: “We appreciate that these are unprecedented and uncertain times, particularly for employees who may be facing unemployment due to business closures.
“So this government is trying to be sensitive to the needs and hardship that our residents may face.”
Ms Foggo said: “To be clear, this unemployment benefit is not intended to be a substitute for financial assistance.
“The proposed period for this unemployment benefit is three months, after which workers may apply for financial assistance.
“The policy will be administered through the Department of Workforce Development.”
Ms Foggo added that details were being finalised, but the aim was to make sure that the scheme was operational by Monday, when she will provide an update.
The minister also praised Riihiluoma's Flying Colours gift shop in Hamilton for the social conscience it showed, despite the business impact of Covid-19 which forced the store to shut down temporarily, for ensuring that laid-off workers still had health insurance.
Ms Foggo said that kind of action would help everyone manage the crisis and asked other employers to do all that they could to assist their staff.