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Financial assistance for able bodied unemployed extended by two years

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

An extra two years will added to the Government’s five-year financial assistance for the island’s able bodied unemployed, under legislation tabled on Friday.

Jason Hayward, the labour minister, said changes would be retroactive to cover payments since the start of the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Under current regulations, payments to able people out of work were limited to a five-year maximum – whether continuous or in aggregate payments.

As of June there were 2,306 people on financial assistance, with 1,037 of them pensioners, 786 disabled and the able-bodied accounting for 238.

Numbers of able-bodied jobless are rising monthly because of labour conditions inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement to the House, Mr Hayward said the pandemic’s effects would linger, which could not have been predicted when the five-year term was set.

The departments of financial assistance and workforce development have teamed up to ensure that recipients have personal employment plans in place.

“Each able-bodied recipient will be provided with an individual plan aimed helping recipients to achieve financial independence,” Mr Hayward said.

The plans include “work readiness, financial literacy, and computer literacy training, along with individual career coaching and support”.

Mr Hayward subsequently tabled the Financial Assistance Extension and Validation Bill 2021.

⋅ To read the minister’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published July 16, 2021 at 3:35 pm (Updated July 18, 2021 at 8:33 am)

Financial assistance for able bodied unemployed extended by two years

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