Prime Minister Mia Mottley has categorically denied claims made in press reports recently, that the management of The Club Resort Barbados entered into any form of agreement with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which would have seen the NIS committing to cover the full severance payments for former employees of the establishment.
During Saturday’s joint press conference with trade union representatives and tourism officials, Mottley said the comments were simply not true.
“There was no such agreement as represented in the [newspapers], between NIS and Club Barbados. Yesterday [Friday], everyone who is here, with the exception of Leslie Haynes [Queen’s Council and Chairman of the NIS] was in the meeting. Yesterday we all heard, when we gave the floor to the head of the Severance and Payments Division of the National Insurance Scheme, and to the former head of that division. Yesterday, each and every person at this table with the exception of Mr Haynes, heard them say, with absolutely clear terms, that there was no such agreement given to Club Barbados,” she stated.
The Prime Minister also warned other hoteliers and business owners, that the NIS will not be taken advantage of by those who can afford to pay their workers any funds due. These thoughts were mirrored by NIS chairman Leslie Haynes, as he stressed that the NIS body was there to first and foremost, protect all workers on the island.
“With respect to the issue of those employers who feel that they can pass their obligations for severance onto the NIS … well that is what the NIS is there for. But at the same time, we have an obligation for those who can afford it, to recover from them. The mandate is to do so without delay. There are some employers who feel, who are mischievous enough to pass on that obligation. Rest assured, the NIS will make immediate, and extra efforts to recover those amounts, because it is imperative every dollar that is recovered, is a dollar that can be invested by the NIS, and be spent for the benefit of Barbadian workers,” Haynes stressed. (SB)