Help may soon be on the way for individuals who may find themselves out of work due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports, Lovitta Foggo announced today that the Government is working to provide an unemployment benefit for people facing unemployment due to this deadly virus, which to date, has yet to reach our shores.

Minister Foggo advised that a task force has been created to implement the unemployment benefit scheme.

In a statement released this evening, Minister Foggo said: “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.

“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 (3) months, after which workers may apply for financial assistance. The policy will be administered through the Department of Workforce Development.”

Further details are being finalised, she added.

“However, the aim is to ensure that the programme is operational by Monday, March 23, 2020, at which time, the Minister will further update the public.”

The Minister also commended Riihilouma’s Flying Colours for the social conscience they have displayed in spite of the business impact of COVID 19, by ensuring that those workers they have had to lay off are still being provided health insurance coverage.

Minister Foggo said that actions such as these will go a long way in helping us all to manage through this crisis period. And she encourages employers to do all that they can to assist their employees.