St. Kitts-Nevis government injects $12 million into the severance payment fund as part of its COVID-19 response

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 24, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – As part of its comprehensive stimulus package announced to soften the significant health, fiscal and economic impact the COVID-19 disease (novel coronavirus) would have on the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Team Unity Government has committed to the provision of additional resources in the region of $12 million to capitalize the Severance Payment Fund.

This was announced by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris when he addressed the nation during a press conference today, Tuesday, March 24, at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI).

Prime Minister Harris noted that the reasons behind the injection of $12 million into the severance fund is obvious in that “with higher unemployment, we expect that there will be greater demand upon the Severance Fund.”

The Protection of Employment Act was originally passed in 1986. It was revised in 2002 and is now known as the Protection of Employment Act Chapter 18.27. The Act “makes certain provisions in respect of termination of employment; the establishment of a Severance Payments Fund; payment of severance payments to employees; and for other related or incidental matters.”

The honourable prime minister further added that, “When we inherited the Government of the country, the Severance Fund was in deep red and we have sought professional advice to determine how best we can make the fund stronger. For the time being and in response to what is happening, the Government will put $12 million in the Severance Payment Fund to ensure that those who qualify for their benefits will be able to have them.”

The $12 million provided for the Severance Payment Fund is part of the approximately $120 million stimulus package response announced by the honourable prime minister.

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