Business

Missing NIS contribution records require clarification from employers

Tell Claudienne

With Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, August 24, 2014    

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Dear Claudienne,

Due to difficulties being experienced by a friend in trying to access her National Insurance benefits on reaching age 65, I decided to check on my contributions at an early date. I called the NIS office and was given the information on their system. Contributions are missing from their records for both the companies with which I worked as follows:

I worked at D&G Wines from October 1982 to November 1990, but my contributions for 1982 and 1983 are missing. I worked at Jamaica Citrus Growers from November 1990 to October 2004, but my contributions for 1990, 1991 and 1998 are missing.

The NIS office now requires letters from these companies stating that the appropriate deductions were made in the 'missing' years.

Both companies have changed hands since my employment: D & G Wines to Diageo/Red Stripe, and Jamaica Citrus Growers to SM Jaleel/Jamaica Beverages. For the past month, I have been trying, without success, to speak to someone in the Human Resources Department of each successor company.

In the case of Red Stripe, of approximately fifteen to twenty calls (up to three on some days), only one was answered by someone in the Human Resources Department. She transferred me to the desk of the person responsible for dealing with the matter. The problem with that was that this person has never answered his telephone the dozen or more times the operator transferred me to his extension, nor has he responded to the four or five voice messages that I have left over the past month. Even when I asked to be transferred to someone other than this elusive person, the telephone was never answered and there was no response to voice messages.

At Jamaica Beverages, five calls transferred to the Human Resources Department were not answered, with the operator on two or three occasions coming back on the line to say she was unable to reach anyone.

At this point, I am not even sure if I am attempting to make my enquiries of the right people, especially in the case of Jamaica Citrus Growers Ltd. which was in receivership (PriceWaterhouseCoopers), before being sold to SM Jaleel. It would be very helpful if I could make contact with an appropriate person from each company to at least know if enquiries should be directed elsewhere.

I am in possession of a copy of a letter from Desnoes and Geddes detailing my years of employment and National Housing Trust contributions for each year as well as my pay slips/cheque stubs from Jamaica Citrus Growers clearly showing all statutory deductions. Would you be able to 'encourage' the NIS office to use these as the basis for a deeper search of their records if the companies prove to be inaccessible?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

BT

Dear BT

Since we contacted The Human Resources Department at Red Stripe we have been advised that the payroll department is in the process of preparing your NIS contributions for 1982 and 1983 to send to the NIS office. Tell Claudienne gave them your telephone number and they have promised to phone you as soon as the information has been sent to the NIS. We will also follow this up.

We also communicated with SM Jaleel/Jamaica Beverages. However, Jamaica Beverages informed us that they bought the Jamaica Citrus Growers (JCG) assets after PricewaterhouseCoopers placed the company in receivership. The employees' records of employment were not a part of the deal, the spokesperson said.

The Price Waterhouse Coopers receiver told us that he was in the process of perusing old JCG files, as some employees from the 1990s had requested their records of employment. We gave him your phone number and he has also promised to contact you.

Good luck.

Dear Claudienne

My husband was hit off his bicycle in December 2010 by a car and died. The driver of the car was at fault. We had three children and the oldest is now 15 years old. The lawyer representing my interest told me that the motorist's insurance company sent a letter to the Administrator General. However, I have not been able to find out from him if the said insurance company has accepted liability for the accident and intends to settle the claim. My lawyer is very evasive and I don't know what to do.

AE

Dear AE

Your lawyer assured Tell Claudienne that he was representing the Administrator General (AG) in this matter. He said that the AG had asked him for an opinion in respect of the claim to be made in regard to the level of damages and he was in the process of quantifying the claim and would send it to the Administrator General's office shortly.

The Administrator General told us that they had been communicating with your lawyer but had received no documentation from him or the insurance company. We note that although your lawyer made several promises to give you a copy of the document he had prepared for the AG, you never received it.

We see that you took our advice and changed your lawyer.

You said that your new lawyer has now written to the insurance company and that they have responded promptly to her letter. In the letter to your lawyer the insurance company noted that they were hearing about the accident in which your deceased husband was hit off his bicycle for the first time.

Please continue to seek the guidance of the AG and your lawyer on the matter.

Good luck.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company? Telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com. Please include a contact phone number.

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