Will hospitality workers get paid due to closure of hotels?

Letters to the Editor

Will hospitality workers get paid due to closure of hotels?

Thursday, March 19, 2020

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Dear Editor,

With hospitality and tourism being one of the major economic contributors to Jamaica we in the sector have been greatly impacted negatively because of the COVID-19 outbreak. As such hotels are being closed.

I have been following the news and I have been hearing the ministers of finance and health, as well as the prime minister, saying a lot about help.

Then the Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke introduced the CARE package stating “ a) Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash), which will provide temporary cash transfer to businesses in targeted sectors based on the number of workers they keep employed.”

Now, I work at the Melia Braco Village, which is currently operated by National Insurance Fund (NIF), which is government-owned. Currently staff are receiving extra days off without pay, and a general staff meeting was held and the question as to whether the hotel would shut down and staff sent home was asked, with emphasis on whether pay was going to be received. The response from the general manager was that should the hotel be closed and the staff sent home no pay will be issued, as the company does not have the money to do so and the company will go bankrupt.

My e-mail is to have some light shed on the announcement by the minister as it related to us because we are concerned and have questions.

Are we qualified to be a part of the CARE programme?

Is the NIF aware of the situation at the hotel regarding staff going home without pay?

Are we entitled to get any form of compensation for being sent home for something we have no control over that is a national crisis?

I am aware of the grant being given to people who can prove that they have been sent home because of the COVID-19, but how do you apply for this grant?

There are so many unanswered questions as the Government has not addressed the hospitality and tourism sector.

Pooh Bear


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