BVI News

1300 local jobs, 77 businesses affected by COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a void in the British Virgin Islands’ labour force, reportedly affecting more than 1,300 persons who are experiencing fallouts such as employee layoffs and terminations.

In a national broadcast on Sunday, May 3, Minister of Labour Vincent Wheatley said the tourism industry was impacted the hardest.

Up to that date, approximately 77 businesses in the territory had contacted the Department of Labour & Workforce Development to report closures, lay-offs, and employment restructuring.

“Approximately 33 of these have reported closure, and approximately 683 have been reported laid off. Some persons have been reassigned or reclassified as it relates to position and or salary, and approximately 72 persons have been terminated throughout the territory.”

“Of the approximate 1,300 employees reported as affected, 425 are BVIslanders or Belongers, 493 are work permit holders, 80 are work permit-exempt, and over 330 of those persons are still being classified,” the minister stated.

Other affected businesses asked to report

Wheatley appealed to all affected businesses who have not yet reported their status to the Department of Labour and the Immigration Department to do so as soon as possible.

He said reporting the information is important as it helps his ministry to have an accurate assessment of all affected in the territory. This, according to Wheatley, will help to ensure that no one is left out when the economic stimulus initiatives are released.

Appointment-only visits to departments

Meanwhile, the minister urged all persons or businesses wishing to visit the aforementioned departments to first call and book an appointment. Persons wishing to book an appointment at the Immigration Department on Tortola can call 468-4703/4705/4752 or 468-9639, while the Virgin Gorda office can be contacted at 468-6520/6521 or 468-6606.

For appointments with the Department of Labour & Workforce Development, residents can call 468-4703/4705/4752 or 468-9639 for the Tortola office. Persons can reach the Virgin Gorda Office at 468-6520/6521 or 468-6606.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

9 Comments

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  1. 2020 says:

    Either the information being reported is lacking or the information given is lacking.

    What is the data by business type – tourism, construction, financial services by sector, etc. so that the public can get a true picture of the economy and thus avoid the anxieties caused by sending broad general statements such as these? What does the information mean for government sectors. Obviously a contracted private workforce means a contracted civil service force.

    Base on what Labour has already received, how does this project into the next six months?

    The above is meaningless. There is no point in hiding the reality of the situation. It is better to know now than later. Effective decisions can be made if all relevant data is known.

  2. No clue says:

    You all have no clue how many actual jobs were lost. You also have no clue how many people are being paid half time because of the limited hours. You just have no clue!!!!

    • Frances says:

      They also have no clue as to how many have worked and received no pay! They believe because you are working from home then automatically, you are being paid. Not so.

  3. vip heckler says:

    1000 jobs gone in 100 days

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • Frances says:

      The Premier counted his chickens before they were hatched. I feel sorry for all those who lost their jobs and especially if its a one parent household.

  4. She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College says:

    There is no way they can know this. Nobody has asked me if my job has gone so how could they know. It’s a guess at best.

  5. Frances says:

    The Premier counted his chickens before they were hatched. I feel sorry for all those who lost their jobs and especially if its a one parent household.

  6. foot soilder says:

    How about landlords with their salaries going to pay their morgages and having to depend on the income coming in from their apartments to pay their other day to day living expenses,when one tennant can only afford half month’s some tennants get laid off, two cannot pay none at all- Where does the landlord fits in this equation? How is the landlord classified under unemployment plan? Who is going to help out here? Can someone address this ?

  7. Samuels says:

    For months I have been behind our government to hear us out,with much job opportunities and a new financial structure to the territory. I only hope they can see the benefit in it for the territory
    Alkebulan Minds Recycling Inc a real business with a real plan

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