BVI News

Businesses will go bankrupt if lay-off period isn’t extended

A section of Road Town, the main business district in the BVI. (Photo Credit: Timothy Barker)

The BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVICCHA) is demanding the Ministry of Labour to urgently extend the lay-off period, saying some businesses will likely go bankrupt if they have to pay severance to workers who are currently laid off.

The Chamber said it “respectfully urges that the date be extended to 30 November 2020 in the first instance”.

The lay-off period describes the time that can elapse before an employer must pay severance to any employee who has been laid off. 

Back in June, Cabinet extended the usual three-month lay-off period to seven months as many businesses found it difficult to come up with severance packages.

That extension expired on October 31 with no announcement from government.

The BVICCHA said: “If this deadline is not extended, requiring severance payments will likely bankrupt many businesses. Further, it will become unduly costly to restart the hiring process.”

Many businesses have noted that they are unable to put severance packages together because they incurred loss due the territory-wide COVID-19 lockdown which lasted several months.

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley has promised that the lay-off period will be extended.

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley has promised an extension but said the government has to satisfy both employers and employees when extending the lay-off period.

Reopening plan

The BVICCHA also said it continues to advocate for government to produce a full economic recovery plan that encompasses comprehensive details of what residents, businesses, and visitors should expect come December 1 and December 8.

The Chamber had presented a plan to the government but said it was later rejected. 

Premier Andrew Fahie later said aspects of that plan presented by the BVICCHA will be incorporated into the government’s final reopening plan for the BVI.




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  1. Incompetent says:

    So now an economic council has been established because the government has run a total muck with the economy. This is the most incompetent government ever assembled in the history of the BVI.

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    • Trevor says:

      Agreed, but it is worse.
      They are trying to create a revenue stream through their protocols, so perhaps more nefarious than useless.

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      Like 14
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      • Ning says:

        Little dramatic aren’t we? Government employee?

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        Dislike 4
      • LOL says:

        What deadly disease are you talking about? Do you really think locking down countries is the answer to dealing with a virus? Only people that are still getting a salary or are well off would agree with the bullshit.

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      • ??? says:


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      • Trevor says:

        Thanks for clarifying the 2 general beliefs; close and live, open and die.
        Super simple, super wrong.
        Testing, tracing, masks and general hygiene will prevent 99% of the concern. Isolate the vulnerable
        Those who live in fear can live in their houses, but we MUST open our business doors or we will die.

        Like 26
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      • Voter says:

        Do the math!! What’s the percentage of persons that have died worldwide?? Bunch of Fear mongers!!!

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      • Speaking through your rear end! says:

        You have to be a dumb A$$. Do you have any idea how business are struggling, many are getting read to close its doors because there us no cash flow… business will soon fail if something is not done soon

    • Businesses says:

      Businesses need to go bankrupt. Then perhaps both the business owners and employees will stand up to the D****tor Foy. The people have gone silent once again allowing this ty***t to ruin the lives of people while his belly gets … Send him packing and open up.

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  2. Local says:

    Businessess will go bankrupt so extend layoff period hoping that persons that are not from here leave because they cant pay or feed themselves empty handed im a local and this is not fair give people their severance pay because its not going to get better.

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  3. Rock and a hard place says:

    Severance: Severance is meant to be a safety net if the worst happens as provided by the laws of the territory. It is an employee’s right to receive it when it is due. It is the cost of doing business. It is the duty of the employer to retain sufficient funds to pay severance, in this case the harsh economic challenges from Covid have drained reserves for many companies. The problem is that we are between a rock and a hard place and reopening cant come soon enough. Properly run companies must retain these costs as liabilities in their books going forward and pay them if the employee doesn’t return.

    So the opening is key and although BVI is in the middle ground with 4 days quarantine the testing expense being passed on to the visitor are cost prohibitive and will reduce tourism.

    the test on day 8 makes no sense as I bet the majority of visitors only stay for 7 to 8 days and why cant eh day 4 test allow unrestricted movement?

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  4. ??? says:

    What happened to the stimulus package government was paying to businesses?

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  5. Rubber Duck says:

    I am beginning to believe that the Mugfahie government is deliberately trying to force businesses into bankruptcy so they can take them over.

    Zimbabwe awaits.

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  6. Hmm says:

    Staff will starve and be thrown out on the street to live if the are not working or getting anything from the stimulus package.

  7. Imagine says:

    I worked and contributed for over 10 years. I am laid off now and not one cent i getting from the relief funds.

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    • Local says:

      @ imagine you talking about 10yrs i from here i put in from time i was 17yrs old now 50 and not a dime and even though i not working i still paying nhi and social security from my savings from april up to now my industry came to a halt march 10 no income since. No stimulus help no food package thank God i could have fend for my kids and wife. Government is who you is and who you know.

  8. That the govt ahoy says:

    Ayo run down the other party . Now ayo mouth full
    With nothing

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    • Hmm says:

      Yes so true, but then again the other party only had Mr. Penn and two others. We had needed a young vibrant party which VIP had but it turns out that its a one man show.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Zimbabweans await to have their stolen lands return to them.

  10. Heckler says:

    Zimbabwe had Mugabe
    Haiti had Papa Doc
    BVI has Phoy

  11. Tired says:

    I would really like to get my servance pay and leave this country tthan to be unemployed and still have to be paying the bills not want people wants but it is what it is
    I love the BVI but the reality is it’s tough to survive

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