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No aid for those behind on social contributions | Penn urges gov’t to still assist ineligible persons

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has challenged the Andrew Fahie-led administration to assist persons who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic, despite their ineligibility.

Labour & Social Security Minister Vincent Wheatley had told the House of Assembly on Monday that persons must have their Social Security, National Health Insurance and Inland Revenue contributions current to qualify for assistance.

However, the minister said there are ‘a lot’ of persons who have not been up to date with their contributions and therefore do not qualify to benefit from the $10 million that government set aside for persons who are either jobless or are working on reduced hours as a direct result of COVID-19.

Penn, however, said, some persons who have been unemployed since the September 2017 hurricanes and have only recently landed jobs.

He said there are others who, despite having gainful employment, have employers who have consistently neglected to pay the required contributions on their behalf.

“So how are we going to support those persons?” Penn questioned while addressing the House on Monday.

“These are real concerns, we have to figure out, in a streamlined way, to ensure that the people who are truly in need of the support, get the support,” he said.

“I know persons who have gotten employment two weeks before the shutdown and are told that they don’t have any support because they don’t meet the eligibility. But, they are affected by COVID-19,” the Opposition Leader further noted.

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35 Comments

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  1. Forward ever Backward never says:

    So if employers neglect to pay their employees social security but is taking it out of their pay checks, these employees will not be eligible for the stimulus benefits. What are the consequences for the delinquent employers? This has been going on for many years that employees monies are withheld but the employers line their pockets with it. Then the poor minimum wage employees are denied sick benefits, now they will be denied unemployment assistance benefits. Social Security Department knows who the most extreme rogue employers are but they are untouchable. This is why the world is going through this mess. It’s because of the unfairness, and heavy handed treatment towards minorities. VIP please be the Instrument of Change.

    Like 23
    • Ting to talk says:

      These locals employers are wicked. They took their employees contributions and they don’t pay them.the government needs to report them to the police that’s theft.

      Like 11
      • Angry says:

        Inland Revenue & Social Security needs to take responsibility for these employers actions.
        First of all the Government gave the same companies contracts and they are not paying in their contributions Inland Revenue espically would take a 2 or 3 thousand dollars from them they would promise to pay up out standing taxes then Inland Revenue would gave them a certificate of good standing and they would never see these employers again espically if the contract is through the bank, here now the employees are suffering, they fully well know these people aren’t only stealing from their employees but they are also stealing from the Government because they are not paying in any contributions and they are still getting Government contracts.
        Now they employees are suffering this is wickedness in high places.
        Mr. Archie Christian ised to always say when he was in parliament Inland Revenue has more than 50 million on the street and not collecting it but it’s way more than that quarter of the monies are not being collected
        As for Social security they are penalizing the employees they also are not going out to collect the government monies. All both of these offices wants to do is sitdown in AC and not go out and collect Government money or penalize these people.
        Pay day is coming BVI and it’s going to be great because God is not sleeping

  2. No Support says:

    That’s why I don’t support their cries begging for people to flood the airwaves with prayer. This is a society that will feel the wrath of God because we continue to ‘take bread out of people mouth.’

    As Marlon said the government must find a way to help these people who are ineligible. Especially since it is not the fault of a lot of persons.

    Some of these wicked BVI employers deduct from the employees’ wages but they don’t pay it in to the agencies.

    And before you all start with the expat labeling, be it known that “my navel string bury here”

    It is my christian duty to call a spade a spade.
    2 Chronicles 7:14 say ” If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their Land.

    The hand writing is on the wall BVI, get your house in order.

    Fellow Christians we need to hold our Government responsible and accountable for lending a blind eye and a deaf ear to the social mess that we find ourselves in.

    God is counting on us to talk truth. Do not allow ourselves to be like ELI who allowed his sons to commit all sorts of evil even in the temple and he refrained from calling them out.

    If they do not hear us then the time will come when we shift our focus and prayers.

    Like 14
    • MJ says:

      It has been going on for years. The only surprise is that persons in the House were unaware, or supposedly so. Even some large employers are involved in this fraud and theft. I believe it runs to millions. I dare the authorities to publish a defaulters list with the amount owing.

  3. Solution says:

    Prosecute employers who have deducted SSB but not paid it in. Pure theft

    Like 18
    • Really says:

      You think the government is going to prosecute their family, friends and cronies. Crooks stick together

      Like 21
    • JAY says:

      This is a right suggestion. Why should employees be made to suffer due to noncompliance of their employers? The employers have already deducted the due payment or contribution of the employees from the source but refuse to remit it to appropriate government office.I think the government should not shy away from the reality by bringing such employers to book and make them to remit the appropriate monies to safe the employees from unnecessary embarrassment or denying them of their benefits.

    • Seriously says:

      They are made to pay up or are taken to court

    • No So Fast says:

      @ Solution. Don’t go so fast, this thing has lots of sides to this debacle to it. Some workers get the full pay however, they still don’t go to Social Security to pay in their half. So you see this is more than meets the eye. Employees are guilty and employers as well.

      The biggest problem is in the construction industry. Some times workers work with up to 3 and 4 employers for a calendar year but none of them who he works with is not his sponsored employer.

      I don’t have to tell you what happens there. I think you can dechiper well enough for your self.

      So this thing is no easy fix but at point and time, the government will have to take a serious look at it.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  4. Mr. Conman says:

    Here comes Penn trying to save his tongue. What should those ineligible person do do now get a loan or a grant????C***n!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 7
  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr Penn, there are a number of companies, firms, establishments who deduct from their employees’salary but do not pay to the requisite government entity. Sometimes, these payments are withheld for several months and even years. Mind you these are the same people who call themselves Christians and walk around town with an air of superiority. Yet, they have reduced themselves to stealing from their employees. Sir, what recourse is there for all the outstanding monies my employer owe the government on my behalf?

    Like 14
  6. Again.... says:

    Once again the employees are left to suffer after their employer deducted the social security and NHI contributions and instead of paying the government agencies pocketed the money.
    Why are the only times these employers ever catch up on their payments is when they want a letter of good standing to apply for a government project?
    This is nothing less than fraud, should have criminal charges placed immediately, no exceptions.

    Like 14
    • ,...... says:

      Don’t worry, when they realize who the perpetrators are this rule will change, just watch. The same way employees aren’t getting their benefits, the same way legal action should be taken against any employer who has been deducting these contributions from their employee’s salary and not submitting them to NHI/SS/IR. This will open a can of worms but let’s see which worms will squirm away scotch free!

      Like 13
  7. Eyes... says:

    Let’s put the blame where it belongs..#SS for years they have neglected their job putting it on employees to come in and check on their contributions.. not wanting to do the field work and going to these companies checking their books making sure it’s up to date…I know presently my ##SS has not been paid since 2018 to date making me inegiliable for the benefit..and there are more out there who is suffering the same fate..It’s time Social security do their job or get ppl in there who will do it…put these employers behind bars..

    Like 16
    • Me says:

      The small ppl like me who pay mine all the time they harassing. Never worked after hurricane but I’m on the record as paid and when I paid they were telling me I didn’t pay. Hmm

  8. Ausar says:

    You are so right, Honourable Penn!

    In America, it didn’t matter whether persons had started new employment.

    As long as they were working and had lost their jobs, they were considered eligible for unenployment benefits!

    Lets do the right thing, Premier, and take care of all of the unfortunates!

  9. Stealing says:

    This is stealing from the poor workers. They collect NHI, Pension, Social security and payroll tax and pays nothing for the employees. However, every year they are able to get certificates of good standing to renew their trade licenses and to bid on government contract. So why are these rule necessary. The workers are being punished again.
    No sickness/maternity benefits- employer don’t pay.
    No medical expense paid- employer don’t pay.
    no certificate of good standing- employer don’t pay.
    No covid relief benefits- employer don’t pay.

  10. Dede says:

    I’m confused isn’t SS mandatory? According to the law both employers and employees should be contributing to this plan. How is it then, that employers are allowed to steal these fund and not be held accountable. Why should employees be held responsible for ensuring they contribution up to date. What is Social Security doing about this. How government allowing persons to rob them point blank.

    On another note can you imagine a conversation between the boss and his staff.

    Employee: Boss I went by SS&NHI to check on my contributions. They say it not up to date and I must speak with you.

    Boss: That must be a mistake, anyway leave that alone.
    Employee: but boss I can’t collect my benefits if it not up date.
    Boss: A say don’t f’g harass me bout that. You want a job and stay in this country, then I suggest you get out my face. Bet a call immigration and turn in your permit.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  11. Diaspora says:

    Under the Social Security Act and National Health Insurance scheme, employers are required to deduct contributions from employees pay and match it and submit contributions to Social Security. If employers are deducting the contributions and not paying into Social Security, it is unadulterated fraud and should be investigated and appropriate action taken. Further, self-employed individuals are also required to pay Social Security and NHI contributions into Social Security.

    Employees are not responsible for the egregious and fraudulent behaviour of employers and should not be penalized for it. These bad, fraudulent actors are doing their employees a disservice, for failure to pay into Social Security and NHI can and will adversely impact social security and medical benefits.

    Moreover, government needs to take urgent, strong enforcement actions against delinquent employers, requiring them to pay arrears and make payments on time per the law(s) going forward.

    As such, otherwise qualified residents should receive the government assistance. Show some stones and hold the employers accountable and responsible for their bad behaviour, not the employees.

    • Diaspora says:

      Continuation……..Social Security recipients should not be denied assistance because they are receiving social security. The Covid-19 pandemic caused people to be laid off, furloughed or caused a reduction of hours so their social security payments that they have earned should not be a metric for their not getting any assistance. This is a special circumstance. Social security granted government a grant so why social security setting the terms and conditions for the assistance?

  12. JAY says:

    This is a right suggestion. Why should employees be made to suffer due to noncompliance of their employers? The employers have already deducted the due payment or contribution of the employees from the source but refuse to remit it to appropriate government office.I think the government should not shy away from the reality by bringing such employers(sacred cows) to book and make them to remit the appropriate monies with penalty to safe the employees from unnecessary embarrassment or denying them of their benefits.

    • Me says:

      But again I think these non compliant employers are very bold to be filling out their part on the application when they fully well know that they are not up to date either ssec.

  13. corruption says:

    This is the kind of corruption we must endure and when you open your mouth you are dismissed.Labor Department then sides with the corrupt employer to further victimize the victim. Come Sunday everyone goes to church to seek Jesus blessing for another week of corruption beginning on Monday.

    Like 10
  14. Ting to talk says:

    These locals employers are wicked. They took their employees contributions and they don’t pay them.the government needs to report them to the police that’s theft.
    Lock them up. They are abusers.some of them don’t pay sick leave,holiday and never give you pay slips. They are criminals.

  15. Norris Turnbull says:

    Vincent please.

  16. Simple says:

    All you Have to do is to take in your pay slip to show those deductions.

  17. Sister Island says:

    The whole employment process is such a mess. Paper, Paper, Paper! Fat Bureaucrats sitting in air conditioned offices jacking around with people (and wasting everyone’s time). Overhaul the whole process and make the financial part the priority. Get credit card payments every month – just bill them. Don’t make people go in a write checks every month. That is just stupidness! And that is the reason this crap happens. TOO COMPLICATED

  18. Foot Soldier says:

    Mr Wheatley, rethink your policy . I believe you do not know the extent to which business owners were taking out SS from their workers and not paying in the fund . This is two separate issues – 1. Once the worker can show proof where the SS was taken out but not paid in kindly grant those individuals the grant 2. Those business owners should be held accountable for paying into the SS or Face the penalty of the law . This is injustice . It is incumbent on Govt to hear the cries of the needy and do not allow them to be victims twice by denying them the grant as some are out of work .

  19. Me says:

    The small ppl like me who pay mine all the time they harassing. Never worked after hurricane but I’m on the record as paid and when I paid they were telling me I didn’t pay. Hmm

  20. Sick of this says:

    I see complain and complain about employers not paying this and that. If that’s the case why wait until it gets to a situation like this to say something. I know the labour department is broken and definitely can do with an overhaul. Anyone that has a complaint to each entity should be given a ticket which they keep is proof that there was some sort of a complaint lodged on that employer. Deal with persons fairly and on a case by case basis, under the labour code act they fine these employers.

    Also what about the men or women that also work as a trader person. They have agreements with their employers to handle and pay their own contributions to these establishments. In many cases this doesn’t happen until something comes up.

    People come on here and blog all the time while some of them abuse and use the system. Now things start to tighten up they start to make noise.
    whatever anyone do here in the BVI to make things right it’s an issue. We continue to support wrong doings and corruption every single day. To the end what can we tell our future generation with this destructive behaviour.
    All who condone this sort of nonsense sickening also.
    Just do the right damn thing and stop the noise, make sure you pay your taxes and verify if your employer is doing the same to safeguard yourself.

    NHI, Social Security and inland revenue also needs to step up to the plate and send out via email or letters monthly or yearly statements that they are receiving payments. Who ever pays without getting a receipt. Pure nonesense who paying these heads of Departments…..Sickening mehn.

    • Angry says:

      My take on this is we have to start somewhere don’t give these businesses any trade licenses to operate until they either pay up or go and make a payment plan to bring their contributions up to date. NHI SCC Inland Revenue and Trade Department they should be working together when the year begin the come to pick up their trade licenses they should be able to show some sort of certificate or uptown date payment plan before getting their trade licenses and if they don’t and continue to run their businesses they should be locked up

  21. Present situation says:

    What about those who are eligible for the present covid 19 unemployment benefit? Social Security does not even know how soon people will receive benefits if any as they have too many applications in the thousands to process.

  22. HM says:

    Let government make all the defaulters pay up. It will be unfair to make the employees suffer. That will be injustice.

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