At least one lawmaker is calling on the government to make it legal for retired nurses to continue working if they wish to earn additional income.
While debating the 2020 Nurses & Midwives Bill in the House of Assembly on September 25, Third District Representative Julian Fraser said the government should include a clause in the bill that will allow retired nurses to work on a contract.
Fraser said in many instances, personal savings held for the retirement years often vanish quickly. He said this clause would provide an avenue for retired nurses who encounter this situation.
“There is a misconception about retirement that not too many people have come to grips with. Everyone works for years and they always say ‘soon I’ll be up for retirement’. But let me tell you something about retirement … you better make sure you have some money and I don’t mean spending change. I’m talking about real money because it would be gone in a flash and you’ll be needing money very soon after,” Fraser explained.
He, therefore, said: “What I would like to see enshrined in this legislation is a clause that protects the people that we train for nursing beyond their retirement age. And that clause should read: ‘Any individual who wishes — subsequent to their retirement age — to continue the profession of nursing shall be allowed to do so on a contractual basis’.”
Retired nurses want to work
The Opposition legislator said he has been approached by retired nurses who expressed their desire to continue working but can’t do so because they have attained retirement age and have to exit the public service.
Fraser said this measure of giving retired nurses the option to continue working in the profession would show that the government does not shortchange nurses who give so much to the BVI.
He said over the years, he has observed that BVI natives leave nursing soon after entering the profession locally because “they are not being treated right”.
The Nurses & Midwives Bill is currently before the House of Assembly’s Special Select Committee where it is being assessed clause by clause.
The Bill involves the regularising of all categories of nurses. Among other things, the law seeks to allow for the registering and licensing of nurses and midwives within the territory.
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