Press Release:– As many national institutions and firms adapt to the new realities posed by the spread of the Covid-19 virus and play their role in limiting the spread, numerous changes have had to be introduced to how business is conducted.
The National Insurance Corporation is no exception and the Chamber and its members met with the institution to discuss, a recently introduced innovation in how it pays short term benefits to claimants. All short-term benefit payments are now paid directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary.
The business community applauded the NIC for the move to greater use of digital technology in delivery of its services to the public and business community.
The primary areas of discussion centered around the operational impact of this new approach and the need for information to be shared with employees on these and other NIC matters.
In fact, the need for the NIC to engage in regular and continuous dialogue with key stakeholders, especially employers, was expressed by the Chamber Members.
This point was reinforced by the reminder that it is employers who in fact pay fifty percent of contributions on behalf of employees.
As such the NIC should see them as front and center in the dialogue and frame of reference of the NIC as it innovated and sought to improve its service delivery.
Secondly, the Chamber Members expressed their support for the NIC’s efforts at reviewing and amending the legislation which guided the institution, to permit it to respond to current challenges, changes and opportunities.
The Chamber promised to lend its voice for Government to more expeditiously review and implement the reforms and amendments. The discussion also spoke to opportunities for amendments to current forms to permit provision of all necessary data.
The Chamber took the opportunity to point out that the practice of its member to pay staff full salary when on sick leave, allowing staff to refund the company on receipt of the NIC payment was instituted to help staff.
This was because in many cases employees could not afford to be out of pocket while awaiting receipt of the NIC benefit payment.
The Chamber members also acknowledged that the introduction of direct deposit of short-term benefits should go a long way in speeding up the receipt of the benefits by staff.
The NIC also agreed to review “a draft authorization to share information with employers” prepared by The Chamber. This was to ensure it met all NIC requirements to be honored. The Chamber agreed to make every effort to continue and call for regular discussions with this important institution as part of its engagement strategy and recorded its support for continued modernization of the NIC and its operations.