Early Severance Payments For Laid Off Four Seasons Workers No Accident

Four Seasons Resort Nevis Remains Closed

Four Seasons Resort Nevis Remains Closed

Charlestown, Nevis
August 10, 2009

Deputy Premier of Nevis Hon Hensley Daniel said Friday in a televised statement on Nevis Television (NTV), that the early severance disbursements to 564 laid off Four Seasons Resort, Nevis workers in late January, was no accident.

The payments commenced at the Charlestown Secondary School’s Auditorium on Monday with officers of the Departments of Labour on Nevis and St. Kitts and representatives from the St. Kitts Nevis Social Security in attendance.

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“The claims were submitted by May 21, 2009 and by August 06, 2009, payments were ready.

“I wish to point out that this has been arrived at as a result of the collaborative work between the Department of Labour in St. Kitts and the Department of Labour in Nevis and also in the spirit of collaboration and corporation between the two governments,” he said.

Mr. Daniel explained that the Nevis Island Administration was able to work with the Federal Government to ensure a speedy resolution of the matter because the laid off workers may be short on cash and had families to care for.

The Deputy Premier said it was important to note that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) was at all times mindful of the need to provide strong and direct representation for the people of Nevis and that was a key reason why it set out to have the severance pay matter resolved in the shortest possible time.

“All of the people of Nevis can feel that they can repose their trust in a government that goes out of the way to ensure that its citizens are taken care of.

“It is important for the workers to bear in mind that this is the shortest time in which the severance pay has been paid and it is not an accident. It has come about through strategic and engaging work by the Nevis Island Administration,” he said.

Mr. Daniel said a total of 614 former workers had applied for severance pay but not all had met the criteria.

Severance pay is occasioned by redundancy, death of employer, bankruptcy, resignation based on the conduct of the employer and lay off or suspension in excess of 12 weeks.

Most of the former Four Seasons employees qualified under the latter and their pay was calculated in line with the existing guidelines.

One to five years two weeks pay for each year of service; 5-10 years three weeks pay for each year of service; 10 years and over 4 weeks pay for each year of service.

He used the opportunity to thank the staff of the departments of labour on Nevis and St. Kitts who he said worked assiduously to bring the payments to resolution.

Meantime, Mr. Daniel assured the people of Nevis that they could depend on the Nevis Island Government for speedy resolution on such matters in the future.

“Those persons who doubted the competence of the government in bringing this matter to an end have to think now that this government is certainly on the ball; that this government has made it possible for the workers to get their money in the shortest possible time.

“We say to them that we shall always be here for them. We shall always be here to ensure that the best interests of the people of Nevis are maintained,” he said.

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