The call was made by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, at the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons’ (CCRP) 2018 Living Legacy Awards luncheon held on Friday (September 28), at the Mona Visitors Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. She said that non-compliance is a major factor in the lack of growth in the number of contributors, despite increased employment levels.
Under the law, all persons age 18 years and older, who are gainfully employed and domiciled in Jamaica, should be insured under the NIS.
“The NIS is mandatory if you are working. There are provisions in the law to sanction employers and persons, who don’t contribute and I believe we (the government) may have to look at that to make sure that when these funds are taken from your salary that it is indeed paid over to the scheme,” she said.
Mrs. Robinson said every effort is being made to preserve the scheme, which was established 56 years ago.
“It was a brilliant idea and it has served the people of Jamaica well and we want to continue to build on that,” she said.
Meanwhile, she informed that the Ministry is taking steps to increase the number of NIS contributors. These include increasing the monitoring of places of work to ensure that all eligible persons are registered; improving service to contributors/ pensioners; and developing public education and marketing campaigns to reach persons, including those, who are self-employed.
A survey of self-employed persons will be done during this financial year and the information, along with data from the NIS Awareness and Perception Survey will be used to inform the marketing campaign to increase compliance among this group. Established in 2012, the annual CCRP Living Legacy Awards recognize senior citizens, 55 years or older, who have contributed to the growth and development of the country.
This year’s awards luncheon honoured four distinguished Jamaicans – founder and chairman of Cari-Med Limited and philanthropist, Glen Christian; founder of the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI), Joy Crooks; medical doctor and philanthropist, Owen James; and educator, author and theatre practitioner, Dr. Jean Small.
Citations were read and plaques presented to each of the award recipients in honour of their contributions to national development.
Photo Credit: Donald De La Haye