Stewart Haynes, Executive Director of the NIS
News
November 25, 2022
Self-employed persons may be mandated to pay NIS contributions

Persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) who are self-employed may be mandated to pay contributions into the National Insurance Services (NIS) if proposed recommendations are implemented.

 

Some of the media Houses were represented at Tuesday’s event hosted by the National Insurance Services.

This was revealed by Executive Director of the NIS, Stewart Haynes during a media consultation on Tuesday, November 22 where he highlighted the importance of self-employed individuals being covered under the social security net.

The NIS does not currently have a benefit system for persons who become unemployed, however, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic temporary unemployment benefits were paid out to 1,354 persons from April to December 2020, totalling EC $2,358,750. Statistics shows preschool workers made up the larger portion of those who received benefits.

“We saw during the pandemic that self-employed persons were hard hit, government came to their rescue. NIS gave support, once you were a contributor.”

Haynes said the NIS has included mandatory contributions for the self-employed in the list of reform measures presented to government, noting how income is earned should not determine if contributions are made.

“I went to a world social security forum and coverage among self employed globally is less than 20 percent. In the reform measures we recommend that we make self employed [contributions] mandatory. It is an important system, pensions and social security should not be a choice. You shouldn’t be choosing if you are self-employed and contribute, or if you are working and contributing. In Grenada it is mandatory, so I would certainly recommend that coverage of self-employed be mandatory.”

 

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