Entornointeligente.com / The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) is targeting domestic workers as it ramps up its public education campaign under the National Transition to Formality initiative.
The programme is aimed at increasing National Insurance Scheme (NIS) coverage for specific groups of workers.
It involves partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU).
Director of National Insurance at the MLSS, Portia Magnus, told JIS News that the first segment of the campaign is aimed at encouraging domestic workers to register with the NIS.
She said that recent statistics indicate that there are more than 45,000 domestic workers in Jamaica, and NIS coverage among that category of employees is only three per cent, which is extremely low.
“It is very important that domestic workers are registered with the NIS and contributing, so that they will be able to take advantage of all the different benefits that are available,” she told JIS News .
The National Insurance Act describes domestic workers as persons who are employed to conduct work in and around the household for the benefit of the person who owns or resides in a home. They include household helpers, chauffeurs, gardeners, nannies, cooks, and caregivers.
Ms. Magnus pointed out that domestic workers, who are registered with the NIS and contribute consistently, enjoy a number of benefits.
These include invalidity pension, which is payable ahead of the retirement age of 65 years, retirement pension and health insurance (NI Gold) after retirement, as well as the funeral grant. There is also the survivor’s benefit for the surviving spouse and children under 18 years old.
One benefit that is unique to the domestic worker is the Maternity Allowance, where the beneficiary is paid the national minimum weekly wage for eight weeks.
President of the JHWU, Shirley Pryce, is appealing for domestic workers to get registered and to contribute to the NIS.
“If you are not registered, you don’t have a chance,” she noted.
“It is very important that you pay into your NIS. The benefits you have access to are not only limited to the NIS, but also [enable you] to receive assistance under the coronavirus (COVID-19) Care Grant and others,” she pointed out.
To learn more about registering and contributing to the NIS, domestic workers can contact their nearest MLSS office.
LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Information