Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts told former employees of the defunct Divi Tiara Beach Resort that the Employment Relations Department had committed to increased technical resources to assist with their plight Friday during a meeting at the Aston Rutty Centre in Cayman Brac.
Senior Labour Officer Gene Hydes, from Grand Cayman, and Cayman Brac’s Labour Officer Sandra Solomon, will support the former employees through the crisis, said a GIS press release. Mr. Hydes would oversee Divi’s final payments to workers.
With regard to the severance package, Mr. Hydes said that the law provides for one week’s pay (at a standard 45-hour week) for each year, up to 12 years of employment.
He disclosed as well that his department was pressing the company to be proactive in paying ‘unfair dismissal’ compensation to each employee, and not to wait for claims to be filed. Unfair dismissal compensation would double the severance package for workers.
Superintendent of Pensions Mervyn Conolly said that current health insurance coverage for workers would continue for another 90 days at least or until the holder found another job.
Deputy Superintendent of Pensions Amy Wolliston, from the National Pensions Office, would be personally ensuring compliance with all pension requirements, including portability, the release said.
‘Government will stay with the programme,’ assured Mr. Tibbetts. ‘While 40 employees may not seem a lot, here in Cayman Brac it could have tremendous spill-over effect.’
Also on hand to show their support were Brac MLAs Julianna O’Connor Connolly and Moses Kirkconnell.
Mr. Kirkconnell said that he would be intensifying efforts to bring new economic opportunities to Cayman Brac in the medium- and longer-term. Ms O’Connor Conolly expressed gratitude to Government for ‘pulling together and working to achieve a positive way forward.’