Ministry Makes Cuts To Tourism Stipends

(RCN) Over 600 displaced tourism workers have been cut off from the Government monthly stipend, Cayman News Service (CNS) reported. Over 3000 workers were collecting CI$1500 per month, which was created to help workers survive, after the border closure, CNS reported.

All recipients were awaiting their money but were warned that the government was delaying payments, as they cleaned up the list of stipend recipients. Money should be expected on Friday, but those who did not complete a survey will not get funds until the survey is completed.

Payments have been cut by about $500 and will be cut by an additional $250 in March. The Government hopes to cut down the list, as Cayman progresses with re-open borders. The ministry claimed that all those dropped from the stipend have “returned to work” or “re=opened small businesses” despite concerns that workers in the tourism sector are still not earning enough to support themselves, CNS reported. (RELATED: Ministry of Tourism, CITA and WORC hold joint briefing on tourism stipend.)

The ministry has warned the other 2400 recipients that they will be reviewing their circumstances, as they look to reduce stipend numbers further.

“Since the reopening of tourism in November of last year, the economy and local situation have steadily improved, and we are pleased to say that around 625 previously unemployed stipend recipients are now back to work full-time,” Howell said. “As the ministry responsible for Caymanian employment, having responsibility for this stipend changes the focus to a more active pursuit of full-time employment for these job seekers.

“With the new Tourism Recovery Grant program, we are stepping away from simply administering stipend payments without continued vetting and assessment and moving to providing proactive support in both finding jobs and providing training and certification opportunities to those who have resumed employment,” Wesley Howell, Chief Officer of WORC said in a Press release.

“The Government has been working diligently to get our people back to work. We understand that there is no greater satisfaction than being in control of your own destiny through working at a job or occupation you love and being a contributing and productive member of society. This is our hope for all Caymanians. And we have taken action to make this hope a reality. There have been several training opportunities offered to stipend recipients specifically in the tourism field through the Ministry and Department of Tourism in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) beginning in 2021, and we have also jointly organised a Tourism Job Fair that was well attended. These efforts continue, combined with new endeavours.” Deputy Premier and Minister for Border Control and Labour Christopher Saunders.

Those who need more information on the tourism stipend, please email [email protected]. Note that they are taking no new applicants at this time.

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