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BTIA and Social Security discuss sickness benefit claims amidst Covid-19 threat

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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2020. 1:52 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Board of Directors held a meeting today to discuss the current situation that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how best to continue serving our membership during this time of crisis.

Representatives of the Social Security Board (SSB) including Debbie Ruiz, Acting CEO, and Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, General Manager – Corporate Customer Relations Services, met with the BTIA Board to share information and precautionary measures pertaining to COVID-19.

The following key points were shared by the SSB representatives:

* SSB will cover working incapacity due to isolation/ quarantine related to COVID-19 only.

A registered medical practitioner must sign the Sickness Benefit Claim form in order to be submitted to SSB.

* The employee has to be in insurable employment (be employed at the time of sickness); has to have a total of 50 paid contributions; have 5 contributions paid out 13 weeks immediately before the first day of incapacity. Any employee who works 8 hours or more for a week, is entitled to an SSB contribution.

* If an employee is laid off and then becomes ill due to COVID-19 they are not eligible to claim any benefit.

The BTIA Board encourages all stakeholders to make the necessary preparations and to implement adequate measures to assist and support staff.

The BTIA Secretariat has internally implemented measures in support of its staff to continue working for our members over the next few months.

“We will continue to share accurate information and official updates from the Ministry of Health and the Government of Belize through our email and social media platforms,” a statement from BTIA noted.

BTIA is part of the COVID-19 Planning Committee lead by CEO Yashin Dujon of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation with the main objective to support the Economic Impact Monitoring related to the COVID-19 and to develop recommendations for relief and recovery of tourism stakeholders and the industry.

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