Byer-Suckoo: Stop taking unemployment for granted

Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo is proposing that unemployed individuals who refuse job placement of counselling from the National Employment Bureau (NEB) should have their unemployment benefits discontinued.

Under a revamped NEB, those who lose their jobs are required to visit the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to have their book stamped then taken to the NEB for a second stamp, at which time they are offered counselling and available jobs, before collecting unemployment benefits.

“Persons who refuse to be counselled or who turn down job opportunities should not have the forms stamped . . . By law if you refuse to be counselled and you just come to have your form stamped you are not supposed to have it stamped and therefore you will discontinue your unemployment benefit,” Byer-Suckoo said.

“Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as an entitlement to 26 weeks’ unemployment benefits. And I do know there are persons who refuse to accept opportunities for interviews because their unemployment benefits has ‘not yet run out, they still have several weeks to go’. That is a notion that we want to disabuse persons of. There is no such thing as an entitlement to 26 weeks’ unemployment benefit. That is a maximum, only if no job is available. So when you come to the NEB you have two options: you either find a job , one that is offered, or if not, they will stamp the form,” she explained.

The minister contended that Barbados was one of a few countries to have an unemployment benefit scheme, but that Barbadians were taking it for granted.

This, she said, had to stop.

“We cannot support the abuse of our system, and indeed the new and improved NEB will see better counselling and placement and less people relying on the unemployment benefits, but instead having the satisfaction of employment,” she added.

The NEB is currently undergoing restructuring and institutional strengthening, which includes rebranding – the first in a series of initiatives to improve its image, quality and relevance.

The employment agency will now be called the Barbados Employment and Career Counselling Service.

Addressing a stakeholders’ seminar at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre Tuesday morning, Byer-Suckoo also pointed out that the cry by some individuals for the social and development agency to be relocated to a more central area had not fallen on deaf ears.

In April 2012, the NEB was moved to the Warrens Office Complex after the old NIS building on Fairchild Street, The City became unsuitable.

However, unemployed individuals who have to conduct business with the government agency have been complaining about the distance which they have to travel between the NIS on Culloden Road in Lower Collymore Rock and the NEB offices in Warrens, and have been calling for the NEB to be more centrally located.

Byer-Suckoo said Government was in search of a “suitable and affordable” venue at which to relocate the unit.

15 Responses to Byer-Suckoo: Stop taking unemployment for granted

  1. fedup May 24, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Something has gone to every member of cabinet’s head.

  2. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor May 24, 2017 at 3:26 am

    U ever went to d NEB woman? It’s a waste of time… Long wait, ppl coming after you and their officer calling them and u still waiting… To be told no jobs available! Go back on the date given same thing! The jobs are given to friends simple… Will always be that way in this island… So before you run off ya mout talking crap, talk to ppl dat experienced d NEB! Wunna trying to get outta paying ppl d lil unemployment benefits now? Wa d ppl pay d NIS tho! NIS payments are mandatory, so should be the benefits!

  3. SmileyJan May 24, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Yuh see wunna DLP I jus can’t wait tuh hear dat wunna get VOTE out nex yr….you’ll finding all excuses not to pay the people their money SMFH…. But yet using it to pay GOVERNMENT staff with it….SMFH…

  4. Precious Gem
    Precious Gem May 24, 2017 at 5:06 am

    She crazy!! That’s your money that was taken out if nis isn’t paid you can’t get unemployment so what garbage she coming with

  5. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes May 24, 2017 at 5:49 am

    The funny thing is when the women had it moved to 9 months lol and now talking bout ppl taking it for granted lol look when the ppl pelt wanna out it aint going to be even funny ….. doan worry chris you safe doa …..walks away slowly

  6. Prince Trémaine
    Prince Trémaine May 24, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Simple solution, stop taking NIS out of my money every month then, let me invest that money instead of giving you people.

  7. Lauraine Clarke
    Lauraine Clarke May 24, 2017 at 6:20 am

    I can’t say vote you out,because no body did not vote you in.

  8. Joy Waldron
    Joy Waldron May 24, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Smhhh government need stop taking Barbados for granted.

  9. Stanton Peace
    Stanton Peace May 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

    foolishnes that is the workers NIS contributions and it is their’s to claim,you lost at the polls in 2013 and by right was disqualified from receiving a pension and the PM brought you through the back door and put you in the senate so that you could get a minister’s pension upon retirement and now you want to stop poor people from collecting NIS funds which by law belong to them ,you must be crazy. You must get yours but workers must have their’s stopped,nonsense.

  10. Alex Alleyne May 24, 2017 at 6:40 am

    It is about time you stay out of the lime-light. Go light a candle and read some comet books.

  11. Sebastian Da Costa
    Sebastian Da Costa May 24, 2017 at 7:29 am

    She can’t see pass the corruption

  12. Ossie Moore May 24, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Tell dem de young agriculturalist showing de rest wah agriculture can do! It dus mek tourist mout water! Mek dem hum fuh joy en most of all it dus mek dem come back fuh more good taste food! So wah wrong if you get send to wok in de agriculture industry or landscaping dem is two great places to start!

  13. fedup May 24, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    go for the interview and make sure you wonr be hired. lol. stll get yuh nis.

  14. Tracy Zawislack May 24, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Utter Drivel….

  15. B May 25, 2017 at 8:52 am

    She never ever talks like she have common sense, set of nuisance & bullies all uh DEM is ……stupse


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