Finance Ministry To Work With Business Groups On COVID-19 Assistance

Jamaica News: The Government will be working with umbrella groups to ensure compliance of business entities in relation to applications for individual assistance under the Supporting Employees with Transfer (SET) of Cash component of the $10-billion COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme.

This component provides temporary cash grants for workers who have either been laid off or whose employment has been terminated on or after March 10, consequent on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The application and verification process requires, among other things, that employers electronically upload the P-45 forms via the programme’s website,, which will confirm that the applicants were employed to the entities indicated.

Addressing a virtual press conference at Jamaica House on Tuesday (April 14), Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the Ministry will be in touch with various business groups and major unions representing workers, to ensure that employers comply and upload that P-45 form.

“This is so that their former employees or their employees whom they have laid off can be verified, and by being verified they can be in receipt of their SET cash grant”.

Dr. Clarke emphasised that the verification process is “very important”.

“We will be remitting taxpayers’ funds [to beneficiary applicants] and it is important for the transparency and accountability of the CARE Programme to have independent proof that the applicant, indeed, was employed and laid off after March 10,” he pointed out.

Dr. Clarke advised that approximately 47,000 SET Cash applications have been received up to April 13. Applications for the CARE programme began on April 9.

The Minister pointed out that applications have been received from persons in a wide range of industries, with the “vast majority” coming from the tourism sector.

He indicated that St. James leads with some 10,000, followed by St. Ann, Westmoreland and Trelawny.

Dr. Clarke further advised that applications have also been received from persons in other industries who have been laid off.

Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke said persons in occupational groups applying for the general grant must be registered with designated governing entities.

He said information provided by these entities will provide the verification needed to facilitate payments.

Dr. Clarke pointed out, for example, that in the case of groups such as barbers, hairdressers, and market vendors, the Ministry will liaise with the municipal corporations, while the Transport Authority will be consulted as it relates to public passenger vehicle (PPV) operators.

The temporary cash transfer arrangement, for which applications opened on April 9, will provide grants and relief packages to businesses and individuals, in order to cushion the economic impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The application process, which runs until June 30, can be completed online at


Source: JIS News

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