Iberostar slams newspaper report re employees’ money

Iberostar Hotel and Resorts, St James is denying a newspaper report that its laid-off employees were unable to access COVID-19 relief because the hotel had not paid over their tax deductions. 

The Government funded SET Cash programme provides a grant of $9,000 per fortnight paid monthly to individuals who became unemployed on or after March 10 but before June 30, and who earned at or less than, the income tax threshold of $1.5M.

Some hotel employees have been saying they have not been able to get their grants because their employers have not paid over money deducted from their salaries for NIS and NHT. 

Referring to the report that claimed employees were blaming the hotel for being unable to benefit from Government’s relief and claiming the hotel had not paid over deduction, Iberostar said these were “unfounded allegations.”

It said it had dutifully paid over the deductions from employees’ salaries, up to April 2020.

However, the hotel, in a statement Sunday, said it had been unable to upload the relevant information to Tax Administration’s website, despite several efforts and contacts with the TAJ. It said the process was “replete with technical issues”. The forms were finally uploaded April 30.

The hotel said it wrote to employees April 25 telling them of their entitlement and “advanced the funds that employees were to receive in April even though it has not yet received those funds from the Government.” 

The hotel pointed out in its statement that “Iberostar is entitled to receive support under the Government’s Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash) programme. This programme also provides $9,000 per fortnight paid monthly to the Hotel in respect of each employee retained, who is paid at or under the income tax threshold of $1.5M.”

It said the workers were also to get the same amount for May and June.

The hotel said it was involved in no wrongdoing.

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