Summary further disenfranchise the employee readily invoke the National

Summary dismissal has to be the most disagreeable act visited upon an
employee by an employer but it would appear that in Barbados employers who are
not satisfied and in an effort to further disenfranchise the employee readily invoke
the National Insurance and Social Security (Benefit) Regulations.1 At this stage the employee
is at the mercy of an interviewing officer of the National Insurance Scheme who
can disqualify the benefit fully after consultation with the employer. This
state of affairs is wicked at best and dictatorial at worse. Wicked because the
employer has been able to use statute to visit additional hardship on an
employee and dictatorial because in the absence of a ventilated hearing the
employee is forced endure the convening of a NIS tribunal hearing to secure the
deducted payment. The decision in the opinion of this paper ought not to be
made if there is a challenge to the dismissal or if no challenge cogent
evidence is presented by the employer as to the misconduct. Further to being a disagreeable
act it is also a traumatic, financially challenging and mentally debilitating
that requires in most cases support from family and friends. While the employee
is grappling with a reduced benefit or no benefit he is forced to make the
requisite applications to the CLO within three months from the date of
dismissal. This can be a costly exercise for an employee attempting to reorient
his life with little or no income. Contrastingly the common law affords 6 years
to bring a cause of action in a wrongful dismissal suit. It seems to this paper
that urgent reform is needed in two areas. Legislation to a large extent is
drafted in isolation which tends to do more harm than good and greater
coordination is need to deliver the improvements intended. If this Act is truly
an improvement then it ought to be an improvement in all areas or at a minimum
match the attempts that are presently applicable. As a result it is suggested
that curtailment of benefits via the National Insurance and Social Security
(Benefit) Regulations be discontinued and as a minimum the length of time
available to the employee for applying to the tribunal is at least 6 years. It
is believed that this action will be a solid start for any amendment to the Act
in the future and is a clear sign that there is a lot still to do.

1
Section 51 (1) (f) (1) A claimant is disqualified for receiving unemployment
benefit if without good cause  he
voluntarily left his employment; or if he lost his employment by reason of his
own misconduct.

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