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Chairman of the Recovery Planning Committee, National Disaster Risk Management Council, Dr. Wayne Henry, says a feasibility study has been completed on unemployment insurance in Jamaica.
Unemployment insurance protects employed persons against the risk of job loss, and it facilitates access to partial income during periods of unemployment.
Dr. Henry, who is also Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), said unemployment insurance is one of the recommendations of the Labour Market Reform Commission that was housed at the PIOJ.
He informed that the report of the Commission was chaired by the late Dr. Marshall Hall.
“It is an Extremely robust document. Cabinet has reviewed it and a number of recommendations [were made] and one of those recommendations included looking at the feasibility of establishing unemployment insurance, and because of the occasion of the pandemic that has been fast-tracked,” Dr. Henry said.
“We have completed that, and it is now ready to go back to Cabinet, just for the sort of engagement with unions. So, it’s something we are looking into, making the social protection mechanism for Jamaica much more robust,” he added.
Dr. Henry was speaking at the working session of the National Disaster Risk Management Council meeting held at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on May 25.
Unemployment Insurance would complete Jamaica’s social protection floor, as it is the only missing element as articulated in the Jamaica Social Protection Strategy of 2014.
It can also serve as an important macroeconomic stabilisation tool during periods of economic downturn by strengthening Jamaica’s ability to respond to economic shocks, while reducing the risk of poverty among workers and their families in periods of crisis.