Jagdeo issues warning to security firms that fail to pay workers’ NIS

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Security companies risk losing their contracts with the Government of Guyana if it is discovered that they are not paying employees’ remittances to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

During a recent public outreach, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said he was met with many complaints from security guards who disclosed that NIS sums are being deducted from their salaries but are not paid to the insurance scheme.

He said the security guards are only making the discovery when they attempt to recoup their benefits. “If people later have an injury or something of the sort, when they go to the NIS, they can’t receive benefits,” he said at his weekly press conference on Thursday.

Jagdeo made it clear that the government will be going after companies that are culpable. “So we’ve ordered the NIS to have an inspection of all of these companies that are providing service on behalf of the Government of Guyana, who’ve had contracts and they’re expecting a report in two weeks,” Jagdeo disclosed.

He added that the contractors get paid to provide a service and therefore should ensure their staff are paid on time and are able to receive their benefits.

“They [companies] have to pay the people who are working for them and they have to also ensure they are paid on time and ensure that their taxes and NIS, especially NIS, [are paid] so if people suffer injury, they have recourse to get some benefits from the NIS,” he stated.

The Ministry of Labour has had reasons in the past to issue a statement to security firms reminding them of the rights and entitlements of Security Guards, whether or not they are nationals of Guyana. The statement issued back in 2020 noted that there have been complaints of the companies refusing to offer leave with pay as guaranteed under Section 3 of the ‘Leave with Pay Act Cap 99:02’, paying below the minimum wage and paying on time.