Government is hoping that legislation governing the long proposed Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme will go to Parliament in the 2019/20 legislative year.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, says work on the proposed scheme is expected to be completed shortly. “We are hopeful that [by] the end of this week, we will have sign-off by the Attorney General, so that we can be in a position to go to Cabinet with the draft legislation and, hopefully, I can table it… in Parliament this [2019/20] year,” he said.
The Minister was speaking during a ceremony to announce the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) finalists at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (March 12).
The contributory pension scheme is designed to provide retirement benefits for all industry workers, whether they are permanent, contract or self-employed. Hotel workers, craft vendors, tour operators, contract carriage operators, among others, will be eligible for benefits that will be payable at age 65 and older.
Mr. Bartlett said that significant work has been undertaken over the last two years to develop the pension plan.
He said that unlike other sectors where the schemes and related policies are tailored for a homogenous group of workers, the tourism pension plan is intended to cover “the widest possible range of employment interests”.
“In tourism, it’s a confluence of [stakeholders] ranging from red cap porters at the airport to the taxi driver, to the people in attractions… all the way up to the workers in the hotels at the highest level,” the Minister noted.
Mr. Bartlett said the Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme is in keeping with the Government’s focus on creating a social security network within the tourism sector.