NEWS

Government Help For Unemployed Fijians Due To COVID-19

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the announcement yesterday afternoon which would see Government funding this assistance.
23 May 2020 10:21
Government Help For Unemployed Fijians Due To COVID-19
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: DEPTFO

The Government has announced its second phase of help for unemployed Fijians which will see the injection of $30 million into the economy.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the announcement yesterday afternoon which would see Government funding this assistance.

He said the funds would be rolled out through FNPF as the organisation had data on those affected and had proven to be a good conduit for rolling out the assistance.

“All members that have been part of phase one will be able to access an additional $1,100 if they are unemployed (laid off) due to COVID-19. Government will provide a top up for all those that have General Account (GA) eligibility of less than $1100,” he said.

“For this group, the $1100 assistance will be paid out in five instalments of $220 per fortnight. This will ensure that members whose employment has been affected continue to receive assistance throughout a 10-week period.

“Those that have not withdrawn during phase 1 and are unemployed (laid off) due to COVID-19 will be able to withdraw a lump sum of $1,100 through FNPF. Government will provide a top up for all those that have General Account eligibility of less than $1100.”

Commencement of Phase Two

Category One

Phase two, unemployment assistance will commence next week from May 25, 2020 with those members that were part of the phase one assistance and have fully exhausted their General Account (GA) eligibility and have less than $35 in their General Account.

For this category, the Government will provide the first instalment of $220 directly into the member’s accounts.

This will assist approximately 20,000 members and the full cost of around $4.4 million will be borne by the Government.

For the remaining $880 that will be paid over the following four fortnights, these members have to make an application through their employer or using the FNPF mobile app and only those that continue to remain unemployed due to COVID-19 will get assisted.

This will again be fully funded by the Government. For this group the commencement date is 9th June, 2020.

Category Two

Members who have balances in their General Account and have already accessed funds in the first round and are still unemployed due to COVID-19, will have to re-apply for the second round of assistance of $1100 which will be paid over five fortnights.

The Government will again provide top ups for those that qualify and have less than $1100 GA eligibility. For this group, the commencement date is June 9, 2020.

Category Three

All new applications that have not been part of phase one and are unemployed due to COVID-19 are eligible for a lump sum assistance of $1100 which will also commence from June 9. The Government will provide top ups for those that qualify and have less than $1100 GA eligibility.

Phase One

As of May 21, 2020, around 87,489 applications were received by FNPF for the first wave of COVID-19 unemployment assistance. Of this, around 78,519 members have been paid a total of around $49.7 million.

Around 18,540 members received a Government top-up totalling $6.8 million, with the remaining $42.9 million paid by the FNPF.

Close to 4,600 applications will be processed and paid out by the end of next week, May 29, marking the completion of phase one assistance in partnership with FNPF.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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