NEWS

$360 Double Dippers Warned

Civil servants warned.
07 Oct 2021 13:10
$360 Double Dippers Warned

With application for second round of $360 Government unemployment assistance reopening on 11 October, Civil Service Permanent Secretary Susan Kiran has cautioned civil servants- they do not qualify for this assistance.

Ms Kiran reminded civil servants that Government has ensured no civil servant faced any form of pay cuts or reduced hours during this pandemic.

She said all civil servants continued to be employed and continued to receive full pay when those in private sector had seen hours reduced as well as pay reduced, and many were unemployed.

With that in mind, she said civil servants needed to remember that this was assistance for those Fijians who needed it. During the first pay-out, some 4000 civil servants had also applied for $360 and are subject to disciplinary action.

Students who are recipients are Tertiary Education Loan Scheme’s living allowance and TOPPERS living allowance are also not eligible for the $360 pay-out. Civil servants including those in the disciplinary forces are also not eligible.

While civil servants have continued to receive full salaries, Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, chief executive officers and heads of commissions were taking a pay cut instead of the entire civil service. Cabinet Ministers took a 20 per cent cut while Permanent Secretaries took a 10 per cent cut.

This was announced by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Economy Shiri Gounder has also reminded civil servants and all Fijians who do not qualify that when they apply for such assistance, his team would then have to unnecessarily use their time vetting these applications, which then delays the vetting process and pay-out for other Fijians.

He said if Fijians who knew they do not qualify refrain from applying for such assistance, it would speed up the vetting and pay-out for Fijians who needed it most.

Advisory for all Fijians: FNPF assistance recipients

Fiji National Provident Fund has also reminded members that those who are receiving Government assistance through the Fund or have been allowed to withdraw from their general accounts should not apply for the $360 pay-out.

In the event any member attempts to double dip, FNPF would deduct $360 from their following pay-out.

Government assisted members can opt for FNPF Relief

The fund is also allowing members who have already received the first payment of $360 from the Government Unemployment Assistance, to apply during the extended period of the fund’s Unemployment relief.

This includes members whose applications were initially declined by the Fund as they had already applied for and received the first payment of the Government-funded assistance.

Members who now opt for the FNPF Relief will not qualify for the second round of the Government assistance.

“These members are aware that they have sufficient General Account balance for this relief and would like to access it instead of completing the government unemployment assistance.

“However, they will still need to meet the requirements in order to apply.”

“These members will receive $360 less than the amount payable for the phase they qualify for.

“This means that a member applying for phase two and qualifies for the full amount payable, which is $2640, will instead receive a total of $2280.”

Recovery of funds:

“We also have cases where the member was paid $360 from Government and also received the first instalment of the FNPF COVID-19 Relief. The amount of $360 will be recovered from their final payment and put back into their General Account.

“If the balance to be paid after the recovery is less than $360, then no further payment will be made to the member.”

Members must submit their application on the myFNPF mobile app and for Phase 3 applicants (reduced hours or salary), this must be done through their employer on the Employer Portal.

Who can apply:

From 11 October till 15 October, unemployed Fijians in the formal and informal sectors in Viti Levu can apply for the second round of the $360 Government-funded unemployment assistance.

This assistance will only be provided to eligible Fijians who are fully vaccinated.

However, those who are to receive their second dose after the application period and before the end of October (31 October 2021) can still apply for assistance during the application period, given that they show they have received their second dose by the end of October.

We urge Fijians to gather all required and correct information in the meantime.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Full name;
  • Birth registration number or citizenship number;
  • Date of birth;
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN);
  • FNPF number, if any;
  • Voter identification number;
  • Home Address;
  • Declaration to confirm if the applicant has received his/her first and second jab of COVID-19 vaccine (YES or NO); 
  • If YES, provide the place of vaccination; 
  • Consent for Fijian Government to access applicants vaccination details (YES or NO); and
  • Statutory declaration to confirm that all information provided is correct.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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