Over 1700 lost their jobs since March! Most work permit holders
Statistics from the Department of Labour indicate that a total of 1,719 persons were severed from their employment since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an economic shutdown in the BVI.
Speaking the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley said the majority of these persons were work permit holders.
A total of 861 work permit holders lost their jobs entirely.
Giving a breakdown of the figures, Wheatley said 74 BVIslanders, 439 Belongers, and another seven persons with resident status was released from their job.
“In addition, persons with work permit exemption showed a total of 156 persons being severed. Further, it should be noted that an additional 182 were severed but the reports did not specify the nationality or status within the territory,” noted Wheatley, who said job losses differed from island to island.
“While, 40.2 percent of workers were released on Anegada, a substantially lower 10.3 percent were released on Virgin Gorda, and 13 percent on Tortola,” the minister stated.
It is not known how many of the employees received their severance pay to date.
Meanwhile, the statistics were generated based on 1,442 businesses that voluntarily reported their status to the Labour Department between March 2020 and February 2021. Collectively, these businesses employ 12,188 persons which represent 58 percent of the BVI’s total workforce.
Some 10,282 of the total employees mentioned above retained their jobs.