Grenada govt. spending nearly $18 mil. to dole out bonus payments to frontline, public sector workers

Public sector workers to receive extra half-month’s pay by Dec. 17 while frontline workers get additional month’s bonus pay 

SAINT GEORGE’S, GRENADA — The government is expending some $17.6 million to give bonus pay to all public sector workers and frontline workers, who will be rewarded “in a tangible manner” for the sacrifices made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mike Sylvester, permanent secretary in the Ministry for Finance, all public sector workers will receive a bonus of half of their monthly pay by December 17, while those deemed to be frontline workers will receive an additional half-month’s pay — equally a full month of extra pay overall — by March 2022.

Grenadian Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Finance Mike Sylvester.

“All of the public officers will receive a half-month pay, as the minister would have just highlighted,” Sylvester recently confirmed.

“There is an additional category of workers that the minister of finance also announced relative to persons who would have worked as frontline workers. In other words, they can be considered frontline workers by the nature of the work and in terms of their risk and exposure to COVID-19, and so, these persons will receive an additional half-month to be able to make up the one-month pay.”

Sylvester explained that while the exact criteria for who will count as a frontline worker is still being sorted out, the government has determined estimated costs of around $8 million to pay those workers who will receive a bonus of a full month’s salary and $9.6 million for those who will receive a half-month’s bonus pay.

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    Tangible reward

    In speaking to the reasoning behind the bonus payment for public sector and frontline workers, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business and CARICOM Affairs Oliver Joseph said he is “happy that this government is in a position to reward workers for the sacrifice that they make and reward workers in a tangible manner”.

    Grenadian Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business and CARICOM Affairs Oliver Joseph.

    He also explained that the bonus payment is not based on status of employment, such as whether a worker was on a contract or not, but rather on “your role in this pandemic”.

    “All these measures are taking place within the context of the negative effect that COVID-19 have on our people,” said Joseph. “As you are aware, COVID-19 has caused many people to lose their jobs.

    “[The] government had to make a lot of adjustments in order to continue giving support to the vulnerable, to the unemployed, to businesses, and therefore the measures announced are to assist our population to cope with the effects of COVID.”

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    2. […] It added, “Because of the tremendous sacrifices they were making for the good of the country, they felt that they should have received some form of tangible support or compensation. […]