Health cover benefit scheme goes awry

| 10/07/2020 | 125 Comments
Cayman News Service
Health Minister Dwayne Seymour at a press briefing in May

(CNS): Hundreds of people who are on unpaid leave from their jobs or working only part-time who believed their health insurance was being covered by government may find that they are uninsured after all. A benefit scheme administered by the Health Insurance Commission to temporarily cover employers’ health premiums for furloughed workers appears to have collapsed after government failed to pay the monthly premiums.

A number of employers have contacted CNS after discovering that their staff’s health insurance had been suspended for non-payment of premiums, even though those employers had applied for, qualified and been approved for government’s Premium Payment Assistance Programme (PPAP).

CNS has contacted the health ministry and insurance commission to find out what has gone wrong and how it will be addressed, but despite acknowledging our inquiry, no one has yet answered our questions about the situation.

The programme was established to help cover three months of health insurance premiums for small businesses that were retaining staff who could not work until after the lockdown. It was announced by Health Minister Dwayne Seymour in the middle of May at one of the daily COVID briefings.

Since then, employers who were told their applications had been approved and the premiums were being taken care of are now learning that, in fact, government has not made any payments.

As far as Cayman News Service has been able to learn, none of the participating insurance companies have received any payments from government and therefore, as per the law, have frozen the policies of hundreds of workers.

One employer raised his concern about a worker whose wife is due to give birth any day now, but they have discovered that the family’s health insurance had been suspended because the insurance company had not received any payment since the employers’ last contribution in March, despite confirmation from government that it would pay the premiums for the company for April, May and June.

Another employer told CNS that one of his employees had learned that his health cover was frozen after ending up in the Accident and Emergency Department at the hospital.

Despite efforts by employers to find out what has gone wrong, those who spoke with CNS said they had not been able to resolve the situation. There could now be hundreds of people who thought their health insurance was safe when their employers were approved for the programme whose policies are actually frozen.

CNS has learned that the insurance companies have contacted government about the need to suspend policies in line with the law as a result of the government’s failure to pay the premiums, as promised to employers.

“What was supposed to be a programme to assist people has turned into a fiasco,” one local tourism boss trying to keep his business going post-COVID told CNS. “This is a national disgrace and places the applying companies in breach of the law to maintain insurance for their employees.”

He noted that many employers don’t know that they are falling foul of the law, as he had not. All of this comes as small business are doing their best to stay afloat and adapt to the post COVID-19 economy without have to sack their local workers, he said.


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Category: Health, Health Insurance

Comments (125)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I can see a possible scenario of how this happened. Health Minister announced it because it seemed an honourable and timely thing to do. Finance Minister may have been aware (or not) – depending on Cabinet coordination prior to the announcement (it may even have been spontaneous). It stopped there. One assumed that the other coordinated the passing-down of the intentions to through the ranks to the Treasury Dept. for setting up and disbursement. In the end Treasury knew nothing about it.

    Now, no one will say what caused it, while they scramble to do “after-the-fact” mitigation. My “scenario” is based on many years working for CIG.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have you no decency?! What an insulting, anti-Caymanian statement. I dare say whatever you may think of him Dwayne Seymour can read.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dwayne is an idiot. It has nothing to do with his nationality. He would be an idiot in whatever country he was born. Indeed, he would be an idiot wherever he was created. In a parallel universe where everyone was stupid he would still be regarded as an idiot.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How is it anti Caymanian? Certainly insulting, but specific to Dwayne, surely? Or are you suggesting that any criticism of a government minister is inherently anti Caymanian?

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    • Anonymous says:

      200 years ago they wouldn’t let him milk a cow.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m confused by your statement. I’ve read the article four times, three of which times were to search for where it specifically is anti-Caymanian or specifically insulting to Dwayne Seymour. The sentence which relates to Mr. Seymour is “It was announced by Health Minister Dwayne Seymour in the middle of May at one of the daily COVID briefings.” In an effort to understand your point, would you please explain the “insulting, anti-Caymanian” aspect of that sentence please? Perhaps you have not understood the sentence and/or the article.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of unhonored promises and bills unpaid, is anyone else still waiting for their early May redemption request from Fidelity Pension to be paid?!? DLP says they can’t do anything anything beyond querying the validity of the request. Are we supposed to organize a class action to sue Fidelity? Be worried Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just sue the regulator. It will be cheaper, they appear to have no defense, and it will be fun to watch their explanations on TV (which will be them all blaming each other and contending that no one has responsibility).

    • Anonymous says:

      Got paid by Britcay. But they wont tell me how they calculated the amount they paid me, or whether they used the May or the April NAV. Wonder why. Ater all, they must have done the calculation in order to get tonthe number, right? So why not share the calculation?

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  4. Big Pappa says:

    Any time I see a picture of my friend, he has the most befuddled look on his face. I call it the “Duhhh” or the “Uhhh” look, the point where you realize that you’re way, way over your head. No gray matter, just rocks.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Time to leave the Cayman islands for a while until it grows a set of Balls. Good luck good people. Shame on you Caymanian leadership. Your reputation is solid.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    We who have posted comments have likely wasted our time – there is no guarantee that Jon Jon can even read……..

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    • Anonymous says:

      Jon Jon May not be very bright, but he’s harmless. Saunders is also not bright , but he’s not harmless.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe if he was a menial cleaner at the hospital he’d be harmless – but he’s the actual Minister of Health in charge of the hospital, the dump, etc. He threatens journalists doing their jobs, threatens minority Caymanians born differently – impeding their peaceful coexistence, expects reverent obedience from the people that he is supposed to serve, and gets a separate standard of inspection using his position of authority to do so. Certainly not a comprehensive list, but it is all very worrying a far from harmless.

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    • sunshine says:

      there is no guarantee he can read but am sure he hear about them and might be home bawling like he did on the briefing. That man is something else. you have to wonder how some people reach where they are. VOTE DWAYNE SEYMOUR OUT!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Have you no decency?! What an insulting, anti-Caymanian statement. I dare say whatever you may think of him Dwayne Seymour can read.

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        • sunshine says:

          “Anti-Caymanian statement” how does Caymanian comes into this. Have you not see the embarrassing show the man put on in the past couple of Months. What more eveidence do you need?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Jon Jon didn’t even believe himself when he said that at first you can tell. He is out of his league. And please don’t give me any bible talk, he is tasked with making decisions that affect a lot off ppl, you are required to be held to a higher standard

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  8. ier Crab says:

    We need a National Health Insurance Plan NOW!

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    • Anonymous says:

      A national scheme would still be no use if the government didn’t pay the premiums

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    • Anonymous says:

      You need a functional Government. Right now what you have is a Good old boys club that is more intent on taking care of each other than actually working for the people of Cayman islands. No experience, training, skill,work ethic, morals and common sense. At least they are not criminals intent on spending as much money on themselves as possible.
      Anymore. Wait. Lets see what happens after the trial if it ever gets to start before he dies.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Cayman Islands Government has been a lot more functional than many countries in this pandemic and one of the safest in this region. I am curious what is the aim of individuals who post like you do. Why do you want to tear down Caymanian endeavors at costs?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Solution. Let put Seymour in charge of the quarantine facilities. The tiny minority (and I mean very few) of pro Caymanian to the point of ignorance, can have their guy in charge. And everyone else can quarantine at home. He will never know. It’s a win, win.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone been brave enough or stupid enough to ask him about it?

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    • Jotnar says:

      Wendy would have but they cancelled the press conference until they find a scapegoat or an appropriate parable.

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      • Anonymous says:

        LOL! Thinking about him walking around today trying figure out what to say

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        • Anonymous says:

          Walking and thinking? At the same time?? I think not.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Well Alden has solved the problem for him by simply not allowing anyone to ask him! Just cancel the press conference- problem solved. Anyone remember when the PPM came to power and committed to regular press conferences to provide transparent government? Didn’t last long, and now the opportunity to grandstand as the saviour of Cayman is being replaced by awkward questions about managing the economic fallout, the daily, no weekly, not not even weekly o Covid crisis briefing will fade away too. Until the governor wants to get on his soapbox about the “air bridge”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman Islands politics reminds me of that part in the New Testament when Jesus lost his cool:

        “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect(orate)”. ~ Matthew 24:24

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        • Anonymous says:

          Stop tearing us down!

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          • Anonymous says:

            The first step to recovery is recognizing the nature and extent of our problems. We have got some big problems, and most of them are self inflicted.

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          • Anonymous says:

            You would have to consider yourself to be of higher stature or superior morality to necessitate being torn down. The foolish disqualify themselves by venting their own internal bias. They further diminish their position by inserting divisive select vengeful Old Testament verse to suite their purpose and misapply it to an evolving world 2000 years post Good News era and call themselves Christians…omitting the entire lesson of Jesus. These are the self-serving people Jesus warned us about in the market.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Have the insurance companies “ suspended “ or “ cancelled “ the medical insurance cover. If the latter, look out for them only providing new cover after they have considered whether they now have to take into account new “ pre-existing “ conditions and adjust the premiums accordingly – upwards of course.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    So did you hear the one about Joseph riding his donkey into the hospital only to find out he ain’t got no coverage? Someone thow this man a lifeline, he is drowning in his own ignorance.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    So. In addition to large numbers of employers not having pensions for their employees (which is an offense), we have large numbers of employers not providing health insurance for their employees (which is an offense). No only is the Department of Labour and Pensions responsible, but it is not enforcing the law, and the government is actually facilitating the breaches. At the same time, hundreds of workers have had their pension monies stolen and the police refuse to do anything. Meanwhile the Cayman tax payer and charities struggle to fill the gaps created. You really could not make this shit up.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne Seymour, the dump, garbage collection, healthcare and now 2020 Darwin Award Winner. This guys got cheese for brains. Not even smart enough to resign.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Ok since jon jon has been in office can someone count how many times he mess something up???

    And he in charge of heath and can barely read his type out sermon everyday?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The situation is so bad that it was the Premier who addressed most of the covid issues. The Minister is well beyond his level of competence. It had been proposed that there would be a freezing of premiums for 3 months. There is a serious lack of leadership in that Ministry.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Why do businesses continue to rely and do business; or provide service to Cayman Island Government…..They just have a history of not paying their BILLS. I treat them like a case of COVID-19 KEEP my distance using a 50ft pole

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Affter all we have seen from this guy:
    Crying on national TV, caring about an anonymous comment while the world is collapsing, leting his family
    members break his own regulations and publish that fact online!

    If he gets elected again there are 2 opions: corruption or stupidity (or the usual combination of both)

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    • Anonymous says:

      There were 402 voters that not only thought he was qualified, but that he was the best choice among 4 grim options, including 25 voters that took the time to mail in their ballots of support. Voters need to propel a radical overhaul of the Elections Law before 2021, or we will continue to face endless cycles of impossible choices amongst crowded fields of self-interested unqualified.

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      • Anonymous says:

        How many of those 402 voters were in fact qualified to be voters?

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        • Anonymous says:

          By qualified do you mean true caymanian? I’m sure they all were based on 1. The low number of voters 2. The caliber of representatives selected

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          • Anonymous says:

            Whether they are true Caymanian or not is irrelevant. Are they legally Caymanian is the question that needs to be addressed.

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            • Anonymous says:

              So one can be a true caymanian born in the cayman islands and not legally caymanian??? Wooooooooowwwwww I’m shook!!

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              • Anonymous says:

                You cannot be a true Caymanian if you are not Caymanian at all, and under Cayman’s laws, where you are born is usually irrelevant.

      • Anonymous says:

        One person one vote not working out for ya? I mean it’s worked great for East End and North Side all these years right?

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        • Anonymous says:

          3.40 pm What is really bothering him is the fact that non Caymanians cant hold elected office and he wants that changed, thats the radical change he is praying for.

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          • 8th Generation Caymanian says:

            Non Caymanians should go back to their country of origin if they want to stand for public office. It’s really that simple. The law is clear on who is eligible to run in the Cayman Islands. If you do not approve you are always welcome to leave.

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    • Anonymous says:

      All the people that’s votes for him again should be locked up for being over the limits with crazy stupidly

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      • Anonymous says:

        He got in on a platform of getting rid of work permits. He fed the xenophobia and it worked. There are a lot of stupid voters who will appreciate the crap he spouts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      5.59 You may mock him if you like, but he is the Minister who was in charge when you were spared from Covid. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it..Jackass.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And, exactly what did he do?

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      • Anonymous says:

        7:58 pm You are worse than a jackass. Are your other family members just like you?

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      • Anonymous says:

        He was the minister yes. I charge – lol. You base that on his masterly command of the issues as demonstrated during the briefings? He could barely read the script prepared for him by his staff. Which rarely dealt with the main issues – bible stories, Google translations of a simple phrase, history lessons, birthday shout outs and a lecture about mosquitoes.

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  18. Anon says:

    Still looking for the chapter and verse or parable that wii cover this…maybe I should try another language?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    So easy a caveman can do it.

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  20. $Hit $How 2020 says:

    This sums up the Unity Govt and the leadership of Emperor Alden and Pastor Jon Jon perfectly. Everything they say and do turns out to be a mess.

    The ministry of health and finance civil servants that failed to execute payments must be dealt with no more excuses,

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I am embarrassed and ashamed of my government and want to apologize to each and everyone affected. Disgraceful!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Chris Saunders and Seymour on the same page is just too much to take in .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, you are the best! Maybe you should enter politics. You’d have my vote. There are only a handful of idiots on this site that think our government has done a good job. Definitely the minority.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To 8.23 Unfortunate but not disgraceful. No need to be ashamed. This Government has had a lot to deal with due to this pandemic and has done an excellent job. Be proud of them , not ashamed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No problem. We appreciate the sentiment. We have decided to leave and right now, we are enjoying the European countryside.
      Thanks to the Caymanian people for the warm hospitality over the years.
      Keep a very careful eye on your government. It seems incredibly corrupt and I cannot say much that is good about your colonial masters residing on the choice part of your beach. Good luck and God speed.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    John John you must have been very “brave or stupid” to have said this about the Health Insurance…

    My, My the Jackass returns for a ride..

    Only in Cayman!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, it’s definitely the latter.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Shut up you loud mouth people who just want free hand outs from our wonderful goverment. Honorable Seymour wanted to get this done and it is still in the works. Accept your own responsibilities and leave our wonderful leader alone. Stop trying to slander him and his family all the time as they saved everyone from the Covid virus through their great leadership.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh please! Government should not make offers and then renege on their commitment. The Minister himself made this announcement and it was his Ministry, of which he is the Head, which holds responsibility for the execution. He had to be held accountable. The best thing done by Government was the government lockdown. Heard how many CIDB loans have been completed? Oh, yes, that’s another Ministry – birds of a feather…….

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        • Anonymous says:

          Employers will be facing criminal liability. Will the minister do the prison time for them?

          Oh, hang on, I forgot. We do not enforce any laws. We will just spend taxpayer money to take care of the locals and kick the foreigners out to suffer (and potentially die) uninsured in faraway places.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, our government is the best. Thank you Premier Alden and Minister Seymour. Please stay as our leaders and kick these dirty minded people off our island!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I honestly can’t tell if you’re a troll or not. Well done!

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        • Anonymous says:

          And that’s the sad part. Where something so extreme can be seen as potentially sincere comment. What kind of society do we have. Sad.

      • sunshine says:

        is this coming from jon jon him self….LMAF

      • Anonymous says:

        5:21 am Family members should refrain from writing fairy tales for “Honorable Seymour”!

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  23. Anonymous says:

    The employers are all liable and in fact are all guilty of offenses under the health insurance law. The law is clear and employers were simply ill advised to rely on any assurances by the Cayman Islands government., especially since those assurances seem to have conflicted with the law. Can we please return to being a country where the rule of law, and not the utterances of a group of questionable politicians, is what we follow?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Now we know why the press conference today was canceld

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Absolute buffoons, but hardly surprising given the guy in charge can’t even speak and struggles to read his own handwriting.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous. Should hand in his resignation today. This is appalling. Lawsuits starting…….now

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    • Anonymous says:

      6.16 Thats right sue these employers whose responsibility it is to pay for their workers insurance

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      • Anonymous says:

        A little more complicated if you successfully apply for a scheme that You are told will pay the premiums on your behalf, then without telling you doesn’t pay them. Does that seem fair?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Actually it is not more complicated. The employers owe the obligations to their employees independent of whether or not an inept third party promised to pay.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Lawsuits? Sure, but when will the prosecutions start? Serious offenses have been committed by multiple employers against multiple employees. How does one get to keep a work permit if there is no need, your salary is not being paid, and there is no health insurance?

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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s who you know. right your Excellency? What other explanation is there?

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      • Anonymous says:

        A lot are probably Caymanian.

        (b) No evacuation flights. So keeping them on furlough was the most humane thing, especially w/ Govt waiving pension and picking up health insurance costs. Even a partial wage might have been achievable by the employer and enough to get by on, for a few months, in the hopes (by all sides) of the business reopening in the near future.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Except the DLP said there was no need to pay anything, so scrap that. Making them redundant and paying their legally entitled packages (which include 3 months of health insurance) was in fact the humane thing to do – and most would have been able to get out on repatriation flights.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, he should have handed it in months ago…

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  27. Jon Jon Is Gon Gon says:

    It’s the trainer’s fault!

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  28. Anonymous says:

    What a shit show.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Not really a surprise considering who is in charge.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Classic.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Let me tell you a story about a man, a woman and a donkey….

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