Island Luck has negotiated a deal with the National Insurance Board of The Bahamas (NIB), so that it can pay its more than 700 employees’ unemployment benefit, in return for a credit later on, according to a press statement from the gaming company.
It added that all employees will receive their full salaries for six weeks.
The statement revealed Island Luck did not want its employees’ benefits to be delayed by long NIB lines, and took the step to make the unemployment benefit payments itself.
The company said it ceased operations March 18, and sent its staff home because of the countrywide shutdown aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19, “without any sure indication of when they will return to work”.
“In light of this, Island Luck has sought and formally gained the approval of the National Insurance Board of The Bahamas (NIB) to pay unemployment benefits directly to all eligible employees on NIB’s behalf,” Island Luck said.
“With the significant numbers of Bahamians applying for NIB benefits, by taking this approach, we can ensure that our employees who need financial support the most can receive their full benefits without any delay. In turn, Island Luck will receive a credit from NIB to be applied against future contributions equivalent to the amount paid to staff.”
The statement noted Island Luck employees will receive their full salaries up to April 30, after which the company will make a determination on the way forward based on “guidance of the government and public health officials”.
“The success of Island Luck has always depended on our staff, our business model and our loyal customers,” the statement read.
“The health, welfare and safety of our staff is paramount to us and we will do our best to support them during this challenging time.
“We implore everyone to pay close attention to the government’s emergency orders and the life-saving preventative measures promoted by public health officials. The sooner we can halt the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can all return to a sense of normalcy.”