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Barbados Wage Subsidy Fund for small business owners

What is it?

The Barbados Wage Subsidy for Small Business Owners is part of government’s economic stimulus package established to support micro and small enterprises grappling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will provide a subsidy wage of $500.00 monthly per employee up to a maximum of five employees for the period of two months.

How Does it Work?

The wage subsidy program will pay the funds directly to the employee, while the employer will pay the difference in remuneration to the employee.  For example, if Mr. B employs Ms. X at a weekly wage of $250 / monthly $1000, the wage subsidy program will pay to Ms. X the sum of $500.00 while Mr. B will pay $500.00. This effectively reduces Mr. B’s payroll cost by $1000.00 or 50% over a two-month period for this employee.

Where the employer has already paid wages for the month of May and can substantiate the claim, the fund will repay the employer. If the claim cannot be substantiated, the fund will pay the employee for June and July.

Do I Qualify?

In order to qualify for the wage subsidy the employer must:

  • maintain 75% of the staff complement.
  • be registered with National Insurance as an employer or complete the relevant registration forms by May 18th, 2020.
  • be registered with the Barbados Revenue Authority and provide a TAMIS number by May 18th, 2020.
  • provide evidence of employee numbers via a payroll account, book or copy of NIS submission forms.

According to the National Insurance & Social Security Act: An employer means any person employing one or more persons under a contract of service, whether expressed or implied, oral or in writing, and includes any agent, manager or representative of such person who is responsible directly or indirectly for the payment in whole or in part of remuneration of an employed person

An eligible employer is a small business owner registered through Corporate Affairs as either a sole proprietor, a partnership or company. Employers who are not registered but are clients of Trust Loan Barbados, FundAccess or a member of the Small Business Association can also apply. For the purposes of the Fund, an employer can submit a claim for themselves as an employee provided that:

  1. The amount of eligible employees is less than 5.
  2. The employer has not benefited from the wage cessation fund or the NIS mitigation fund.

In addition, employees cannot benefit from the fund if they have been recipients of unemployment income from National Insurance. Employers are mandated to declare if lay off forms have been distributed.