Chairman's Social Security Week 2020 Radio Address
Good Day Radio Listeners, It is indeed my privilege as Chairman of the Social Security Board to address you during the celebration of Social Security week 2020 which is observed annually during the week of November 3rd.
November 3rd is selected by design as it was on November 3rd, 1980, forty (40) years ago, when the Social Security Act received passage in the House of Assembly.
The Theme for this year's celebration is "Forty years after the Act, We're Secured, That's a fact!
The Anguilla Social Security Board was established under the Social Security Act 1980. The Act was introduced by Chief Minister the Hon. James Ronald Webster to provide and manage a system of national insurance for the workers of Anguilla to ensure that there was adequate provision for the security of workers and their families.
The Board is a statutory corporation which is appointed by and reports to the Minister of Finance. It is a tri-partite entity, bringing together representatives of employees, employers and government. It administers the Social Security System through a Director and the staff at the Social Security Office. The Social Security System commenced operations on January 1st, 1982.
Today, I wish briefly to speak to you on a number of key areas of focus of the new Board, in particular the top three. These will be a Review of the Social Security Act, Board Governance and the Creation of an Unemployment Benefit Scheme.
Review of the Social Security Act:
It is generally recognized that there is a need to bring the 40 year legislation into modern times to better serve the changing and diverse needs of contributors and other users of the scheme. There has been some preliminary work carried out and it is our intention to complete this review within 12 months.
This is an immediate priority and to this end members have enrolled in a Board Certification Programme being administered through the Anguilla Community College.
Topics include governance models and structures, principles of good governance, roles and responsibilities of the Board, fiduciary responsibilities of boards and ethics and professional behaviour. This training which is certified by the Institute for Leadership and Organisational Effectiveness, University of the Virgin Islands will go a long way in ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the new Board.
Creation of an Unemployment Scheme:
The Social Security Scheme in Anguilla and indeed Schemes across the region and further afield have been hard hit by the ravages of recent hurricanes and most particularly the Covid-19 Pandemic this year. Unemployment for extended periods of time has meant reductions in the payment of contributions and highlights the need for an Unemployment Scheme. It is anticipated that this will be one of the consequential amendments to the Act.