On October 29th, less than 48 hours before Scotiabank ceased operations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, payments were made to ex-employees who were owed overtime pay. Some former Scotia workers saw a “Retro O/T PMNT” credit memo to their account while others were told after contacting the bank that checques were issued to them and were available for pickup.
In what appears to be a hasty decision by the bank to pay, letters dated October 25th from the bank’s Labour Relations department indicated that “…the payment will be made to you as a former employee, on an ‘ex gratia’ basis in recognition of service…”.
No documentation or pay slip of any kind was provided to show the computation of the amounts owed and what taxes, NIS contributions or other deductions withheld/paid on their behalf.
As a result, the former employees are left to guess as to whether they were fully paid and what their tax liabilities might be.
The former employee who provided ANN with an update regarding the overtime payment issue had some advice for workers facing similar situations where they are owed back pay and or overtime. “Seek legal advice early to ascertain your rights and options regarding monies and benefits owed to you. Don’t suffer in silence and assume that someone is advocating on your behalf or has your best interests at heart. Don’t be afraid to speak up by individually or as a group by utilizing the media.
I think that the media attention helped us former employees to persuade Scotia acknowledge us and to do the right thing and pay us.” the former employee said .