The CROSS Act (Coronavirus Relief One-Stop-Shop) two months’ extension will focus on unemployment relief and Temporary Work program, according to Minister of Finance, Kaleb Udui Jr.
The law covers 2 months period, February and March of this year with a budget of $1.5 million. First checks are said to be issued this mid-February.
“We do not have enough money to cover all the programs under the regulations but we estimate there is enough money to support the participants of the program as of the end of January 31,” reported Minister Udui.
No major changes are expected to be made to the program because it has less than two months left before it expires.
The few differences expected with implementation of this Act include requiring employees to go back to their employers to work in order to get their checks. Government is putting emphasis on having employees return to their jobs. Disbursement of checks will go to the employers to disburse to the employees and not directly to employees.
Furthermore, Udui said government will pay individual employees Social Security benefits and health insurance premiums to ensure that they remain insured under the National Health Insurance.
Also under the extended Cross Act, people who worked under the Temporary Work program and continued working after January 31st could receive payment for those hours worked between February 1st and the effective date of the law.
Minister Udui added that they will review the programs and check on the status of companies and employees that benefited from program. He stated that they will also make recommendations for the continuation of the program after this law expires on March 31st.