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Financial Assistance to The Three Groups of Employees in The Private Sector Who Are Affected by The COVID -19 Pandemic

​The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE) is pleased to announce that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the granting of Financial Assistance to The Three Groups of Employees in The Private Sector Who Are Affected by The COVID -19 Pandemic. 

2. Specifically, the above-mentioned three groups are: 

2.1 Those who have lost their jobs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company and the termination is not due to disciplinary actions or the employees resign based on their own decisions. 

2.2 Those who are placed on unpaid leave for more than seven (7) days either due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company or being issued a Quarantine Order (QO) by the Ministry of Health; and 

2.3 Self-employed or freelancers. 

3. This special financial assistance is to ensure the well-being of the citizens and permanent residents of Brunei Darussalam, particularly those working in the private sector whom are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and earning a basic monthly salary of B$1,500.00 and below; as well as to assist the private sector in improving business cash flow in addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance is not applicable to those working in the public sector and Government Linked Companies (GLCs). 

4. The procedures and criteria for obtaining assistance are as follows: 

4.1 For employees who have lost their jobs and are placed on unpaid leave as mentioned earlier: PRESS RELEASE Ministry of Finance and Economy Negara Brunei Darussalam  

4.1.1 Applications must be submitted through the Sistem Kebajikan Negara (SKN), which has been especially modified to process the above-mentioned applications and can be accessed through the website: www.skn.gov.bn; 

4.1.2 They must be registered and have actively contributed to TAP at least up until July 2021; 

4.1.3 A declaration letter from the employer must be uploaded onto the SKN where the letter must state the date retrenchment commenced; and that such retrenchment is due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company, and the termination is not due to disciplinary actions or the employees resign based on their own decisions; and 

4.1.4 For employees who are placed on unpaid leave for more than seven (7) days either due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the company or being issued a QO by the Ministry of Health: a letter from the employer guaranteeing their employment after the situation returns to normal and a screenshot of the QO from the BruHealth Application must be uploaded to the SKN; 

4.2 Those who are self-employed or freelancing are advised to apply through SKN to obtain a Monthly Welfare Assistance (Bantuan Kebajikan Bulanan, BKB) allowance under the Department of Community Development (Jabatan Pembangunan Masyarakat, JAPEM), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) which can be accessed through the website www.skn.gov.bn; MOFE will work with JAPEM MCYS to ensure that such application is processed within an appropriate time frame. 

4.3 A complete video guide on how to apply for the COVID-19 ASSISTANCE THROUGH SKN can be accessed through the SKN Brunei Youtube Channel. PRESS RELEASE Ministry of Finance and Economy Negara Brunei Darussalam 

5 For employees who are returning to work after being on unpaid leave for more than 7 days, the employer can obtain a salary payment subsidy of 30% for three (3) months period starting on the date the employee returns to work where the granting of such subsidy is subject to MOFE’s assessment from time to time. 

6 The amount of financial assistance falls under two (2) categories, as follows: 

6.1 B$250.00 per month for employee who is single; 

6.2 B$250.00 per month for those who are married and B$50.00 per month for each dependent including the recipient’s spouse and up to four (4) children under the age of 18 years old and are not receiving any other allowances from the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam such as student allowances and welfare allowances from MCYS or the Brunei Islamic Religious Council. Applications for such assistance can only be made by either one of the parents or by the guardian. 

7 This assistance is only valid for a period of three (3) months starting on 1st September 2021. 

8 Any enquiries on the application for special financial assistance can be submitted via email covid19.assistance@mofe.gov.bn or through the TAP call center at 2382800 or 2382929 for application procedures enquiries and at 8191000 for payment inquiries to the Treasury Department. However, the applicant will be informed through SMS notification regarding the application status and payment. 

9 Finally, following the interim action taken by the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, employers are reminded not to lay off workers especially locals, and for employers to not misuse the facilities and assistances provided by the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang DiPertuan of Brunei Darussalam. PRESS RELEASE Ministry of Finance and Economy Negara Brunei Darussalam 

10 The following is a video tutorial showing the process for submitting an application for FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC THROUGH THE SISTEM KEBAJIKAN NEGARA

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