CARICOM Reciprocal Agreement
Today on Social Security Five, we will be continuing with some more information on the CARICOM Reciprocal Agreement. Last week, we gave you some very important insights about what you should do if you are going to another CARICOM country to work. We said you should inform the Director of Social Security, stating your date of departure and your overseas address. We said you should also inform the Director of any subsequent change of address and also to let the Director of Social Security know, as soon as you have returned to the Federation.
We also talked about provisions for workers in transnational enterprises, itinerant workers who travel from country to country in the execution of their jobs, such workers who might have two or more employers who have their principal places of business or residence in different countries, workers in international transport, workers on ships, and of course, self-employed persons.
We pointed out that the agreement does not apply to persons who enjoy diplomatic status. However any personal employees of such diplomats and persons working as service staff of diplomatic missions are provided for under the coverage.
At this time I believe it would be quite fitting that we take a closer look at the very important area of the self-employed. Many persons in this category who work in different territories of the region should be interested to learn of how they might be affected by the Reciprocal Agreement.
If you are a self-employed person and you reside in Country A and you are following your occupation in Country B you will be subject to the applicable legislation of Country B even though you reside in Country A.
If you live and work in Country A but also work in Countries B and C you will remain insured in Country A since you work partly in that country. However, let’s say you were not working in the country in which you reside; or even if you worked there, that country did not have self employed coverage; then if the other two countries have that type of coverage, they will decide between themselves which country will be responsible for your coverage.
If you are in self employment and had worked in two or more countries of the region you should be quite satisfied to note that the Reciprocal Agreement has indeed taken your situation into account, and has made provisions to totalize your contributions if necessary, for your benefit.
Don’t forget that we will be giving you some details about calculation of benefits in an up-coming program. In the mean time, however, if you have any questions on any Social Security topic, you can contact us at our offices in Basseterre and Charlestown and we will be ever so pleased to respond.