The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Tamale Area, has sent signals to all employers who fail to honour their obligation under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), that the Trust will apply the law to ensure that workers get their due when they retire.
The Tamale Area of the Trust, comprising the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, took 77 employers to court for defaulting in the payment of social security contributions on behalf of their workers, failing to register their employees and failing to submit contribution reports.
The prosecution which covered December 2018 and February 2019, involved an amount of about GH¢985,912; out of which a total amount of about GH¢725,923 was retrieved from 45 employers.
Twenty four employers are at the various stages of the court process. Of the 77 defendants, 69 failed to pay employees’ contributions, four employers failed to register their workers and another four failed to submit contribution reports.
Article 64 (1) of Act 766 says, “An employer shall remit thirteen and half per centum out of the total contributions of eighteen and a half per centum on behalf of the worker to the first tier mandatory social security scheme within fourteen days after the end of each month to the Trust.” However, some employers fail to adhere to this directive SSNIT is forced to resort to the courts.
According to the Area Corporate Affairs Representative of SSNIT, Tamale, Mr Avota Wede Abanyizuri, when an employer fails to meet this obligation, the Trust charges a penalty on the expected amount and a demand notice is sent to the employer with a grace period of 30 days and sometimes, an additional 10 days, to allow employers to redeem themselves.
“In addition, we visit the employers and follow up with calls to encourage them to pay but some of them are recalcitrant and if that happens, then we have no choice but to involve the courts to retrieve the said amount,” Mr Abanyizuri said.
He drew employers’ attention to the fact that, the money being paid to the Trust is the contributions of the employees. “Remember there was a deduction made from the employee’s basic salary, the deduction is to be held in trust by the employer and paid to SSNIT at the agreed time, which goes a long way to build a future for the employees when they retire,” he added.
Mr Abanyizuri said the Trust shall continue to engage employers to pay the contributions of the employees and in the right amount. He called on employees to also take responsibility of their future by asking the necessary questions and be involved in their rights and what is due them. “Just walk into any SSNT office and you shall receive all the support,” he added.