Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019. 1:16 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes:In the wake of the embarrassment of the Belmopan City Council being found out for lagging behind on Social Security contributions, the Social Security Board says it has “doubled its efforts at compliance” among employers, with the support of the trade unions and the business community.
As announced by C.E.O. Dr. Colin Young, the Board has taken a vote that, effective July 1 when the first part of the new contribution scheme goes into effect, it will be publishing on social media and in the newspapers, a list of all employers who are in arrears with Social Security for two months.
The Board has ‘zero tolerance’ for non-payment; no one gets a break.
Dr. Young points out that there is a two-fold benefit; workers due to their benefits will be able to get them on time if paid on time, but if not, the worker is disenfranchised. Also, more contributions flowing in will lessen the need, already articulated, to return after 2021 for a greater increase in contributions by both employer and employee.
Among its efforts to ensure greater compliance are a higher number of inspections and assessments, and more prosecution of court cases for employers which owe at least two months.
But some employers still find ways around the law, such as divesting assets to avoid crowfooting tied to court judgments, and in certain industries, shaving off part of the weekly salary with employees’ consent – though Dr. Young says this further disenfranchises the employee at their time of critical need.
Lastly, the Board is working on opening a portal putting the entire history of contributions for workers open at a glance. Presently, a worker must make a formal complaint in writing at the SSB office and will receive a written letter listing the number of contributions, though not by which employers.
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