By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board is urging employers in the country to pay their employees’ contributions.
Social Security Officials made the appeal while appearing on WINN FM’s popular ‘Island Tea’ morning show on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.
“A lot of people are coming in and they are saying ‘I want to pay self-employed’ but they are in fact employed. I want employers to recognize that they have a responsibility to pay contributions on behalf of the employees,” said Sandra DeSilva, Customer Service Supervisor at Social Security.
Ms. DeSilva added: “Employees should not have to come to us to say ‘I want to make sure that I am protected so I want to pay my own money.’ No, that is wrong and so we question them and we recognize that they are in fact employed
Employers, you have a responsibility to pay for your workers. They should not have to come and want to pay self-employed because you are not paying for them.”
Employees whose contributions are not being paid by their employers are encouraged to visit Social Security to file a report.
“People run away from filling that form because they recognize that we are going to go to the employer…employers have an obligation. They have to pay.”
According to the Social Security’s Employers Guide, “whenever a person or entity employs another person, the employer is required to register with the Social Security Board and to make payments of contributions to the Social Security Fund on behalf of the employee. It is also the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the employee is registered.
The law gives the employer the authority to deduct a portion of the contributions from the wages of certain employees. It then requires the employer to make the total contributions to the Fund. This clearly means that after deducting the employee’s portion, the employer must add his/her own portion to the contributions.
The total contributions must then be paid into Social Security within a given time along with supporting records. Accordingly, the law requires the employer to keep adequate records in relation to all persons who may be employed. Special Social Security officers who are designated as Inspectors, can inspect such records to ensure full and accurate compliance with the law.”
“That situation, sometimes when they come to us, we question them and our inspector might go and speak to the employer. The next you know, they are out of a job. That is hard. On one hand we are trying to serve the right way and then people are being punished for coming in and sometimes it’s as simple as coming in and checking on contributions.”