The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) dragged 200 companies and organisations in the Cape Coast Metropolis to court over the nonpayment of workers’ contributions to the Scheme. The companies were also charged with other offences such as non-registration of workers, concealment of information about the operations of their companies and non- registration of their establishment, contrary to Act 142 of the PNDC Law 247.
Mr Alex Appiah, the Cape Coast Branch Manager, who told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on the sidelines of a “Customer Clinic”, said 142 of the organisations upon receipt of the writ of sermons went settle their debts. However, the others who had proved difficult, he said, were still standing trial.
The Clinic is aimed at improving service delivery to the Trust’s clientele to enable the contributors to assess their status on the Scheme and seek prompt redress to challenges.
Mr Appiah explained that every year, five days were set aside for the working teams to visit selected establishments in their operation area. The office pitch tents within densely populated areas with high pedestrian traffic to bring the Trust’s service to the doorsteps of customers.
“In order to achieve organisational transformation and operational excellence, superior customer service is needed, that was why we introduced the SSNIT Customer Clinic Exercise,” he said.
He said whenever there was an employee – employer relationship, it was mandatory for the employee to pay social security on behalf of the employee, but some business owners intentionally failed to do so.
The majority of the defaulters, he said, were exposed through whistle blowers, and urged the workers whose contributions were in arrears to report their employers.
He said in spite of the education programmes by SSNIT, many of them continued to flout the laws. Mr Appiah announced that SSNIT would soon roll out a facility, which would allow employers to capture their contribution reports and pay electronically through Bank of Ghana Automatic Clearing Housing System without necessarily going to their office.
This, he said, would enhance the social security culture as part of its developmental reform processes. Ms Stella Annan, the Corporate Affairs Representative at the Takoradi Branch, reiterated that SSNIT was not for formal sector workers alone but for all workers.
She advised the informal sector workers to register and contribute because it provided members with benefits that were based on exclusive contributions. She said they could face severe hardships in the future when they were no longer strong to work if they did not have any pension.