The National Social Security (NSSF) has introduced the Whistleblower Campaign aimed at enabling disgruntled employees to report employers who are non-compliant with the remittance of social security contributions to the Fund.
This platform is designed to facilitate collaborative efforts between the Fund and its members to hold employers accountable for NSSF contributions and any accumulated interest.
Speaking at the launch, Ayota Patrick, NSSF Managing Director gave a recap of his recently introduced Vision 2035 strategy for the Fund which is anchored Expansion of social security coverage – from 11% to 50% of Uganda’s working population by 2035, Growing the Fund – from the current Shs19.4 trillion to Shs50 trillion by 2035 and increasing efficiency in serving customers – targeting customer satisfaction rate from the current 86% to 95% by 2035.
“These, we shall achieve by deliberately creating a willingness to save and creating the capacity to save,” Ayota said.
He added, “As you may recall, as a way of creating a willingness to save, we promised to empower our members by making them part of our improving compliance strategic objective. The Fund is very serious and determined to address the non-compliance issue and is thus innovating on ways to curb this vice.”
In the past few months, the Fund had several engagements with employers in different sectors across the country and urged them to fulfill their statutory obligations of remitting social security contributions for their employees. We have even offered amnesty to help them comply.
“According to our data, only 20,762 out of 36,426 registered employers are actively remitting contributions to the Fund. This gives us a compliance rate of only 57%. Compliance means that an employer is remitting the contribution on time and in full. This means that over 15,000 employers are not complying and are cheating their employees of their retirement savings! The sad news is that, on average, only 107 cases are being reported,” Ayota noted.
He further noted that in a bid to empower members, the Fund has revamped web-based – Whistle-blower platform used by aggrieved employees to report employers who fail to remit their social security contributions to the Fund, as required by the law.
The platform will help the Fund work actively with its members to go after their employers so that they remit their NSSF contributions plus any accrued interest.
The upgraded portal has mainly three new features namely; Complete anonymity of the Whistle-blower” – the platform offers the option for complete anonymity from both the Fund and the Employers, so the whistleblower’s identity is not revealed to either the Fund or employer.
Automatic tracking of reported cases; Members can now track their reported cases electronically without having to visit an NSSF branch. The whistleblower will electronically be provided with updates of their case at every stage until it is fully resolved.
Empowerment of Government Labour Inspectors: The platform now allows government labour inspectors to report Government contractors and any other employers who stubbornly refuse to contribute to the Fund as per the new NSSF Act.
“Once we receive a complaint from a whistleblower, we initiate an investigation. Should we prove that the allegation is true; the employer is offered an opportunity to comply and settle the matter amicably. Where the employer stubbornly refuses to co-operate, other drastic measures come into force including prosecution and the application of the punitive penalties permitted within the law,” Ayota asserted.
Over the last two years, the Fund has recovered Shs8,969,549,733 through litigation and currently over 390 cases are being handled with an expectation to recover even more with this new whistleblower platform.
“I therefore encourage all workers to visit https://whistleblower.nssfug.org to report their cheating employers and safeguard the future you aspire to achieve,” Ayota guided.