Over 1400 new employers registered since the start of the drive in March
Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | The National Social Security Fund has announced an extension of the mandatory registration for employers to June 30, 2023, following requests from small and medium enterprises.
The non-compliant employers will thereafter be subjected to financial penalties as provided in section 14 of the NSSF Act, as amended, according to the NSSF Ag. Managing Director, Patrick Ayota.
Since the launch of the “Now You Can” registration campaign on March 28, slightly over 1460 employers have registered and started remitting social security contributions for their employees.
“We have received numerous requests from many employers to extend the registration. We are therefore glad to announce a deadline up to June 30, 2023, to enable them to make necessary arrangements,” Ayota said.
He also explained that the Fund has established partnerships with many government agencies to ensure that employers first regularize their status with NSSF before they do business with them.
“We are establishing partnerships with all regulatory agencies to ensure that before any entity is licensed, they have a clearance certificate from NSSF that proves their registration and compliance with the NSSF Act,” he added.
The employer registration drive is being undertaken to operationalize the new provisions in the NSSF Act, as amended, specifically sections 7 and 13 A which introduced mandatory contributions by all workers regardless of the size of enterprises or the number of employees, and section 13A which introduced voluntary contributions.
The Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, Betty Amongi applauded the Fund for implementing the mass registration drive and pledged that her Ministry would support the Fund’s efforts to expand social security coverage.
“Government of Uganda recognizes that social protection is a critical pre-requisite for achieving national development goals and also recognizes the need to guarantee social security to the population and to provide assistance to people who are vulnerable either by age, social class, location, disability, gender, disaster or who do not earn any income in order to promote equity,” Among said.
Uganda has a total labour force of 16.3 million people and a working population of 13.9 million. Out of the working population of 13.9 million people, 7.9 million are employed and 6 million are engaged in subsistence production for their own consumption, according to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
“As a country, we can no longer blame archaic legislation because the new law has not only expanded the social security landscape but has also empowered the Fund to innovate and introduce new products to appeal to all segments of the working population irrespective of their income levels,” Amongi said.
The new drive is a multi-stakeholder initiative between the Fund, the government through the Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development, the private sector, regulatory bodies, and other partners.
For a long time, some employers had been excluded by the old NSSF law to save for their employees, but the new NSSF law now allows everyone to save for their retirement.
“It is the Fund’s mandate as the social security provider to implement these provisions for our members to have a comfortable retirement,” Amongi said.
All eligible employers are now obliged to and can now register and contribute to NSSF. The Fund is focusing on SMEs, informal sector workers, and the self-employed in the registration drive. The public will wait to see how employers will respond to the extended deadline.