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NSSF recovers Shs 70 billion in nationwide whistleblower drive

Halfway through the recently launched whistleblower campaign, a nationwide drive aimed at encouraging workers to report employers defaulting on NSSF contributions, the Fund has unearthed over UGX 70 billion from reported cases.

Figures released by the Fund on Monday indicate that as of January 8, 2024, 622 cases have been received by the Fund from employees and members of the public, involving over 480 employers across the country, unearthing a total of UGX 70 billion so far.

Figures also show that over 30% of the reported cases of nonpayment of NSSF contributions involve private security companies, followed by manufacturing and the education sector.

“The response from workers across the country, and across several sectors of the economy is encouraging. So far, the amount of money unearthed, now about UGX 70 billion is either through our automated audit process or through direct demand notes,” NSSF Ag. Managing Director Gerald Paul Kasaato said in an update to NSSF members.

In November last year, the NSSF unveiled an upgraded web-based “Whistleblower Portal” to enable members report defaulting employers seamlessly and a drive to ultimately increase the compliance rate to 60% in this financial year 2023/24.

The new features of the upgraded portal include a complete anonymity option to protect whistleblowers from possible victimisation and an automatic tracking aspect of reported cases.

In addition, the new portal now allows government labour inspectors to report Government contractors who refuse to contribute to the Fund as prescribed by the NSSF Act, as amended. The Act requires all employers irrespective of the number of employees to remit social security contributions monthly.

He added that once all reported cases are resolved at the end of January 2024, the Fund expects to hit its compliance target of 60% announced at the launch of the drive.

He also said that the Fund has put in place mechanisms through which employers can fulfill their social security obligations without affecting their cashflows, for instance, through deeds of settlement that give employers payment flexibility.

“Our intention is not to hamstring any employer or business but rather to work with them to fulfill their obligations as per the existing legislation. I therefore encourage any employer out there, whatever their circumstances, to reach out to the Fund so that we can design a solution that works for all parties including their employees,” Kasaato said.

He however said that although taking an employer to court is the last resort, the Fund will not hesitate to do so for those that are uncooperative.

As of December 2023, the Fund has instituted court cases against over 390 employers and has over the last 2 years so far recovered arrears of about UGX 8.96 billion because of the court process.

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