The National Social Security Fund (NSSF)has given all employers in Uganda a 30-day deadline to register and remit social security contributions for their employees.
Acting Managing Director Patrick M. Ayota told the media at Workers House in Kampala that employers who complete registration will not suffer any financial penalties that kicked in from January 2022 when the National Social Security Fund (Amendment) Act was assented to by President Yoweri Museveni and published in Uganda Gazette.
“Given that the law came into force a year ago, employers should have registered and started remitting social security contributions for their employees effective January 7, 2022. However only 3,200 have registered with the Fund We, therefore call upon unregistered employers across the country to take advantage of the next 30 days to regularize their status with the Fund,” Ayota said
The employer registration drive is being undertaken to operationalize the new provisions in the NSSF Act, as amended, specifically Sections 7 and 13 A that introduced mandatory contributions by all workers regardless of the size of the enterprise or the number of employees, and section 13A which introduced voluntary contributions.
The NSSF is targeting to register 50000 new employers and 1.2 million new members over the next 5 years
Ayota said that unlike in the past when the definition of an employer was ambiguous, the NSSF Act as amended, now provides clarity on who is eligible to pay NSSF for their employees
Section 1(d) of the NSSF Act, as amended, defines an employer to include the Government, at company registered or incorporated under the Companies Act 2012, a partnership registered under the Partnership Act, of 2010, and a trustee incorporated under the Trustees Incorporation Act, Cap 165
“It also includes a business registered under any other law for the time being in force governing the establishment of business entities, the governing body of an unincorporated association and a manager or a subcontractor who provides employees for the principal contractor All employers that fall within these categories should register with the Fund,” he said.
She added that it makes good business sense for an employer to fulfill their social security obligations because an NSSF clearance certificate is now becoming a requirement before any company can do business with the Government or government agencies
“We have established partnerships with most Government agencies to ensure that employers must first regularize their status with NSSF before they do business in addition, we are establishing partnerships with all regulatory agencies to ensure that before any entity is given a license, they have a clearance certificate from NSSF that proves their registration and compliance with the NSSF Act. For any business in Uganda, it makes perfect business sense to fulfill their social security contributions,” Ayota said
Employers have multiple options to conveniently register with the Fund and start contributions through the online self-service channels via the NSSFGo Mobile App and Web APR Physical Registration is also available at all branches in all major towns countrywide Employers require their URA Tax Identification Number (TIN) and URSB Business Registration Number (BRN).
Speaking at the same media conference, the Uganda Law Society Chief Executive Officer. Moses Okwalinga Opolot urged employers to register with the Fund to avoid onboarding avoidable financial penalties.
“In practice, the penalty for non-compliance with NSSF is very burdensome because it is compounded every month an entity does not pay For the legal fraternity. NSSF compliance is already a requirement by the Law Council before a practicing certificate can be issued. For our members in the legal fraternity, the advantages of compliance are very evident,” he said.
Mr. John Walugembe, Executive Director of the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises- Uganda also urged their members to take advantage of the window offered by NSSF
“There are opportunities in regularizing registration with NSSF, especially for the Small & Medium Enterprises who currently dominate Uganda’s business terrain, but also face many challenges urge our members to take advantage of this opportunity provided by the Fund to register so that we are not caught on the wrong side of the law,” he said.