Govt may prosecute employers who owe NIB
Employers that have not paid employee contributions to the National Insurance Board (NIB) could face prosecution, Minister of Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle said yesterday.
“The next step is to move forward to prosecute these individuals who have not made their payments to the NIB or lived up to the commitment or agreement that they made with NIB to pay,” Rolle said outside Cabinet.
Rolle revealed during his budget contribution earlier this week that as much as $17 million in contributions are owed to NIB from employers who have failed to keep up to date with their employees’ contributions.
He said yesterday that most of the companies that owe funds already have payment agreements with NIB, but have not been living up to them.
Non-payment of employee NIB contributions is an offense under the National Insurance Board Act, liable to a minimum of six months in prison or a fine of $1,000 or both, to a maximum of 12 months in prison, or a fine of $2,500 or both.
“We have been in contact with most of the individuals and companies involved,” Rolle said.
“What is interesting is that most of these companies have agreements with NIB to pay. They have just ignored their agreements and their commitments and so what the next step is, and they have been advised, to firstly acknowledge that they owe NIB this money.”
Rolle said NIB “has some provisions where you could be prosecuted in the courts for these funds”.
“It is somewhat disheartening that companies and individuals would deduct money from individuals’ salary and not pay it to NIB, because at the end of the day once they retire they expect to get a benefit and if that commitment or benefit is not paid then we have an issue,” he said.
“So that’s why we are urging all companies and self-employed individuals and others to live up to their responsibility and make the payment to NIB so that we can progress, but with regards to those who owe a substantial amount of money to the board, we have been in contact with them.
“Many of them have some agreement with the board to pay, they just have not done it, and so we are taking the next step.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish