With the successful launch of its Employer’s Self-Service (ESS) portal pilot phase under its belt, the National Insurance Board (NIB) is now preparing to introduce a more condensed version of the portal in the form of a mobile app for micro-businesses and self-employed people.
NIB Director Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle said during beta-testing of the ESS portal system – which is targeted toward businesses with five or more employees – there was significant interest in a smaller version of the initiative.
“In addition to the ESS portal which is targeted at firms, we want to ensure that it’s very easy for those who just have one or two employees to be able to upload and pay C10s. So we’re looking at putting together a C10 Easy App to make it very easy for you to be able to do it from your phones or smart devices, to be able to upload C10s, process and pay, so it will be linked to the ESS system. It would just be much easier and more simple to use for those smaller self-employed or persons with one or two employees,” she said in an interview with Guardian Business,” she said.
“We’d have to link it to the ESS system, so there’s some more programming work to be done there in order to ensure we give all avenues and all channels available for Bahamian employers to be able to upload their C10s and pay.”
NIB has as its goal to implement the portal fully by mid-2020 and the app shortly thereafter.
“We’re going to try and target as many people as possible. We understand people have a variety of ways that they prefer to pay. So, some will prefer to maintain the traditional system of bringing in paper C10s, some will be early adapters who wish to move to the ESS portal and we’re going to encourage people to do so,” she said.
“One of the advantages is that your C10 is automatically posted into our system, so your inspector can view the form and keep your records up to date, but it also helps your employees because there’s no delay in terms of the processing of that C10, so it’s immediately there. There are increased advantages to signing up with the portal.”
In 2016, NIB invested $14 million in the Vitech V3 system to digitize its administrative processes, however there were continued failures in the system, leading to a backlog of more than 200,000 C10 forms that needed processing.
In May 2018, the board commenced the V3 stabilization project to clear that backlog.