More than 900 companies have registered with the National Insurance Board’s (NIB) Employer Self-Service (ESS) portal since its pilot was launched late last year.
The project, which will allow employers to submit contribution forms and payments for their employees online, was supposed to be fully rolled out by the halfway point of this year, but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That project, we grew the pilot up to over 900 companies participating. So we’re doing our final testing of this, the system itself, to make sure that it’s absolutely working properly and then we will relaunch it,” revealed NIB Director Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle.
“But certainly, the ESS portal, when that is fully launched, one of the key selling points is that the employers have control over their postings. They can pay by credit card, which is great, but also they can post immediately, so their C10 forms will be uploaded and we won’t need to touch those at NIB and that has been a challenge which has led to the backlog over the years.”
The digitized system is expected to reduce the backlog of approximately 200,000 C10 forms that need processing, while also addressing non-compliance among particular companies.
“As I mentioned, we find that employers tend to batch pay and then there were just backlogs over the years. So we’ve made good progress in terms of our V3 project. We had a V3 stabilization project beginning in 2018, where we had staff really focus on addressing the backlog…and so we continue to work on those backlogs that are there,” Virgil-Rolle said.
“Certainly this approach over the last few months we’ve had to really push, to address any continuing backlogs as well, but the answer really lies with the clients and reporting each month on time, so that we don’t have any backlog in the first place.”
NIB commenced a stabilization project in 2018 to help clear that backlog.