To prevent criminal prosecution under the terms of the Social Security Act of 2018, the Social Security System (SSS) urges all employers to be compliant with their legal responsibilities to their workers regardless of employment status, unregistered or registered.
Despite the financial crisis brought on by COVID-19, SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora Ignacia stressed in a statement that company owners must still comply with their legal responsibilities.
“Although we are still coping with the financial crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners are still expected to fulfill their statutory obligations to secure the welfare and interests of their workers,” Ignacio said.
She said employers are required to register their businesses with the SSS by completing the Employer Registration Form (SS Form R-1) and to report all of their employees for SSS coverage by accomplishing the Employment Report Form (SS Form R-1A) within 30 days of the actual employment date under Republic Act (RA) 11199, or the Social Security Act.
They should also deduct from the employee’s salaries/wages the employee share in the monthly SSS contribution and pay together with the employer share of the contribution including the Employees’ Compensation (EC) contribution, and remit these to the SSS through the branch offices with tellering facilities or SSS accredited banks and collection partners within the prescribed schedule of payments.
Employers should deduct/withhold from employees’ salaries/wages their monthly loan amortizations based on the scheduled payment deadlines and remit the same to the nearest SSS branch office with tellering services or SSS accredited collecting partners, in addition to deducting and remitting SSS contributions. Employers are also responsible for submitting the Loan Collection list online through their My.SSS account on the SSS website.
“We have also been receiving reports of unposted loan payments from our employed members. However, employers have failed to submit the loan collection lists to SSS which is very important since it is the basis for the crediting of loan payments to the member’s account,” Ignacio explained.
The SSS Chief also reiterated that employers should pay in advance their employees’ SS and EC sickness benefits, and maternity benefits due to qualified female employees.
Registered employers may now submit online their sickness benefit reimbursement applications (SBRA) and maternity benefit reimbursement applications (MBRA) through their My.SSS account.
Failure or refusal to comply with the provisions of RA 11199 by the employer is punishable by a fine of not less than P5,000.00 nor more than P20,000.00, or imprisonment for not less than six (6) years and one (1) day nor more than twelve (12) years or both, at the discretion of the court.
But, if the violation consists in failure or refusal to register employees or himself, in case of the covered self-employed, or to deduct contributions from the employee’s compensation and remit the same to the SSS, the penalty shall be a fine of not less than P5,000.00 nor more than P20,000.00 and imprisonment for not less than six years and one day nor more than 12 years.
In case the employer deducted the SS contribution or loan amortization from the employee’s salary/wages but failed to remit to the SSS, the imposable penalty shall be that provided under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code on Estafa which provides imprisonment not exceeding twenty (20) years. Other sanctions which may be imposed against delinquent employers are the issuance of Warrant of Distraint, Levy and/or Garnishment; and non-issuance of SSS Certificate of Compliance/Clearance.
As of June 2021, there are 988,324 active employers composed of household employers and registered establishments that are operational.
As of June 2021, there are 11,243 cases filed against delinquent employers nationwide.
Delinquent employers who could not immediately pay their liabilities but wish to settle may avail of the Installment Payment Scheme Program by securing an updated and consolidated Statement of Account (SOA) of its due but unpaid/unremitted contributions and penalty delinquencies and submitting an accomplished Application for Installment Payment Scheme to the concerned Branch Office (BO)/Large Account Department (LAD).
After submission of the application for Installment together with the supporting documents such as but not limited to Contributions Collection List (R3) and duly notarized Promissory Note, the employers shall be required to pay at least five percent (5%) of the total delinquency as down payment and issue post-dated checks corresponding to the months covered by the installment. This payment scheme is available for both the contributions and loan payment delinquencies of employers.