•Atwoli said NSSF collections still falls below the anticipated collection of at least Sh10 billion every month
•He however acknowledged that with the implementation of the Act has Kenyan workers are well covered from the dangers of old age poverty.
The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU-K) SG Francis Atwoli has called on the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to strengthen its enforcement and compliance departments to boost collections.
Atwoli was speaking during a consultative meeting between Cotu and NSSF in Kisumu on Saturday, where he urged the country to emulate what Tanzanians do.
Atwoli said that despite NSSF collections going up by 500 per cent from Sh1.7 billion to the current Sh5.7 billion every month after the implementation of the NSSF Act of 2013, this falls below the anticipated collection of at least Sh10 billion every month.
He however acknowledged that with the implementation of the Act, Kenyan workers are well covered from the dangers of old age poverty.
This, Atwoli said, is due to the current deductions of six per cent for employers and six per cent for employees which is capped at Sh18,000.
“As Cotu (K), based on data collected and analysed by our economic and research department, NSSF is still running low on collections considering they should be collecting approximately Sh10 billion every month,” Atwoli said.
“For instance, the Sh2.7 billion that counties are yet to remit to NSSF shouldn’t be a matter of discussion if there is an effective compliance and enforcement unit that can impose fines,” Atwoli noted.
The Cotu boss gave an example of Tanzania where employers must remit NSSF, NHIF, and PAYE deductions on time even when the salaries delay.
He said the stringent compliance and enforcement measures by the Tanzanian government and the agencies have also made it impossible to have discrepancies in payments without a proper explanation.
“In Tanzania, you cannot pay Sh100,000 today for NSSF and Sh90,000 tomorrow without a proper explanation of the difference. This we have witnessed in Kenya,” Atwoli said.
He added: “In fact, NSSF can help us protect jobs because when an employer has to justify the differences in collections to NSSF every month then they stop careless sacking and layoffs of workers.”
Cotu has further opposed the recommendation by the National Dialogue Committee to scrap the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
The committee in the recently released report called for a constitutional amendment to do away with the Employment and Labour Relations Court and give its functions to the High Court of Kenya.
“That is outside the mandate of NADCO to recommend the scrapping of the Employment and Labour Relations Court,” Atwoli said.
He called for solidarity and advocacy to ensure that the proposal is abandoned by Parliament.
Speaking during the meeting, NSSF Managing Trustee David Koros called for continued collaboration between Cotu and the institution.
Koros further asked for the support of Cotu in ensuring that NSSF delivers on its mandate.