Paying social security contributions is mandatory in Ghana and those payments are made by employers on behalf of their staff; however, it is currently unclear whether the government plans to pay for graduates who will be recruited under the new job creation initiative dubbed: “ Nation Builders' Corps (NABCO).”
Per the Social Security Act 766, employers are supposed to make the contributions on behalf of their employees by deducting 5.5% of the worker's salary every month, add 13% to that amount and pay it to the Social Security and Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
President Nana Akufo-Addo launched the Nation Builders' scheme last Tuesday as an alternative job creation opportunity for the country's jobless graduates.
The programme is expected to create 100,000 jobs in seven sectors of the economy including Health, Education, Agriculture and ICT. The beneficiaries who will receive a stipend of GHc700 will be engaged for three years.
But some have raised concerns over the scheme, complaining that it is just a duplication of already existing job-creation policies.
Addressing the issue on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, a Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wereko-Brobbey, advised the prospective NABCO beneficiaries to pay their social security contributions and taxes when they are recruited.
On the taxes, Wereko-Brobbey was unable to state whether it would be deducted from the GHc700 stipend or from elsewhere.
“It is one of the first things that I will personally encourage that out of the money they are going to get, they should pay their taxes, they should pay their social security, and then government will top it up for them. At the end of the day when they get substantive jobs they can continue with it there,” Mr. Wereko-Brobbey added in the interview.
When probed further by the host of the show, Bernard Avle, Mr Wereko-Brobbey insisted that it will be in the interest of the beneficiaries to pay the SSNIT contributions.
“It is even in their own interest,” he added.
The Deputy Minister eventually said:
“They [beneficiaries] will pay their social security. It is money they are earning and the concept of taxation is that anything you earn, you have to pay taxes on it. What I can speak to is that any money you earn you will pay taxes on it. I am not a finance person but this concept is what I was made to know when I started work.”
Jobless nurses threaten demo
Some members of the Ghana Nurse and Midwife Trainees Association had earlier served notice that they will embark on a mass demonstration next week to protest their enrollment under the Nation Builders' Corps.
The unemployed nurses and midwives argue that it does not provide job security and that the salary structure is unfair.
NaBCo jobs not compulsory
But the Coordinator of the initiative, Dr Ibrahim Anyass, told the nurses that the programme is not compulsory for them.
The NaBCo project has nothing to do with stopping of clearances for future recruitment except that it guarantees you security to be able to use your talents to practice, especially those who have hands-on skills like nurses…What we are saying is that it's not compulsory to get onto the Nation Builders Corps, it doesn't stop your clearance. You are gaining some kind of integrity in terms of your professional practice by taking advantage of this scheme to practice while waiting for your clearance,” he added on Eyewitness News.