Good news for employers of house helpers who have been delinquent in paying for the Social Security System (SSS) contributions of their kasambahay (house helpers).
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian is moving for the condonation of penalties for unpaid SSS contributions of delinquent low- and middle-income households for their kasambahay to benefit both parties and make it easier for employers to pay their arrears.
Gatchalian’s House Bill No. 5976 will allow delinquent employers to remit missed contributions within 12 months or propose to pay such in installments within 24 months or less without incurring penalty subject to the rules and regulations by the Social Security Commission.
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“It is the intent of HB 5976 to make a prospective application of the law while at the same time affording the kasambahay the benefit and mantle of protection, which the social insurance extends,” said Gatchalian.
The Department of Labor and Employment estimates the number of local kasambahay at 1.9 million.
Gatchalian said there has been an “abyss” created by the enactment of Republic Act No. 10361 or the “Kasambahay Law” and an earlier law – RA No. 7655, which increases the minimum wage of house helpers and requires them to become SSS members.
He said the contract of employment and the act of registration in the barangays reflecting the actual date of employment of the house helpers will now give rise for action by SSS to demand from the employers the payment of contributions in arrears, impose sanctions by the way of interests and penalties for delinquencies and maybe upon finding by courts of refusal to pay these contributions, by imprisonment under Section 28 (e) of the SSS Law.
Covered by RA 10361 are all house helpers engaged in domestic work, whether on a live-in or live-out arrangements, such as, but not limited to, the following general househelp; yaya; cook; gardener; laundry person; working children or domestic workers 15 years and above but below 18 years of age; and any person who regularly performs domestic work in a household on an occupational basis.
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“HB 5976 will help employers in the low- and middle-income families to consolidate their resources to be able to pay for the contributions that may have fallen due even before the year 2013, in order to extend to their kasambahays the coverage benefit of the SSS law,” said Gatchalian, a majority member for the House Committee on Trade and Industry.
Those covered by the Social Security Condonation Program are household employers who are delinquent or have not remitted all contributions to the SSS. Those who are not yet registered with the SSS but will do so as household employer are also included.
In case the household employer fails to remit contributions within the 12-month grace period or defaults, the prescribed penalty shall be imposed from the time the contributions first became due as provided by the Social Security Law.
The Social Security Commission shall issue the rules and regulations for this measure within 30 days after the bill’s approval. (Monica Cantilero)