THE Sindh government had carried out substantial amendments to the Sindh Employees Social Security Act, 2016, through an ordinance, promulgated on May 17, 2018.
One of them substitutes the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 20 of the Act of 2016, with the following; “Provided further that the rate of contribution shall be the minimum wage rate prevailing at the time of paying the contribution under the Sindh Minimum Wage Act, 2015.”
At present, the minimum wage rate under the Act of 2015 is Rs17,500. As the monthly contribution is payable to the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI) on behalf of every secured employee at the rate of six per cent of the minimum wage, this amount comes to Rs1,050 per person.
Contrary to this fact, SESSI has sent notices to all companies in which the social security scheme is applicable to the contribution at variable rates between the lower and upper wage limits, which are currently Rs17,500 and Rs22,500 respectively.
Besides, soon SESSI will switch the system of paying the monthly contributions on to online, which will not accept payment made on the minimum wage rate.
The aforesaid demand of SESSI is not only unlawful in view of the clear provision of law as quoted above, but also on account of an interim order to this effect passed by the Supreme Court, which has directed that contribution is payable at the prevailing minimum wage rate, which is Rs17,500.
SESSI should therefore withdraw its notices sent to the companies as its insistence on paying the contribution at a variable rate will constitute contempt of court.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2019