Employers to pay entire SSS premiums for help earning less than P5,000By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Employers who engage household helpers at less than P5,000 a month should now shoulder fully their kasambahay’s contributions to the Social Security System.
Emilio S. de Quiros Jr., SSS president and chief executive, said in a statement that the pension fund will soon issue new rules on employers’ responsibilities relating maids, family drivers, yayas, gardeners, cooks, and laundry women.
The signing into law last Jan. 18 of Republic Act No. 10361, which lays down policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers, prompts the issuance of the new SSS guidelines.
“As early as September 1993, the SSS had already made the registration and coverage of househelpers mandatory,” De Quiros said.
SSS data show that 95,860 of its members as of December 2012 were domestic workers.
As of October last year, househelpers and their employers accounted for contributions amounting to P189 million or 0.2 percent of total collections at the time.
Under existing SSS guidelines, employers must register househelpers and remit to SSS their monthly contributions, which is 10.4 percent of the gross income. The employer is responsible for 7.07 percent while the kasambahay covers the 3.33 percent. For example, if the help earns P5,000 monthly, the monthly contribution is P520, of which the employer pays P353.50 while the kasambahay pays P166.50
“We have made significant strides in fulfilling that mandate, but this new Kasambahay Law has more ‘teeth’ in terms of enforcing compliance and punishing non-compliance,” De Quiros said.
“More importantly, househelpers are given wider social protection through their mandatory membership and contributions in PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, aside from SSS,” he added.
Under the new law, househelpers earning less than P5,000 a month are exempted from paying social security premiums, which the household employer alone must bear. Help earning more than P5,000 a month will have to shell out 3.33 percent of the monthly premium with the employer paying 7.07 percent as specified by the existing guildelines.
De Quiros noted that non-compliance with the provisions of the Kasamabahay Law carries a fine of P10,000 at least and P40,000 at most.
“This is significantly higher than the current penalty imposed by SSS of not less than P5,000 and not more than P20,000,” the SSS chief said. “Hopefully, household employers will be further deterred from not obeying the law.”