The Antigua Trades and Labour Union (AT&LU) is warning Antigua and Barbuda Social Security Board (ABSSB) that it will have to answer for any withholding of employee claims in a court of law.
President of AT&LU, Wigley George has warned the board that it does not have the legal right to deny claims to employees because of defaulting employers.
“Any worker suffers as a result of this the union is prepared to take the matter to court and let the court prove that the onus is on the employer and therefore the employee should not suffer at all.
“This is an obligation for employers and it is not for the workers to take out their monies,” George said.
In a press release, George said, “The Social Security Act does not give the Board or its servants the right which it so boldly threatens to undertake.
“Even if the Act did allow such a course of action, the evident inequity is so brazenly wrong that it would be unthinkable for the Social Security Board to punish employees for an employer’s failure to act.”
The AT&LU president supports the Board moving to collect monies owed to the body and wants it to force employers to pay, but he told The Daily OBSERVER that the workers should not be made to suffer for the fault of their bosses.
“The employees have no control of the deductions. It is law that they must pay, and the employer is duty bound and obligated to deduct the money and send in the remittances to the Social Security Scheme.
Last week, the Social Security Board issued a release warning that the names of delinquent employers would be published and that “Employees of said employers should take particular note as it is the further intent of the Social Security Board not to honour claims where there is no agreement or payment made by their defaulting employers.”
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)