HARARE - The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) has drastically reviewed its garnishees on companies that are in subscription arrears and will henceforth not garnish the whole outstanding amount at once.
This is contained in a statement released to the Press recently by Barnabas Matongera who is the chief contributions, collections and compliance officer.
Although efforts to get a comment from NSSA chief executive officer, Lizzie Chitiga who was said to be in meetings were futile, sources said NSSA will as a matter of policy no longer garnish whole amounts from owing companies because this has either crippled struggling entities or led to total collapses and losses of jobs.
The Press statement which is titled; Procedure in collections of arrears in contributions and premiums says that clients must note that although the Authority will still issue garnish orders, it will only do so to the extent of missed instalments.
In the past NSSA would if a company has a debt of $10 000, invade the account and garnish the whole amount and this left many companies without money for operational costs and the result was that many became crippled and never recovered. In other cases companies ground to a halt and shut down.
In the new procedure, NSSA urges owing clients to come up with an agreed payment plan which must be adhered to as much as possible. NSSA will only garnishee the account if there are defaults and the garnishee will only be to the extent of the missed instalment.
"NSSA endeavours to first reach a duly signed payment plan with all clients in financial difficulties. The payment plan stipulates the instalment amount and due dates. The client is adequately informed that failure to adhere to the payment plan without a 'variation agreement' with the authority, may result in the issuing of a garnishee order but only to the extent of the missed instalment," said the statement.
Efforts to get comment from the Minister of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare Priscah Mupfumira were fruitless.