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An “employer” is any person or his / her representative who employs a person for eight hours or more in any contribution week (Sunday to Monday).

These include:

  1. any body of persons, whether such body be a legal person or not;
  2. any managing agent of an employer;
  3. the personal representative of a deceased employer;
  4. in relation to a person engaged in plying for hire with any vehicle or vessel the use of which is obtained from the owner thereof under a contract of bailment (other than a hire purchase agreement), the owner;
  5. in relation to a person employed for the purpose of any game or recreation and engaged or paid through a club, the manager, or where the club is managed by a committee, the members of the managing committee of the club;

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EMPLOYMENT

“Employment” includes any trade, business, profession, office or vocation.

Every person who employs one or more persons is required under the Social Security Act to apply for Registration (R1 Form) as an employer. The application for registration is to be made within seven days of employing his/her first employee. The application is to be filled out in reference to one particular establishment at a specified address. If in one establishment, there is more than one economic activity under a single management that activity in which the largest number of persons are employed is to be given as the “nature of the business” and indicated on the form.

Every registered employer is given a registration number in respect of a specified establishment to be used as a reference number on all correspondence with the Social Security Board. Your business establishment is to have only one registration number throughout its existence. An employer will be assigned by Social Security only one Employer Number but may be assigned more than one Business Number if he / she operates several businesses.

On being registered under the Act, an employer shall, within fourteen days after such registration, present to the Social Security Board a list of all his/her employees.

Someone working under a contract of service employment would be eligible for Social Security coverage. This is any agreement between employer and worker by which the latter works under the authority and direction of the employer, even if not under his direct supervision, in return for payment (cash or kind), fixed according to the hours of work or piece rate / task rate.

Employers shall employ only those persons in possession of valid registration cards indicating that such cards are valid for employment.

INACTIVE EMPLOYER OR CLOSURE OF BUSINESS

In the event that a business closes down or is temporarily out of business, Social Security needs to be informed immediately. This notice is recorded on the closure of Business Form (IN15) and includes the employer’s registration number and business number, which was issued when the employer first registered as an employer with Social Security. If there is a business name other than that of the employer, it must be stated along with the address of the work site. An address for the employer must also be supplied.

The actual date of closure or inactivity of the business must be stated as this particular information will determine the amount to be paid or payable at the time contributions are due. Failure to submit the correct information could eventually lead to court action, garnishment or distress, i.e. if an employee would claim benefits and there is incorrect information on behalf of the employer. At the time of closure or inactivity, the employee’s and the employer’s contributions must be paid in full so as to avoid any delays in claims and payments to employees. Once the correct information is given, the employer or employer’s representative must sign and date the form and give his or her remarks if necessary. An employee of Social Security must also sign and date the form at the same time the employer/representative does.

An IN15 requires very simple and straightforward answers from the employer for the benefit of Social Security, the employer and the employee

A CONTRIBUTION

A contribution refers to Social Security payment due for one-week’s earnings. A Social Security contribution week is from Monday to Sunday.


  • The weekly contribution is related to the weekly insurable earnings, which, in turn, are related to actual earnings. For the convenience of employers who pay wages on a weekly basis, the first column in the Schedule of Contributions (below) shows that. In the case of a worker whose weekly earnings are under $70.00, the weekly insurable earning is $55.00. The weekly contribution rates payable by the insured contributor and the employer are $0.83 and $3.57 respectively.
  • WEEKLY CONTRIBUTIONS PAYABLE BY EMPLOYED PERSONS AND EMPLOYERS

    AMOUNT OF WEEKLY CONTRIBUTIONS RATE OF CONTRIBUTION
    ACTUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS WEEKLY INSURABLE EARNINGS Employer Employed Person Total Contribution Employer Employee
    1 Under 70.00 55.00 3.57 0.83 4.40 6.50% 1.50%
    2 70.00 to 109.99 90.00 5.85 1.35 7.20 6.50% 1.50%
    3 110.00 to 139.99 130.00 8.45 1.95 10.40 6.50% 1.50%
    4 140.00 to 179.99 160.00 9.65 3.15 12.80 6.03% 1.97%
    5 180.00 to 219.99 200.00 11.25 4.75 16.00 5.63% 2.38%
    6 220.00 to 259.99 240.00 12.85 6.35 19.20 5.35% 2.65%
    7 260.00 to 299.99 280.00 14.45 7.95 22.40 5.16% 2.84%
    8 300.00 and over 320.00 16.05 9.55 25.60 5.02% 2.98%
    9 ** 2.60 0.00 2.60

    **(a) APPLIES TO EMPLOYED PERSONS (60 – 64 YRS) WHO HAVE RECEIVED A RETIREMENT BENEFIT AND
    (b) ALL EMPLOYED PERSONS 65 YRS AND OLDER


  • A contribution is payable by the employer only for employees who are 60 – 64 years old and have received or are receiving Social Security Retirement Benefit. Also, your employer should NOT deduct Social Security Contributions from your salary IF you are 65 years or older. Employers are legally responsible to pay only $2.60 on your behalf. Your employer’s Social Security contribution provides YOU coverage for Employment Injury Benefits, which include work-related prescribed diseases.

    ** The contribution of $2.60 paid by the employer for employees who have received Retirement Benefit provides only employment injury coverage for these employees. There is no deduction from the earnings of workers in this category, for this purpose.

MEANING OF 'EARNINGS'

Under the Social Security (Collection of Contributions) Regulations, 1980, the word “earnings” means gross earnings including:

a. Overtime payments;
b. Cost of living bonus;
c. Allowances or payment in respect of dependents;
d. Long service or efficiency payments;
e. Commission on profits or sales;
f. Gratuities;
g. Production or incentive pay and service charges other than those paid once a year;
h. Payments in respect of dirty or dangerous work;
i. Payments in respect of shift or night work;
j. Amounts deducted from earnings under any law or contract of service in respect of free meals provided by the employer;
k. Any tax or other liabilities of the employed person paid by the employer on his or her behalf;
l. Holiday pay or other amounts set aside out of the employed person’s earnings to be paid to him/her periodically or as a lump sum.

Any problem concerning earnings is to be referred to the Social Security Board. The Board is empowered to give a final decision on such questions.

DEDUCTION OF CONTRIBUTION

On behalf of his or her workers, the employer finances a part of the contribution, and a portion is paid from the workers’ earnings. The employer is required to give employees a pay slip showing the Social Security deduction being made from their salaries.

REMITTANCE OF CONTRIBUTION

The total amount of contribution due in respect of all employees is to be paid at the Social Security Office. Contributions are to be paid no later than fourteen days after the end of the month for which the contributions are due. When the 14th falls on a weekend or on a public and bank holiday, the deadline for payment is on the first working day following the 14th, after which a penalty fee is applied.

MONTHLY CONTRIBUTIONS STATEMENT

Employers are required to submit to the Social Security Board “Statement of Contributions Paid” FIN 15A FORM (Revised 2003) showing the contributions paid in respect of each person employed during the month. Submit this statement with the contribution payments to the Board no later than the 14th of each month.

Complete information regarding the employees on the FIN 15A enables the Board to post all contributions paid on behalf of the employees for the relevant period; incomplete statements will not be accepted.


  • Incomplete statements may cause delay or disallowing of benefit claims made by employees. The Social Security number of employees MUST be provided to enable employees to get their benefits without problems. Social Security has the right to inspect employers’ records and premises to ensure that contributions are being made for all employees at the time and rate that they should be made.

  • Interest will be charged for late payment, at $1.00 per employee per week (or part thereof).

  • An employer who fails to pay contributions or to pay them within the prescribed time is guilty of an offense, and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $500.

    Failure to pay contribution within the prescribed time also makes the employer liable to be surcharged on all late contributions at the rate of $1.00 per week or part of a week for each employee for the period that the contribution remains outstanding. Assessed contributions accrue interest of ten percent per annum.


  • A contribution is payable in respect of any week or part of a week in which a person is employed. The employer is liable to pay the total contribution due, both his or her own share and the share deducted from the employed person’s salary.
DEDUCTION FROM EARNINGS

The employer has the right to recover the employed person’s share of the contribution but only by deduction from earnings at the time they are paid for the period for which the contribution is payable. If the employer fails to make such deduction at the time the earnings are paid, he or she has no right to recover the employee’s share at a later date.

The employer’s portion of the contribution is to be paid by the employer. An employer who recovers or attempts to recover the employer’s share of the contribution from the employee is guilty of an offense under the Act.

EMPLOYEE NOT RECEIVING REMUNERATION

Where an employed person performs work for which he/she does not receive any income, the employer is not entitled to recover from the employed person the latter’s share of the total contribution. Such employment must be notified to the Board, who will determine the amount of contribution payable having regard to earnings normally derived from similar employment.
CONTRIBUTIONS ERRONEOUSLY PAID

When a contribution has been paid in error, application for refund may be made to Social Security within 2 years from date of payment. Refund to the Employer is credited towards future payment.
RETIRED PERSONS 60 YEARS TO UNDER 65 YEARS

If a retired person who is 60 years or more but under 65 years continues working, a flat rate of $2.60 will be paid to Social Security by the employer only.


  • A contribution is payable for the whole of the contribution week in which a person attains 65 years. However, if the 65th birthday falls on a Monday, the regular contribution is not payable for that week. In the event that the person continues working, a flat rate of $2.60 per week will be paid by the employer only. The employee is then covered for Employment Injury and Prescribed Diseases only.
CONTRIBUTION DURING LEAVE (FROM WORK)

Contributions are payable for the period during which an employee is on holiday and receives remuneration, whether such remuneration is paid before, during, or after the holiday.
CONTRIBUTION DURING PERIOD OF INCAPACITY

Contribution is not payable in respect of any week -

a. In which an employed person does not work and receives no remuneration; or
b. For each week (Monday to Sunday) during which an employed person is receiving Injury Benefit, Sickness Benefit, or Maternity Allowance (periodical payment before and after childbirth) under the Social Security Scheme. During that period, the required contribution will be paid on behalf of the insured contributor by the Social Security Board.


  • The Social Security Board starts paying the Benefit from the first day of incapacity
WAGES PAID IN LIEU OF NOTICE

When wages are paid in lieu of notice, the employer is not liable for the payment of contribution for any week after the employment has come to an end.
LATE PAYMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS

Failure to pay contribution within the prescribed time also makes the employer liable to be surcharged on all late contributions at the rate of $1.00 per week or part of a week for each employee for the period that the contribution remains outstanding. Assessed contributions accrue interest of ten percent per annum.
ASSESSMENT

When the Inspector inspects an employer’s payroll and finds that contributions have not been paid or paid in full, an assessment will be raised and the late-interest charge levied. The amount due is to be paid immediately, or interest is levied at ten percent per annum (minimum $5.00) on the assessed contributions until the amount due is paid. After two weeks, if the assessed contributions are not paid legal action will be taken. The employer may visit the Social Security office and make a satisfactory arrangement to settle the amount due.
GARNISHMENT

The Social Security Board/Inspector may find out about amounts receivable by the employer from a third party. Instead of serving a summons on the employer, a Garnishment Order is served on the third party, the person or entity that is indebted to the employer, so that the said receivables may be paid to Social Security to cover the employers’ liability for contributions.

The Garnishment Order is issued in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 92 of 1994. The receipt issued by Social Security under this Instrument is a good and sufficient discharge of the original debt of the person or entity to the employer.

There are times when a summons must be served on a delinquent employer. Social Security provides the Revenue Court with the particulars of the delinquent employer, the court sets a date and the Inspector (designated Special Constable by the Commissioner of Police) serves the summons. On the date of the hearing of the case, the Inspector represents the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Board. (So far, Social Security has won 99 percent of its cases.) The employer accepts liability and promises to either pay in full or pay by installments. There are times when the court rules that the amount owed must be paid, or in default, distress action can be taken.

DISTRESS

Distress is usually action of last resort. In the Districts, a Police Officer accompanies the Inspector to the premises of the non-compliant Employer and “crow-foot” certain fixed assets if they are too large to move at the time of the visitation. This crow footing is a physical indication of the Board’s intent to confiscate the chosen items. The employer then has seven days in which to settle his pending contributions or the items will be auctioned.

In Belize City, the judgment is passed to the Court Bailiff. The Bailiff will remove the valuables from the employer’s premises and pass them to the premises of Social Security. If the employer does not settle within seven days, actions for auctioning are commenced by an auctioneer chosen by Social Security.

FINE ON CONVICTION

An employer who fails to pay contributions or to pay them within the prescribed time is guilty of an offense, and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $500.
HIRING OF EMPLOYEES

Statutory Instrument No. 106 of 1999, states that “an employer shall not employ a person who has not been registered under the Social Security Act.” “Employer” means any person who employs or any person(s) who employs on behalf of another.

An employer is required to maintain a payroll register showing in respect of each person employed by him or her -

(a) Full name, address and social security number;
(b) Date and amount of each payment of earnings; and
(c) Amount of weekly contribution deducted from earnings at each payment. (See Schedule of Contribution);
(d) Principal Employer and Immediate Supervisor;
(e) Accident Book;
(f) Pay slip to employees.

Where an employed person works under the general control and management of a person who is not his/her immediate employer, the former person (not the immediate employer) is treated as the principal employer and is responsible for the payment of the contribution.

FALSE STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION

Any person who for the purpose of obtaining any benefit or other payment under the Act, whether for himself/herself or for some other person, or for any other purpose connected with the Act, knowingly makes any false statement, is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Every employed person who suffers personal injury by accident is required to report any such accident to his/her employer before leaving the place of employment and in any case not later than forty-eight (48) hours after the accident. Every employer is required to keep an accident book in which all reported accidents are recorded. The accident book shows the particulars required by the Social Security Board, which are as follows:

PARTICULARS OF INJURED PERSON

1. Full name and home address;
2. Sex, age and social security number;
3. Occupation: work normally performed by the injured person;
4. Date on which employment commenced.


  • 5. Date, time and place of accident;
    6. Brief description of accident, including what exactly the injured person was doing at the time of the accident;
    7. Nature of injury;
    8. Name, occupation, address and signature of the person giving notice of the accident (the injured person himself/herself or some other person acting on his/her behalf);
    9. Date, signature and designation of person receiving the notice;
    10. Name, address and occupation of two witnesses to accident;
    11. Employer’s remarks, if any, on investigation;
    12. Date, signature and designation of person recording the accident, if different from that at “i” above.

  • Was the injured person traveling -

    13. As a passenger to or from his place of work;
    14. On the employer’s own transport with the expressed or implied permission of the employer; or
    15. On transport operated by some other person by whom it is provided in pursuance of arrangements made with the employer; or
    16. In vehicle etc., operated in the ordinary course of public transport.

INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENT BY EMPLOYER

The employer is required to investigate the circumstances of every accident. If there is any discrepancy between the circumstances found and those appearing from the notice given to him or her, he or she should also record the circumstances as he or she found them.
INFORMATION TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD

The Employer is required to give necessary particulars and information about the injured person and the accident to the Social Security Board. This stresses the importance of the Accident Book and the employer’s investigation.

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