Tax Notes: Employers should pay SS sickness, maternity benefits in advance

RECENTLY, the Social Security System (SSS) issued SSS Circular 2017–006, reminding all member-employers to fulfill their responsibility to provide timely social security benefits to member-employees unable to work due to sickness, injury, childbirth or miscarriage.

Sections 14 and 14-A of Republic Act 8282, also known as the Social Security Law, provide that:

a. Sickness benefit should be promptly given to qualified employees every regular pay day or on the 15th and last day of each month; and,

b. Maternity benefit shall be given in advance and in full amount to qualified employees within 30 days from filing of the maternity leave application.

Failure or refusal of the member-employer to advance such benefits to its qualified employees shall be punished by a fine amounting to P5,000 to P20,000 and or imprisonment for six years and one day to 12 years, at the discretion of the court pursuant to Section 28 (e) of the Social Security Law.

If the infraction is committed by an association, partnership, corporation or any other institution, the managing head, directors or partners shall be liable on the aforementioned penalties.

All sickness and maternity benefit reimbursements shall be remitted by the SSS to the member-employer’s designated bank, which in turn shall be credited to its enrolled savings or current account pursuant to SSS Circular 2012–008 and SSS Circular 2015–004. P&A Grant Thornton
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