FSWS employees still have NI contributions missing – in this case 2005 and 2006.

Around 200 FSWS employees are still with part of their social security contributions missing even though last October the government had assured these workers that the matter would be resolved, and they had nothing to worry about. 

Four months down the line it transpires that the affected employees of the Foundation of Social Welfare Services are still in hot water, as their missing contributions have not been rectified.  According to preliminary calculations made by the State entity itself, an estimated €10 million in social security contributions have been found missing even though this amount had been deducted from their salary. Originally the number of affected employees was around 400, but around half of them had their situation rectified after presenting their old payslips. However, those not in possession of the payslip they had received all those years ago are still with their contributions missing. According to FSWS, they account to around 200 employees.

The matter is of huge concern as the affected employees might receive a lower pension then they are entitled to and may even be penalised in terms of their sickness benefit allowance.

Following this scandal which had been broken by Voice of the Workers Weekly, FSWS

board chairperson Joe Gerada had “suspended himself”. Meanwhile, the Social Policy Ministry had launched an inquiry headed by retired judge Antonio Mizzi. The full composition of this board was never divulged. At the time the Social Policy Ministry which is politically responsible for this Foundation had insisted employees would not be negatively impacted as “adjustments were being made” by the Social Security Department to rectify the situation.

However, this portal has been approached by affected employees who expressed their disappointment that government’s promises have not yet materialised. “This is of concern as we fear that the issue may drag on for years,” some of the workers remarked.

Contacted by Voice of the Workers Weekly, the Social Policy Ministry gave no details whatsoever when asked what steps had been taken in this regard but pointed out that the situation of the employees regarding their Social Security contributions was “never prejudiced”. In reality, however, this may only be said once this situation is rectified.

As for the terms of reference of the investigation, and the decision whether the findings shall be published or not the ministry was non-committal.  “Proceedings are still ongoing and we are awaiting that such proceedings are concluded in the coming weeks. The investigation board is headed by an ex-Judge and it regulates its own procedures,” the spokeswoman said.