May 1, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Industrial Relations have rapped Afcon, an internet service provider, which they suspect may be evading the mandatory Le500,000 minimum wage to workers which came into effect in January this year.
During a meeting with the company at the Administrative Building in Parliament yesterday, the committee requested Afcon officials to avail to them a comprehensive database of their staff list and basic salaries paid to workers, proof of evidence of payment of NASSIT, PAYE and other taxes.
According to Hon. Alhassan Kamara, a member of the committee, the report presented to them by the company indicates that the salary for Web Master, Executive Accountant, Director of Finance and a cleaner, among others, is Le500,000, adding, “There should be difference in the salaries of workers as per their positions and responsibilities.”
Hon. Abdulai Sesay also expressed similar concern and averred that the company might have fixed the salary of workers in order to reduce the cost of NASSIT payment and other taxes.
But Afcon’s Business and Development Manager, Latilewa Robert, responded that they have been paying NASSIT for their staff members since they commenced operation, noting, “When we applied to NASSIT for our clearance, they told us to use the calculation on the basis of minimum wage per our contribution for 2014.”
He claimed that they have been paying 80% of their staff the minimum wage since 2014 with only those in the security section yet to benefit.
“Some of our employees are yet to fill the NASSIT forms with their respective names,” he said.
However, deputy chairman of the committee, Hon. Dauda Kallon, urged the internet service provider to comply with the laid down laws, especially the minimum wage, as failure to adhere to the policy would result to penalties.
The committee instructed the company to submit documents they had requested before the next hearing.