• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Only 1% of companies have affiliated their employees with the INSS, according to a survey carried out in 2022


Mar 7, 2024

BUJUMBURA March 7th (ABP) – The INSS organized on Tuesday March 5, 2024, a workshop for discussions with social partners on worker rights, employer obligations and synergy work for the promotion of social protection.

In the context of social protection and affiliation to the INSS, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender, Mr. Pontien Hatungimana indicated that the State recommended that the INSS specify the number of employers working in Burundi. The INSS organized censuses across the entire country at the end of 2022 and at the beginning of 2023.

The results showed, according to him, that many employers do not send their employees’ contributions to the INSS.

To deal with that problem, Mr. Hatungimana said that the INSS organized awareness-raising activities for employers in October 2023, recommending that they affiliate and affiliate their employees. Despite that opinion, there were employers who did not want to follow the rule. As a result, Mr. Hatungimana warned employers, adding that strict measures will be taken in order to respect labor legislation and to properly protect the population in general and more particularly employees.

According to the president of the Employers’ Association of Burundi, Mr. Theodore Kamwenubusa, the results of the survey conducted by the INSS during the year 2022 are weak. The number of companies affiliated with the INSS is estimated at only 1%. If that estimate is correct, it is indisputable that the membership situation is extremely weak, he said. To that end, he asked the partners concerned to reflect on the causes and recovery strategies.

Concerning the affiliation strategy of companies, he indicated that their census is the first essential and essential step. Currently, he added, the INSS knows the number of companies to affiliate and their location. He congratulated the INSS services which carried out that activity. To carry out a good affiliation, the president of the said association indicated that it would first be necessary to further the knowledge of those companies and to group them according to their characteristics, the level of income, their regularity and sustainability.

According to him, for companies that do not have regular income or seasonal businesses, it is necessary to agree with them in advance on the terms of payment of contributions. And to affiliate well, you have to dialogue and convince.

                                                      View of the participants

In order to promote affiliation in the difficult economic context of Burundi, Mr. Kamwenubusa suggested that the INSS leave its offices where it peacefully waits for employees to arrive because they are obliged to apply the law. He added that small businesses ignore social legislation and particularly the social protection code. To do that, the INSS should organize information and awareness campaigns on the legislation and regulations governing social security.

Mr. Kamwenubusa did not fail to emphasize the need for the INSS to develop and improve the quality of services to employers and workers using its offices.

The director of services at the INSS, Jean Petit Ndikumasabo, in his presentation indicated that the dynamic currently developed by the INSS, in terms of the protection of workers’ rights, has accelerated following one of the recommendations of the 7th general assembly of the national social protection commission

held on December 20, 2022, which decided to ensure that all employers comply with labor legislation.

According to him, for the preparatory work, the first step was that relating to the development of a conceptual note relating to the production of the general census of employers in the structured sector to have a single definition of that sector. They considered a formal company to be one which has a taxpayer number, which pays taxes, which keeps written accounts within the meaning of the chart of accounts.

The census took two stages, the desk census where all ministries and state institutions provided data relating to formal sector employers for which they have data. They also carried out field censuses where all the district heads of Bujumbura City Hall were trained to carry out that work. The same goes for all CDS and municipal assistants in all municipalities in the country.

According to Mr. Ndikumasabo, the results of data from ministries and other institutions showed that foreign NGOs numbered 105, employers in commerce 133, cooperatives numbered 12,225, churches 812, trucks and vans 2973 etc.

In total, the data collected on the ground, in collaboration with the ministry in charge of territorial administration, which made its municipal staff available to the INSS, the Institute was able to identify 14,373 employers including 8,587 in Bujumbura city, and 5,786 inside the country.

He said that experience has shown that the protection of workers’ rights is almost impossible without the intervention of the territorial administration, the general labor inspectorate, employers’ organizations, workers and the media.

The Director General of the INSS, Mr. Emmanuel Miburo, asked for frank collaboration with the aim of protecting the population in general and employees in particular. He asked the media to always broadcast such programs, in order to raise awareness among the entire Burundians of the importance of adequate social protection.

The participants in that workshop recommended that the territorial administration provide its contribution so that employers working in all sectors of activity in its locality can affiliate their employers.

The General Labor Inspectorate, for its part, has been called upon to contribute effectively to the protection of workers and to employer organizations, to contribute to the identification of employers and to raising awareness of their obligations.

Workers’ organizations were recommended to raise workers’ awareness of their rights, and the media to promote the services of the INSS through their broadcasts.