Mondays In Month
The time has come again when we would like to remind all employers and self-employed persons about an important Social Security matter that will impact on how you calculate your contributions for the month. In this case we are focusing on the FIVE Monday Scenario.
By now we are all familiar with the well learned fact that a month has in four weeks. However, for the purposes of Social Security only, we have had to learn something new and interesting; and that is: that while some months may have in the usual four weeks, some months in fact have five weeks. Now you may well ask: “How so?”
You see, the Social Security system acknowledges the number of weeks in a month by the number of Mondays in the month. Some months have four Mondays and others have five Mondays.
As an employer or a self employed person, you would need to check each month carefully before you complete the required contribution forms and report the number of weeks in accordance with the number of Mondays in the given month. As a matter of fact, the calendars distributed by the Social Security Board each year, are very helpful in this regard, because all of the Mondays in the various months are highlighted, so you can easily determine the number of Mondays in the month and therefore the number of weeks for which you have to report.
Why is this so important? The Social Security system requires contribution payments from Employers on behalf of their employees and Self employed persons on their own behalf. Having paid these contributions employees and Self employed persons may be entitled to certain benefits e.g. sickness, maternity, survivors etc. In order for proper calculations of these benefits to be done, it is essential that the information received be accurate. In other words, if you reported for four weeks in a month–let’s say August 2005 and the person had worked the full month, the information would be incomplete and therefore inaccurate, as there were five Mondays in the month of August 2005; and therefore five weeks which needed to be reported for. If the correct number weeks is reported at the outset, this would cut down on time wastage in paying some benefits. Why? Because when inaccurate information appears in your records, Social Security Officers have to be calling back and forth to employers and self-employed persons to get the matter corrected as soon as possible. In fact, the person’s claim may be disallowed if they fail to qualify for the specific number of weeks required for qualification purposes for the particular benefit. Reporting the wrong number of weeks could also amount to under reporting by the Employer or Self employed person and can well result in fines being added when the discrepancy is revealed.
Let us just mention quickly now what is entailed when Employers in particular complete the payment form. Of course, as an employer, if you follow the guidelines on the back of the reporting form, you should not encounter any difficulties.
The contribution form has some items enumerated in columns, but if we look at columns 6a and 6b that form allows you to indicate the number of weeks worked. There is a guide note that actually says “ Put X in the weeks worked or weeks for which holiday /other pay was made”. It is extremely important that an X be placed in the week/s that the individual worked. These are crucial towards determining qualifications for benefits. If there are five Mondays in the month—hence five weeks and the individual worked every week in the month, you should place an X in the column representing all five weeks. Now if the individual only worked for two out of the five weeks, you only place ‘Xes’ in the columns for the two weeks worked.
The same applies for the Self employed person who has to make similar reports in his/her Self-employed payment booklet. You place an X in the specific weeks worked. Just as a reminder: Some months have 5 Mondays: hence 5 weeks. You will come across between 4 and 5 such months in any given year. So please be on the look out for them. We look forward to your cooperation in paying special attention to the need to report accurately as far as this is concerned.