General workers at Macha Mission Hospital are waging a protest against management which they accuse of deducting 35 per cent of their meagre monthly salaries as contributions towards Pay as You Earn (PAYE).

But management says there is nothing wrong with the deductions as it is within the law.

The workers complained to News Diggers! yesterday that some of them were getting paid less than K1,000 making it illegal for management to deduct PAYE.

“Here at Macha [Mission] Hospital, management is deducting money from our salaries saying that, that money is going to ZRA Pay As You Earn (PAYE). Sometimes they deduct K300, sometimes K400, and sometimes K500. And then some of us are getting as low as K1500 and after they deduct, we get K1, 000 some remain with K900 and some K600. For those that are getting K600 after deductions, in there contracts its indicating that they are getting K900,” complained a worker who sought anonymity.

“We inquired and we were being told that the money which is being deducted goes to PAYE. So the money that reflects in the contracts is not what we get and when we inquired from the accounts, they told us that the money which is deducted goes to ZRA as Pay as You Earn contributions. But what we understand from government is that ZRA does not demand PAYE from employees who earn less that K3,000. So we don’t understand this explanation.

But when contacted, Hospital Accountant Chaamba Mwaanga said all part-time employees had to contribute 35 percent as “compliance fees for Pay as You Earn to the government”.

Mwaanga said there was nothing illegal with the deductions.

“We have people who are working but they do some piece work on a project .if they work on the project they are suppose to contribute for Pay as You Earn for compliance. But those who are full time don’t contribute because the threshold is there. But those are part time, they are not full time and they have contracts. So if somebody has issues with that and they want to blow if out of proposition, just come and check the contracts and also see the actual amounts that they are paid. Those that contribute to NAPSA are full time and if you check, those who contribute to NAPSA, they don’t pay Pay as You Earn at all,” said Mwaanga.

“But anyone who is deemed as part time worker because they can work anywhere where they will be given the threshold of less than K3, 300; then they will enjoy the tax free. So the ones that are charged PAYE are deemed as part time. We have a few part time and they are the ones that are charged PAYE and its just for the period that their contracts will work because they are more like [on] probation, after that, that is when they will be confirmed, that is in April 2018. We are audited, the auditors come to review this every time. So in terms of compliance there is nothing wrong. Its just that somebody does not understand things.”