I got this question from a reader of the weekly Paymaster newsletter.

I have a situation here, whereby our employees were contacted telephonic by Medical aid with regard to joining their V programme. Many of the employees agreed to join and were advised by MA that there were in the interim supposed to advise their HR and Payroll personal of the deduction. Needless to say that the employees did not do this and when the company was billed their contributions reflected had been in arrears.

When the deduction was implemented on the payroll, the payroll department was advised by the employees that they were under the impression that only once they confirmed with payroll and HR then only will the membership be activated.

MA claims that there telesales is legally binding and that employees accepted to join V. Do we as a company still require a signed off document from our employees or do we implement the deduction as we are now bound to MA for their services.

Some thoughts:

The employee has agreed to the new product and there should be some form of notification to this effect to payroll, perhaps in a letter to the employee from MA with an attachment to sign and send to payroll. Alternatively this maybe in the agreement between you and MA that once they have informed you of what the employee has decided then you are obliged to deduct the contribution.

This may be an additional product and that the employee needs to sign a specific document for. Perhaps MA has a sample acceptance and authority to deduct form

What should you do?

1) Engage with MA about the arrears as this may lead to MA suspending certain benefits.

2) In fact, insist that this does not happen again. Get agreement that MA will not liaise directly with your staff but will always work through the broker or management. (or at least get permission)

3) Check your agreement with them or with your broker re access to your employees and tighten up those clauses. Ask your Broker to help in sorting this out

4) Get signed authority from the employees or signed “I have changed my mind forms”

5) Then implement once you have this sortedP