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SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION

A big step has been achieved by the Students debt Trust Fund (SLTF) in its efforts to guarantee student debt repayment. In a first for the SLTF, legal action has been taken against the first group of employers who have disregarded the Students Loan Trust Fund Act 2011 (Act 820)’s mandate to recover student debts from formal sector beneficiaries.

SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION
SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION

Employers are required by law to withhold loan repayments from the paychecks of workers who benefited from the student loan program and send the money to the Trust Fund, as stated in Section 24 of the Act. Following a complaint from the Fund, these employers have received summonses from the Ghana Police Criminal Investigations Department’s (CID) Financial Forensics Unit. According to our sources, eight institutions have already been given notice of this procedure, which requires them to come before the CID and provide justification for not being charged.

The Students Loan Trust Fund Act 2011, Act 820, gives the SLTF, a government institution, authority over student debts as a matter of public policy. The Trust Fund’s primary responsibility is to provide loans to qualified students to pay for their tuition, housing, and other educational costs and to collect those debts when they become due. Repayment, however, is now absolutely necessary to guarantee the fund’s viability and to provide for the financial needs of coming generations.

Section 24 of Act 820 imposes a statutory duty on employers that must be strictly complied with. Statutory duties, in contrast to contractual duties, do not require privity in order to fulfill any obligations that may arise from them. Stated differently, a legal responsibility can be carried out by the bearer without requiring them to be a signatory to a contract. As a result, employers in Ghana are able to deduct student loans for repayment reasons without having to sign a student loan contract.

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SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION
SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION

As previously mentioned, companies must withhold loan repayments from the paychecks of workers who received student loans and send these amounts to the Trust Fund. This has proved difficult, though, as some workers have been unable to fulfill their responsibilities due to non-compliance on the part of the employer.

As a result, the SLTF has made the decision to hold these employers legally responsible under Section 37 of Act 820, which states that in the event that an employer neglects to collect and send student loan repayments to the Fund, the employer will be held accountable, and any partners or directors of the company will also be held personally liable.

The SLTF has brought this legal action because some employers have not followed this law. These employers are not complying, and the Police CID has issued a lifeline to them, requesting that they comply or face legal action in the next several days. With this action, the Trust Fund is alerting other employers to the possibility of legal action should they persist in refusing to fulfill their obligation to remit student loan repayments.

“The non-compliance of employers in deducting and paying loans on behalf of their employees has been a longstanding issue that hinders our ability to sustain the fund to support students who are currently in school and future generations,” said Ms. Rosemary Aryee, the Deputy Director, Repayment and Resource Mobilization of the SLTF, during the process. As a last resort, we have chosen to pursue legal action to guarantee compliance.

 

The organization’s resolve to collect overdue debts and make sure the fund can continue to support Ghanaian students pursuing higher education financially was underlined by the CEO, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah. “In Ghana, the SLTF is essential to expanding access to postsecondary education. Holding employers responsible for their activities is part of our duty to safeguard the fund’s sustainability,” he stated.

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SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION
SLTF STARTS AN EMPLOYEE PROSECUTION

At this point in the proceedings, the names of the eight institutions that have received notices cannot be revealed, but the SLTF has stated that it is dedicated to making sure that employers in Ghana fulfill their responsibility of funding their employees’ higher education.

This action by the SLTF is regarded as a critical step in guaranteeing that the fund will continue to offer chances for future students to access higher education and in fostering a culture of accountability and responsibility among employers and their staff who have previously borrowed from the fund. Employers and former borrowers are urged to contact the Trust Fund for clarification if they have any worries or inquiries regarding their responsibilities to the SLTF. It is hoped that by implementing this program, loan repayments will rise and the SLTF will be able to carry out its objective of promoting educational progress in Ghana.

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