TERS Phase 2: Non-Sectoral Claim Applications

In our previous blog post covering the COVID-19 TERS initiative, we introduced Phase 2 of the initiative and discussed the requirements for making an application for relief on behalf of an employee for the first period, under Claim Code 1. In today’s blog post, we will cover the process relating to claims under the remaining codes (2, 3 and 4), for which applications officially opened on 13 April 2021.

One of the notable highlights of the State of the Nation address earlier this year was the announcement of the extension of the COVID-19 TERS relief scheme from 16 October 2020 to 15 March 2021. This ‘Phase 2’ of the COVID-19 TERS relief scheme is split into two payment iterations which will focus on claims based on loss of income during two specific periods. 

  • The first period is between 16 October to 31 December 2020; and
  • The second period is between 1 January to 15 March 2021. 

Only claims for the first period are currently being accepted by the UIF and claims relating to the second period will be dealt with at a later date.

New Verification Requirements Added

In order to claim for an employee falling under Claim Code 2, 3 or 4 the TERS online portal will require you to complete a new two step verification process. A detailed explanation of each of these codes can be found here.

The verification process revolves around the requirements set out in the guideline on the submission of COVID-19 related health data from workplaces to the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH), which places the legal obligation on all employers to collect and report data on certain categories of employees to the NIOH. The UIF have decided to use the registration and submission of this data to the NIOH by the employer as a means of verification for the processing of non-sector based claims.

Employers who are not registered with the NIOH will be unable to proceed with a claim under Claim Code 2, 3 or 4..

To register with the NIOH you are directed to visit their website to complete the registration and employee declaration. At least 4 days should be allowed between receipt of your Business ID, upon successful registration, and returning to the TERS portal to lodge a claim.

Claim Process

  1. All claims will be lodged via the UIF online portal and, irrespective of claim code, you will be required to upload the following documents:
  • Signed approval / acceptance letter;
  • Bank Confirmation Letter (current);
  • Proof of payment to employees for previous benefits claimed & received for the prior period (e.g. EFT, payroll report, pay recon);
  • Refund to the UIF (if applicable); and
  • Letter of authority

(these are the same documents required for previous TERS applications)

  1. If you intend making a claim on behalf of an employee falling under Claim Code 2, 3 or 4 you will be required to complete the two step verification process:

Step 1: Verification of Employer Registration with NIOH

You will be asked to confirm (via dropdown) your registration with the NIOH and also that you have declared your affected employees.

Step 2: Verification of Employee Declaration with NIOH

You will be required to individually capture the details of each affected employee, whose ID/Passport/Asylum seeker number will be verified against those in the NIOH database.

Important Areas to Note When Applying

Lockdown Period

Benefits will be calculated by the amount of days claimed within the designated lockdown period, which is from 16 October 2020 to 31 December 2020. Any dates which do not fall within this range will not be accepted.

Monthly Salary

Regardless of the lockdown period being claimed (even if for the full two-and-a-half months’ lockdown period) you must only enter the normal monthly salary for the employee. DO NOT alter/extrapolate this value to meet the cumulative lockdown period.

Remuneration earned for hours worked (excluding leave income and advance)

Unlike monthly salary, this column must reflect the full lockdown period’s cumulative remuneration. The remuneration earned for the entire period must be stated but all advances, ex gratia payments, or income related to annual or other leave must be excluded.


Although Phase 2 of the COVID-19 TERS initiative is seen as an extension of the previous relief program, it is important to note the key differences in Phase 2 relating to who the benefit is actually aimed at. Each specified Claim Code has its own identifying factors and criteria which must be strictly adhered to. This undoubtedly limits the applicability of the initiative this time around and greatly reduces the potential beneficiaries of the relief.  

The UIF can be contacted directly on 0800 030 007 for general queries on this issue as well as the lodging of disputes relating to an application. Greater detail on the process can also be found in the UIF’s correspondence sent to employers. 

If you have any questions on how the information provided in this blog relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS Update: Appeals Process and Manual Bank Verification

Next week, on 6 April 2021, the UIF is due to open its appeals process for refused applications for the two extended TERS periods. (Read more about these periods here).

A common reason for applications being denied on the TERS portal is due to companies being registered with the wrong or no sector classification (SIC code). As eligibility is limited to certain sectors, a check is run against the SARS database. Unfortunately updating your SIC code with SARS will not fix this issue; instead the UIF has released an appeals process.

Appeals Process

If having received an error message, you believe this to be incorrect and that you are eligible to apply for the two TERS periods, the appeal process is as follows:

  • From 6 April, you can call the UIF hotline (0800 030 007) to lodge an appeal
  • The operator will verify your identity and send you a link to upload your appeal documents (see below).
  • Having uploaded your appeal documents, the UIF will review them and make a decision on your appeal.

The appeal documents are:

  • The Proforma (“COVID-19 TERS Extension – Motivation for Inclusion proforma” attached to UIF email, dated: 29 March 2021) – In this, you can detail why your business is part of one of the restricted sectors eligible for the extended periods, and how the COVID-19 regulations have affected your employees’ ability to work their normal hours. 
  • Supporting Documents – The proforma should be substantiated by supporting documents to show you practice in the SIC code stated. 

The UIF aims to make a decision and inform you of the result of your appeal within 5 working days. Thereafter you should be able to log onto the TERS portal within 72 hours to reapply. When you do this make sure you:

  1. Select the same business activity as you did previously; and
  2. Select “OTHER (APPROVED APPEALS)” on the main division sector.

The application should be the same as for previous periods and is detailed in this earlier blog post.

Bank Verification Process

The UIF has started reaching out by telephone to employers who have been unable to pass the automated bank verification process. If you have experienced such issues please stay vigilant for a call. 

To carry out the verification, the UIF will first ask you 5 security questions, before asking you to provide your latest bank confirmation letter (which must be dated within the last 3 months). This will be used to verify the following for comparison with the portal:

  • CIPC Number
  • Banking details
  • ID number
  • Trade Name

The UIF did not state in its letter how the confirmation letter is to be provided to them, but this should become clear when you are called. They anticipate a turnaround time of 14 working days.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on the above information you can contact the UIF on 0800 030 007. If you have any questions for SimplePay, you can reach us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well, stay safe and watch out for April fools jokes!

Team SimplePay

2021 ROE Submissions Are Due

It’s time for you to complete and submit your Return of Earnings (ROE) or W.As.8 to the Compensation Fund. This submission is a declaration of your employees’ earnings for the period 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 (the same as the tax year). In addition, you also need to provide projected earnings for the next year (1 March 2021 to 28 February 2022).

The deadline for this submission is 31 May 2021.

As always, SimplePay tries to make your life easier by automatically generating a report on the system that will help you to complete your W.As.8. Simply go to Submissions > OID (Workman’s Comp) Return to download the report.

The current 2020/2021 Return of Earnings threshold of R484 200 is already taken into account by SimplePay. Additionally, the Compensation Fund has published a new annual earnings threshold of R506 473 per annum for the 2021/2022 Return of Earnings (form W.As.8). We have updated our system to accommodate this.

More information about the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) Act can be found on our help site.

Please feel free to contact [email protected] if you need any assistance.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Bulk Leave Import

We’ve had several requests asking for a way for payroll administrators and leave admins to record leave in bulk and we’re delighted to let you know that this feature is now here! This means that there are now 3 ways for leave to be captured on the system:

  • Employees can request leave via self-service or our mobile app which then gets captured once approved by a leave approver.
  • Payroll administrators and leave admins can record leave for individual employees via an employee’s profile.
  • Payroll administrators and leave admins can download an Excel file, complete it with the relevant leave days and upload the file into SimplePay.

For more information on how to use this new feature, head to our help page.

We’re continuing our mission to revolutionise payroll, and in the process make SimplePay the preferred payroll software provider for small and medium sized businesses. We hope that with the additional method for recording leave, every user now has an option that meets their needs.

If you have any queries on how to use the system or any suggestions on how we can better serve your needs, please reach out to us.

Team SimplePay

2021 Employer Annual Reconciliation Filing Season

The 2021 Employer Annual Reconciliation filing season will soon be opening on 1 April 2021. You have until 31 May 2021 to submit your Annual Reconciliation Declaration (EMP501) for the period 1 March 2020 – 28 February 2021 to SARS.

SARS has warned that late submissions will result in a penalty of 1% of total annual PAYE being levied each month after May 2021 until the EMP501 is submitted (up to a maximum of 10%). This principle will no doubt be a permanent feature for the future and we can expect it to be applied to the August 2021 mid-year tax certificate submissions too. In addition, please remember that any employer who wilfully or negligently fails to submit a return to SARS is guilty of an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine or to imprisonment for a period of up to two years. This applies to EMP201’s as well as EMP501’s.

SimplePay automatically generates the IRP5s / IT3(a)s and EMP501 needed for year-end filing with SARS. These are available under the Filing section of the sidebar menu. Submissions of your EMP501 can be done via eFiling (for less than 50 employees) or the [email protected] application. You may need to update your [email protected] application to the latest version, 7.1.0. This can be done here. Please remember to back up your current information on your computer before installing a new version of [email protected]

For more information about the bi-annual filing process, refer to this help page. We also have a useful guide to take you through it step by step. The guide contains an important checklist which will help you eliminate unnecessary validation errors when trying to upload files to [email protected]

Please always check the status of submissions to ensure their EMP501 has been successfully filed at SARS.

As always, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Team SimplePay

COVID-19 TERS Phase 2 Claim Process

Update 19 March 2021: The UIF has released a Frequently Asked Questions Document on the two extended periods. To view it, click here.

Today’s blog post highlights the salient points from the UIF’s correspondence with employers on 3 March 2021 regarding the two new extension periods for Covid-19 TERS: 16 October to 31 December 2020, and 1 January to 31 March 2021. 

Who Can Claim?

Subject to falling within one of the relevant claim codes, the TERS benefit for the extended periods is available for any employees who are registered with the UIF as a contributor and who have not been able to work normally. Each of these elements are broken down below:

Registered with the UIF

This requirement stipulates that only employees who are registered to contribute to UIF are eligible for Covid-19 TERS payments. 

Have not been able to work normally

To be able to claim the benefits for the two extended periods, employees need to fall into one of the following four categories:

CategoryDescription
Claim Code 1Employees (on temporary lay-off or reduced working time) within those sectors that have not been able to operate due to regulatory restrictions as per directives issued. A list of these sectors is detailed in the table below – to verify your company’s eligibility, the UIF will require you to provide the relevant Sector Industry Class (SIC) for your business.
Claim Code 2Employees aged 60 and above, and who cannot be reasonably accommodated at work.
Claim Code 3Employees in isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of Covid19.
Claim Code 4Employees with co-morbidities and who cannot be reasonably accommodated at work.

Additional Info: Eligible Sectors for Claim Code 1

A list of the eligible sectors in Claim Code 1 is provided in the UIF’s correspondence on 3 March 2021, but is tabled below for your convenience:

  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Restaurants
  • Venues hosting auctions
  • Venues hosting professional sports
  • Night clubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Bars, taverns and shebeens
  • Public parks
  • Domestic and international air travel
  • Rail, bus services and taxi services
  • E-hailing services
  • Sale, dispensing and distributions, and transportation of liquor
  • Beaches, dams, rivers and lakes
  • Passenger ships
  • Venues where social events are held
  • Venues hosting concerts and live performances
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses
  • Conferencing, dining, entertainment and bar facilities
  • International sports, arts and cultural events
  • Professional services (cleaning and security) within regulated restricted sectors (e.g. hospitality)
  • Other services and activities within regulated restricted sectors (e.g. hospitality)

When to Apply

Applications for the 16 October to 31 December 2020 period are open for employees eligible for TERS under the first category (Claim Code 1). The UIF is still tweaking their system to accommodate applications for employees eligible for TERS under categories 2, 3 and 4; they will communicate as soon as the system is ready to accept these applications.

The UIF is not yet accepting TERS applications for the 1 January to 31 March 2021 period; the opening date for these applications will be announced in due course.

How To Claim

The application process remains the same as the first extension period.  Your applications need to be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Signed approval / acceptance letter (i.e. the Memorandum of Agreement or application, pre-signed by and for the UIF)
  • Bank Confirmation Letter (current)
  • Proof of payment to employees for previous benefits claimed and received for the prior period (e.g. EFT, payroll report, pay recon)
  • Refund to the UIF (if applicable)
  • Letter of authority

The claim for eligible employees can be captured either on the TERS online portal itself or by completing the spreadsheet template attached to the UIF’s email (also available to download here).

Unfortunately the CSV upload facility is not currently available for these applications, so it is of utmost importance that you ensure that the relevant information is captured correctly in the online portal or spreadsheet. 

To complete the application correctly, the UIF highlights the following critical data fields in particular:

FieldImportant Notes from the UIF
Monthly SalaryThis needs to be the employee’s regular monthly salary and should not be increased in line with the full application period
Remuneration Earned for Hours Worked (Yellow Column on Spreadsheet)This amount must reflect the full lockdown period’s cumulative remuneration, i.e. the amount you have paid your employee between 16 October and 31 December 2020 for the work they’ve done across this full lockdown period but not  payment of advances, leave entitlements or gifts.

Should you have any questions on any of the above, you can contact the UIF on 0800 030 007. Greater detail can also be found in the UIF’s correspondence sent to employers. 

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information provided relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Custom Beneficiaries

We’ve expanded our beneficiaries functionality so that you can add beneficiaries for custom items that are set up as benefits, deductions or employer contributions. This gives you more flexibility in tailoring the beneficiaries report for your needs, making any payments linked to payroll even easier.

To add a custom beneficiary:

  • Go to Settings > Beneficiaries and select Add under Custom Beneficiary
  • Enter the details for your beneficiary and click Save

Once you have added your custom beneficiary, you can link it to custom items as follows:

  • Go to Settings > Custom Items and select the custom item (or click Add to create one)
  • Tick the checkbox Link to beneficiary
  • Select the Beneficiary Type:
    • ‘Fixed’ should be selected if there is only one beneficiary for this custom item for all employees. You will then need to select the beneficiary from the dropdown list.
    • ‘Different on every employee’ should be selected if different employees have different beneficiaries for this custom item. If you select this option, the beneficiary will need to be specified when adding the custom item to the employee’s payslip.
  • Then click Save

For more information on setting up custom items, head to our help page here.

We hope you love this new feature and that it’ll make your payroll processing more efficient.

Team SimplePay

Budget Speech – 24 February 2021

As we enter the new tax year on 1 March, we’d like to remind you that there is no need to do a manual year end as in other payroll systems – simply continue processing payslips into the new tax year.

When you need to do your filing, the correct period will automatically be used and the relevant documents will be generated. For more information, please see our help site.

Our system will be up to date in time for next month in order to ensure that you are always compliant. We are pleased to inform you that from 1 March 2021, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2021 / 2022 period, as announced in the 2021 Budget Speech on 24 February 2021. If you are still processing payroll for the 2020 / 2021 tax year, the old tax tables will still be used, as you’d expect.

Here are some of the most important changes that you will see in your payroll for the coming year:

2021 / 2022 Tax Rates

The tax rates for individuals have remained the same as last year. However, government has increased the personal income tax brackets by 5% on average, which is above the rate of inflation (this being approximately 4%). In other words, all individual taxpayers will pay less income tax this year than in the previous year. 

Taxable Income (R)Rate of Tax (R)
1 – 216 20018% of taxable income
216 201 – 337 80038 916 + 26% of taxable income above 216 200
337 801 – 467 50070 532 + 31% of taxable income above 337 800
467 501 – 613 600110 739 + 36% of taxable income above 467 500
613 601 – 782 200163 335 + 39% of taxable income above 613 600
782 201 – 1 656 600229 089 + 41% of taxable income above 782 200
1 656 601 and above587 593 + 45% of taxable income above 1 656 600

All three categories of tax rebates (under 65 years old; 65 – 75 years old; and over 75) have increased by 5% from the previous year to the current year under the budget. 

The tax threshold has increased from R83 100 to R87 300, translating to the primary rebate increasing from R14 958 to R15 714. 

In addition to the primary rebate, the secondary rebate and tertiary rebates have been increased to R8 613 and R2 871 respectively. 

Medical Aid Tax Credit

The amount that can be deducted due to medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member and first dependant has increased from R319 to R332 per month.
  •  For every additional dependant, the tax credit has increased from R215 to R224 per month.

UIF Contributions

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contribution ceiling was announced to be increasing from R14 872,00 to R17 711,58 per month. UIF is calculated as 2% of an employee’s remuneration for UIF purposes, split equally between the employer and employee. Remuneration for UIF purposes is the employee’s remuneration, less certain exclusions such as commission. Under the budget speech, the maximum UIF contribution for each party is, therefore, R177,11 a month (R354,22 in total). 

Despite the announcement in the budget speech of this proposed change, for it to be effected, the alteration to the monthly UIF contribution limit needs to be published in the Government Gazette. Therefore, this change is not yet effective and shouldn’t be reflected on payroll.

The SimplePay Team has received confirmation from a reliable source that the UIF contribution ceiling change will be postponed. As such, we will continue to apply the original UIF contribution ceiling threshold of R14 872 until such a time as the increase has been confirmed to be effective. 

Subsistence Allowance

The ‘tax free’ portion of Subsistence Allowance* has remained unchanged at R139,00 for incidental costs within South Africa, and R452,00 for meals and incidental costs within South Africa.

*It is important to note that the subsistence allowance is only a guideline provided by SARS and is not legislated.

Travel Allowances

  • The rate per kilometre for reimbursive travel allowances remains unchanged at 398 cents (R3, 98).
  • The rates per kilometre which may be used in determining the allowable deduction for business travel against an allowance or advance where actual costs are not claimed, are outlined in the following SARS table:
Value of the vehicle (R)Fixed cost(R p.a.)Fuel cost(c/km)Maintenance cost(c/km)
0 – 95 00031 332105, 837, 4
95 001 – 190 00055 894118, 146, 8
190 001 – 285 00080 539128, 351, 6
285 001 – 380 000102 211138, 056, 4
380 001 – 475 000123 955147, 766, 2
475 001 – 570 000146 753169, 477, 8
570 001 – 665 000169 552175, 196, 6
665 001 and above169 552175, 196, 6

Non-Payroll Related

Section 12J Tax Incentive

The scheme, introduced in 2008 and which allowed taxpayers to invest in start-up companies in lieu of paying income tax, is set to expire on 30 June 2021. You can find more information on the rationale behind the winding up of this incentive on pages 48 and 49 of the budget speech

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information provided relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Revamped Preview Page for Bulk Finalising Payslips

We understand the importance of capturing payroll correctly. Many clients spend countless hours downloading and reviewing the PDF draft payslips for employees before finalising them. We thought that there has to be a better way to review payslip information in bulk! Introducing our new and improved bulk finalisation page.

This newly improved page allows you to use various toggles to show or hide additional payslip information so that you can focus on the information and figures that you want to see, whether this is simply the nett pay for each employee or more detailed information like payslip inputs or payslip values. The recent activity for payslips is now more clearly laid out, which is particularly useful to review if your payroll is prepared by multiple users.

For more information on the various aspects of this page, please refer to our help page here.

Just another way that the SimplePay team is working to improve payroll for you! 

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that makes you more efficient? Sign up for our free 30-day trial here and see just how simple payroll can be.

Team SimplePay

National Minimum Wage Increase

Our blog post today covers the recently Gazetted national minimum wage increases, due to come into force on 1 March 2021. The changes bring an increase in the minimum wage for both the sector-specific wages and the national minimum wage.

The minimum wages from 1 March will be as follows:

National Minimum WageR21.69
Farm Workers Minimum WageR21.69
Domestic Workers Minimum WageR19.09
Public Works Program Minimum WageR11.93

Please note also that the minimum wage for Learners has been increased by 4.5% across all NQF levels.

The minimum wages for farm and domestic workers have significantly increased in comparison to last year (see 2020’s blog post), reflecting the Government’s aim to equalise all minimum wages over time.

Should any of your employees be on or near the current minimum wage, you should increase their hourly rate to at least meet the above amounts from next month. This is particularly important if you are benefiting from ETI for those employees, as this is a requirement to qualify for the incentive and the penalties for breaching the rules are severe.

As you know, we like to make your payroll a breeze. If you want to quickly check all your employees’ wages in one go, simply navigate to:

  • Employees > Bulk Actions > Regular Inputs (under Payroll Inputs)
  • From the dropdown boxes, select “Basic Salary” and either “Hourly Paid” or “Salaried”
  • Your employees and their hourly rate / salaries will be listed for you to review and amend as you deem necessary.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay