Update on TERS May Applications and June Applications Now Live

You may have noticed it’s been a while since we have had a blog with the word TERS in the title. This is a good thing! This is a reflection of how the process has been streamlined and clarified through the hard work of the UIF. This blog therefore aims to provide a consolidatory recap on some of the questions which remained outstanding since our last blog on TERS.

Application Process for May

As we’re sure you are aware, the application process for May is much the same as the process was for April, being made via the online portal at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19

The Department of Employment and Labour has released a TERS May 2020 Applications – Application Guide (Application Guide), which provides you with a step by step guide on how to Apply for May. Additionally there is an attached FAQ for common problems experienced during the process.

Applicants Reapplying in May, Having Received TERS Benefits for April

If you are reapplying for TERS benefits for your employees, having received TERS benefits for them for April, you simply need to follow the instructions laid out in the Application Guide (linked above).

One point to note is that in step 7 of the guide, if you select Yes to both questions one and two, then the system will re-submit your application for April (but with the altered date range). This can lead to errors. Even if you think the above is correct, we would advise you to submit a new application and attach a new CSV, lessening the chance of errors.

Having uploaded your new CSV, you can submit and that’s it! your application is filed!

Applicants Reapplying in May, Having Not Received TERS Benefits for April

Although the UIF has made significant inroads into the backlog of April Applications, there are still a limited number of unpaid applicants. If you have not received any payment for any of your employees for April, the last FAQ in the  Application Guide would suggest that you nonetheless can apply. Unfortunately, it is not stated what you should put in place of the proof of payment to employees, under step 6 of the Application Guide. We would imagine that, similar to entities applying for the first time in May, you can substitute proof of payment with a letter in the format prescribed in step 6. We would though recommend you verify this with the TERS call centre on 0800 030 007.

If some of your employees have received TERS benefits in April, but you are still awaiting payment for some, you can continue to apply for all of the employees for May. When the employees who are yet to receive TERS payments, do get payment, proof of payment can be sent to [email protected].

Points of Note for Applicants in Non-standard Situations

Applicants Applying in May for the First Time

Note: You will first need to register. This can be done at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/, by clicking on Register. The steps which should be followed are the same as in the Application Guide, save for what’s mentioned below.

At the opening of May Applications, employers wanting to apply for the first time in May encountered the problem that they were unable to provide proof of payment of benefits for April (Step 6 of the Application Guide).

The UIF has now put forward a solution. Employers who have not applied for April relief must attach a signed letter, on a company letterhead, confirming that they did not apply in April. This needs to be signed by the director or CFO of the company and attached in PDF format under “Signed Proof of Acceptance Letter”.

In step 7 you should select No to both questions and the shutdown date range should reflect the date range your operations were totally or partially closed for this period. After clicking PROCEED, you can fill in the staff for which you wish to claim. SimplePay provides a TERS CSV download, saving you the arduous task of inputting all employees manually. More information can be found on our related help page, linked here.

Extra Info

Advance Payments – Setting Off 

Due to the quantity of applications and number of possible reasons for delay, it is likely that TERS benefits are not always released to employees in timely, periodic instalments. This can clearly create all manner of difficulties for your employees.

To address this issue, if employers are able, they can advance money less than or equal to the TERS benefit amount to their employees, then set off this money when the TERS benefits are disbursed. The same principle applies for if it was agreed between the employer and employee that they would take annual leave, the sums the employer paid can be set off, provided the employee regains their leave entitlement.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].

TERS Applications for the Month of June

The UIF has announced that TERS applications for June are now open. To date there have been no new documents released for June applications, so we assume that the information provided above for May is also relevant to June applications. If you wish to verify this, we would recommend contacting the COVID-19 TERS hotline on 0800 030 007.

Keep well and stay safe,

Team SimplePay

New Feature: End Service Checklist

You asked us for a way to help you remember to capture the necessary payslip items associated with employee terminations, and we’ve been listening. Introducing our newest feature: the End Service Checklist.

When ending an employee’s service on the system, there will now be a pop up if the employee:

  • has a positive leave balance that you need to pay out
  • has a savings balance that you need to pay out 
  • has a loan balance that still needs to be paid

If you are capturing the termination and the employee only has the last payslip as a draft (i.e. prior payslips have been finalised), you can click on each item in the checklist to open the system item where action is needed.

More information on these topics can be found in the following help articles:

Please note: Expansion of this feature is in our pipeline. At this stage, this new checklist only works for:

  • employees terminated individually, not in bulk.
  • positive balances (i.e. if an employee’s leave balance is a negative, then it will not appear on the checklist).

We hope this new feature is everything that you imagined it would be, and more!

If you need assistance with any of these payslip items, please contact us.

Team SimplePay

Improved Functionality for Deleting Leave Requests

At SimplePay, we believe in continuous improvement and are therefore committed to refining and enhancing the system to better suit your needs. With that in mind, we have made tweaks to our leave functionality to improve the deleting of leave requests. We’d like to highlight some of these changes:

  • In addition to payroll administrators and leave admins, previously approved leave requests can now also be deleted by any leave approver that is part of the employee’s approval group.
  • Where the payslip for the period when the leave dates occurred is unfinalised, the leave request will immediately be deleted in its entirety when clicking on Delete
  • Leave requests with leave dates that fall during a pay period with finalised payslips will result in the opening of a new screen when clicking on Delete. From this screen, you can
    • see which of the leave days cannot be deleted as they impact the pay on a finalised payslip, and which of them can be deleted;
    • directly open the payslip where the nett pay is impacted by the leave, if you have administrator rights in addition to being a leave approver; 
    • opt to delete leave in its entirety (the default) or superficially*.

*The Retain these leave dates? checkbox is used to indicate whether leave should be deleted in its entirety or superficially. If you leave the option unchecked, the leave request will be deleted in its entirety (the leave request will be deleted, the leave days will be removed from the calendar and the leave days will be added back to the employee’s leave balance). If you select the checkbox, the leave request will be deleted superficially (only the actual request will be deleted, but the leave will remain recorded in the leave calendar and the leave balance will still take into account the leave days recorded).

You can read more about deleting leave on our help page here.

We hope these improvements provide more useful information and a more enjoyable user experience. 

If you require any assistance, please reach out to our Support team here.

Team SimplePay

Expanded Functionality: Download Responses to Electronic UIF Submissions

In our blog on 18 May, we informed you that in addition to our email confirming UIF submissions, we had added new functionality where you could download your submitted file. In order to keep you in the loop with UIF communications, whilst saving you the hassle of having to go through the UIF submission process, we have enhanced our UIF submission functionality. SimplePay now allows the downloading of both monthly submissions and responses from the UIF on one page. 

To reiterate, whilst these files may not be useful for payroll administration purposes, they will provide records of the file submitted and the response from the UIF.

To locate and download the files:

  1. Go to Filing
  2. In the UIF Declaration section for the relevant month, click Submit
  3. After submission, click on awaiting_response. This will open up a new pop-up, from which you can download your submission file.
  1. When SimplePay receives a response from the UIF, the status will either change to confirmed or error.
  2. Click on confirmed or error to obtain more information on your submission.
  3. As was the case in step 3, you can download your submission by clicking on the icon under Submission. You can download the UIF’s response to your application by clicking on the icon under Response.

In the case of confirmed applications, the icon for downloading the UIF’s responses are shown below:

In addition to being able to download the submission file and response, submissions with an “error” response also provide insight into the reason for the error. This can be viewed by hovering over the blue question mark to the right of the failure status:

More information on UIF submissions, submissions for foreign employees and re-submissions can be found on our help page.

Please note: Should you need to open these files, you will need to rename the file to include “.csv” at the end (and remove the abbreviation for the current file format). This will allow you to view the file in Excel, Google Sheets or another spreadsheet application.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you require any assistance regarding this functionality, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team at [email protected].

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: UIF, SDL and Retirement Deduction Traces

In our blog post on 5 June, we announced a new ETI trace, which shows the ETI calculation for each employee. Today, we are happy to announce that we have also created traces for the UIF, SDL and Retirement Deduction calculations.

To view these traces, go to an employee’s profile, click on More  next to Preview to  open the web view of the payslip that you are on.

Click on any of the following to open the trace for that payslip item:

  • UIF – employee (new)
  • UIF – employer (new)
  • SDL – employer* (new)
  • Retirement deduction (new)
  • Tax (existing)

When you open the UIF trace, you will then be able to click on Income Subject to UIF to view how the income used in the UIF calculation was determined.

Similarly, when you open the SDL trace, you will be able to click on Income Subject to SDL.

*Reminder: the government has provided an SDL holiday until the end of August. The SDL trace will therefore only be available for payslips after August.

We hope these new features help you to answer some of the questions that you may have on how these payslip items are calculated, so that you can more easily check your payroll and also answer questions that employees may have.

If you need any assistance with these new features, please reach out to our support team.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: ETI Breakdown and ETI Trace

Despite the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue our commitment to giving you the best payroll experience. Our team have been hard at work to bring you a web view of EMP201, an ETI breakdown and an ETI trace:

You can now see the information contained in the monthly EMP201s without opening the PDF version of the document. To do this, go to Filing > Monthly Submissions and click on Web in the EMP201 section.

The EMP201 for the month will be opened, showing you a breakdown of the EMP201 figures. You can now see more details for ETI by clicking on the amount next to ETI Calculated.

This will give you a breakdown of the ETI calculated for each employee:

You can then click on the amount next to an employee’s name to see a the ETI Trace, which shows how the ETI for that employee is calculated.

If there is no ETI calculated for the employee, the ETI trace will also show you if the employee has not been enabled for ETI, if they do not meet certain criteria, or if their earnings fell above the ETI threshold.

Pretty cool, right? We hope you love these new features.

If you have any queries regarding the new feature or the information that it contains, reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

Reminder of ETI Minimum Wage Changes for May to July 2020

This is an important reminder that ETI should only be claimed if your employees earn at least the higher of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) applicable to them, or the wage specified by a wage regulating measure (e.g. a sectoral determination), if applicable.

During this time of crisis, more employers than ever are availing of the ETI scheme to help their finances. It is important to get it right, because the penalties can be steep.

You should only enable ETI for employees if you are sure they meet the higher of your sector’s wage regulating measure or the NMW. If your employees are working fewer hours than normal, but still meet the requirement per hour, it’s fine to claim ETI. If they are now earning less per hour than the minimum wage, ETI should not be claimed. Alternatively, if there is a single minimum wage applicable to all your employees, entering it under ETI settings will enable the system to automatically calculate 0 ETI for employees who do not qualify.

If you have not yet done so, you can update your ETI settings as described in this this section of our ETI help article. You can also find more on the COVID-19 ETI in this help article.

Please note that May’s payslips need to be unfinalised in order to effect the minimum wage change for May (if you had not already done so). We generally do not recommend unfinalising payslips as this can cause significant variances if regular items have been changed. Therefore, it is recommended that you take caution when doing this – ensure that you have saved a copy of all payslips, as well as the transaction history report for the period before unfinalising the payslips. You will then need to reconcile your new finalised payslips against the saved payslips used to pay employees.

It is important to note that there were minimum wage changes on 1 March 2020, as mentioned in this blog post.

If you have successfully applied for exemption from the NMW, and also do not have a minimum specified by a wage regulating measure, a minimum wage of R2000 per month could previously be used. However, effective 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020, such employers no longer qualify for ETI at all.

New Feature: Show More Payslip Info

When capturing payroll from an employee’s profile, our approach has always been to display only the payslip items that impact nett pay directly. This makes it easier to view exactly what impact (if any) the payslip item has on the salary or wage that the employee actually receives.

To view other payslip items, like statutory employer contributions or fringe benefits, you can click on the Preview link to view the employee’s payslip. We are now delighted to introduce a new feature that allows you view these other payslip items without opening the payslip. Clicking on More next to the Preview link will display all the payslip items from the payslip on the screen.

On the left hand side of the screen, you will see all the items that appear in the payslip section that are used to calculate nett pay. On the right hand side, you will see the other payslip items that do not impact nett pay directly (i.e. they are not directly added or subtracted to get the nett pay – however, they could impact the nett pay indirectly by influencing the tax calculation, which impacts nett pay).

We hope this new feature for viewing payslips faster makes payroll even simpler.

Team SimplePay

Additional COVID-19 ETI Changes

In a previous blog post, we informed you of additional ETI as a COVID-19 relief measure. The revised Disaster Management Tax Relief bills have given rise to some changes:

  • The ETI claimable for those in the R0 – R1 999.99 bracket has changed, retrospectively effective from 1 April 2020.
  • Employees with an appointment date before 1 October 2013 are now eligible for the Additional ETI, retrospectively effective from 1 April 2020.
  • As with normal ETI, remuneration should be grossed up and additional ETI for April should be grossed down proportionately if an employee is employed for less than 160 hours per month. This grossing up of remuneration and grossing down of ETI no longer applies, effective 1 May 2020.
*The ETI amount changed for this bracket
** The employee’s wage must not be less than the higher of the minimum wage specified by a wage regulating measure and by the National Minimum Wage Act. This will need to be configured under Settings > Payroll Calculations > ETI.

SimplePay has implemented these changes to the system and automatically applied it to all payslips for April (even finalised ones). Therefore, all you need to do is:

  • Finalise the new EMP201 that is automatically generated by the system
  • Submit the new EMP201 information to SARS

Please also note:

  • The additional ETI is applicable until 31 July 2020
  • To qualify for the additional ETI, the employer must have been registered for PAYE after 25 March 2020
  • Employers that are not subject to a wage regulating measure AND that are exempt from the National Minimum Wage Act are not eligible from the additional ETI benefits for May – July 2020.

For more information, head to our help pages:

If you need further assistance, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

New: Foreign Employees Notification

In our blog post on 27 May 2020 we informed you that the Department of Labour and UIF now recommend that declarations for foreign employees be captured on uFiling. SimplePay has now introduced a new notification for foreign employees. When clicking on Submit for a finalised UIF Declaration, the confirmation screen will include an alert for the number of foreign employees included in the UIF Declaration being submitted. You can then log into uFiling and complete the declaration for those foreign employees.

For more information on UIF Declarations, head to our help page here.

If you require further assistance, feel free to contact us.

Team SimplePay