New Feature: Bulk Assign Leave Policies

Happy new year! We hope that 2021 brings you new opportunities, improved performance and overall success in all your endeavours. As always, we’ll support you with an efficient and effective payroll system. We’re kicking off the new year with a brand new feature – you can now assign leave policies to employees in bulk.

SimplePay’s leave functionality allows you to set a company default leave policy for all employees that are added to the system. You can then assign a different leave policy to employees if they are not on the default policy. Being able to assign leave policies now in bulk saves you time if you have many employees who are not on the company default policy. It is also useful for companies who do not have a single company default policy, but rather separate policies per pay point or pay frequency.

Once you have created your leave policies, you can assign them in bulk as follows:

  • Go to Employees > Bulk Actions
  • Click on Entitlement Policies under the Leave heading
  • Use the filters to select only those employees that are part of a specific pay point or pay frequency
  • Use the drop-down menus to allocate the leave policies for each leave type for each employee on the page. If all employees on the page are on the same policy, use the Copy first value down option to save you time.
  • Click Save

It’s as simple as that. For more information on leave management and bulk leave actions, refer to the following pages:

Team SimplePay

2020 Year in Review and Price Increase Deferment

Like most individuals and companies, SimplePay entered the new decade armed with big dreams and extensive plans for the year that lay ahead. As COVID-19 swept across the world, we were forced to temporarily pause our plans and adapt to the new challenges thrown our way. But one thing has stayed constant throughout: our customers remain our top priority.

It’s with this in mind that we have decided to defer our usual annual inflation-linked price adjustment which is normally effective on 1 January each year. Inflation-linked price adjustments are unfortunately unavoidable, as our sustainability depends on us staying on top of rising costs. However, we recognise that many of you have been through undue hardships in 2020 and we hope that by delaying our price adjustment by a few months, we are able to provide additional relief during these difficult economic circumstances. We will notify you in advance of the effective date for our price adjustment.

As we look back on the year, our team pulled together like never before to ensure that you were equipped to process payroll despite the changing payroll landscape. We rapidly responded to add system functionality as the government introduced various COVID-19 relief efforts and had ever-changing requirements for these. In addition, we assigned a dedicated team to blogging and creating help site articles so that you had easy access to information as it unfolded, and we spent countless hours on phones and emails providing support. We hope that our efforts made this year a little bit easier for you.

Despite the unexpected challenges that we faced in 2020, the SimplePay team still managed to roll out some fantastic new features. Although not an exhaustive list, we’d like to highlight a few of them:

As this year draws to a close, we’d once again like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty, support and understanding throughout the year. We wish you all the best over the festive season and look forward to the positive opportunities that lie ahead in 2021.

Take care and stay safe

Team SimplePay

Password Protected Payslips Are Here!

Gone are the days of employees only being able to receive printed versions of their payslips. Accessing payslips is easier than ever before with our mobile app and self-service portal, and companies have the option of attaching payslips to the emails that are sent to employees when payslips are released to self-service.

We’ve recently seen an increase in requests for password protecting the payslips that are sent via email. Although an employee’s email inbox should be protected with a secure password, we understand that problems can arise where an incorrect email address is entered for an employee, or if an employee leaves their email inbox open and unattended. We took your concerns to heart and are delighted to announce that this feature is now available.

To enable passwords for payslips:

  • Go to Employees > Self-Service > Settings > General
  • Ensure that the checkbox for Attach payslips to emails on Self-Service release is selected
  • Select the Enable password protection for attached payslips (using employee identity numbers or birthdates checkbox
  • Click Save

All payslips sent via email will now be password protected. The password used will be the employee’s identity (ID) number, or where no ID number is available, their date of birth.

Please note that the password is based on the information available at the time of the email being sent. Therefore, changes to an employee’s ID number or date of birth will only impact payslips sent via email after the change and not historic ones.

We hope that this new feature gives you peace of mind over the security of payslip information.

To learn more about emailing payslips to employees, head to our help page here.

Not a SimplePay client? Surprised to hear that payslips can be accessed via a self-service portal and a mobile app? Sign up for our free 30-day trial here and see just how simple payroll can be!

Team SimplePay

Updated App: Version 2.0

As part of our vision to simplify and revolutionise payroll, we’ve focused on creating an enjoyable user experience and a payroll system that is easily accessible. The release of our mobile app in March this year meant that employees can now access their payroll from their phone at any time – they’re essentially carrying their payslips around with them wherever they go.

We’re happy to announce the release of Version 2.0 of the app, available to Android and iOS users. Version 2.0 includes more functionality which lets you:

  • Submit a leave request (employees)
  • View leave requests (employees and approvers)
  • Update leave requests with comments (employees and approvers)
  • Upload documents to leave requests (employees and approvers)
  • Approve or deny the request (approvers)
  • View leave balances (employees and approvers)

These updates to the app mean that processing leave is now even easier. Employees can log a sick leave request while in bed, or use their mobile phone to take photos of their medical certificate and upload it into the app. Approvers can then approve the request while sipping on their morning coffee.

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Not a SimplePay user but want your employees to have access to their payslips and leave from their phones? Unfortunately our app is only available to SimplePay users, but we offer a free 30-day trial for you to examine just how easy payroll can be with SimplePay. You can sign up for our trial here.

Team SimplePay

UI Tweaks for Profile Pages

We take our mission of simplifying payroll seriously! It’s why we believe that the small details matter. With that in mind, you may have noticed some slight changes to our user interface for profile pages, such as Companies, Billing and User Profile. These are the pages that you can access when clicking on the profile icon. 

We’ve made these changes so that you can more easily identify when you are working on your profile as opposed to within a specific company, eliminating any confusion around whether your changes will apply at a company or profile level. 

When working in a specific company, you’ll see the usual interface that you have come to know. When working on one of the profile pages, you’ll now see the following changes:

  • In the top left corner, you’ll now see the G-ref number for your profile or the page name, depending on which page you are on. The top bar has also changed to a darker colour to make it clear that you are working on the profile as a whole and not on a specific company.
  • The sidebar menu for the company that you were working in no longer appears. To return to the company, click on the link that says “Go back to <company name>” that appears in the top left corner next to the G-reference number of page name.

We hope you enjoy this small, but useful change to your user experience.

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll software provider that cares about your experience? SimplePay offers a free 30-day trial that allows you to see just how easy your payroll experience can be. You can sign up here.

Team SimplePay

Claims Request Expanded to Include Employee Hours Worked

Last month we brought you a new feature that allows employees to submit certain claims via the self-service portal (refer to our 6 August blog post). We have now expanded this functionality to include Basic Salary inputs for hourly paid employees.

Hourly paid employees can now submit their hours worked for the month*, which will then need to be approved by the approver for claims. Once approved, it will automatically be added to the next draft payslip for the employee.

As with all types of requests, employees and approvers can attach supporting documentation (in this instance, it may be a signed time sheet) or leave comments.

*Note: Payroll administrators will first need to allow Basic Salary inputs via self-service before this option is available to employees.

For more information on this functionality, refer to the following help article:

Employee Claim Requests

Not a SimplePay client? Our self-service portal allows employees to view payslips and tax certificates, update their personal information and submit leave and claims for payslip items. It’s one of the many features that makes payroll with SimplePay so easy. Not convinced? We offer a free 30 day trial that lets you try out our system to see if it suits your payroll needs. You can sign up for the trial here.

Team SimplePay

Huge ETI Update and Improvements

Managing Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) claims can be difficult and time-consuming. However, it can also be highly beneficial for many employers and is well worth taking advantage of where you can.

Over the years we’ve taken note of the difficulties faced by our clients and have used this feedback to improve our system and your experience. Our team has been hard at work to deliver a massive ETI update, which will greatly improve and simplify your ability to correctly claim ETI and includes the following changes:

Backdating: You can now set an effective date for an employee’s ETI that’s in the past. You can also do the same for other ETI settings, like minimum wage. This allows you to update your ETI setup so that your ETI on SimplePay matches your records ensuring that your current claims are correct. In some cases, it may even result in further claims for ETI.

More effective handling of under-claims: SARS has specific rules for how ETI under-claims should be handled. More info can be found on our help site, but in short, you are only allowed to claim for ETI that you under-claimed in the current bi-annual filing period. For example, we are currently in the 1 March to 31 August bi-annual filing period, therefore under-claims for periods before 1 March will be forfeited. Any under-claims for the current bi-annual filing period have to be claimed in the current month if the ETI is for a month whose EMP201 deadline has already passed. The system will now assist you in remaining compliant with this and with making these claims.

Better auditing: Seeing ETI values change on your EMP201s has often been a cause of confusion for our clients. Going forward, the system will allow you to track the source of such changes, providing a clearer audit trail and helping remove some of the stress and confusion around ETI.

Stay in sync with employee information: When correcting a setup error which impacts ETI, (such as changing an employee’s date of birth), you now have the ability to recalculate historic ETI immediately. This functionality gives you the ability to claim historic errors immediately, rather than having to wait until bi-annual filing. As always, we advise clients to be very cautious when entering information used for calculating ETI.

The following help articles provide more information on ETI and how it works (including the changes mentioned above):

Reminder:

It’s important to note that the August EMP201 is the last time you’ll be able to claim ETI under-claimed for the period March 2020 to July 2020. Any ETI for the current bi-annual filing period that was not claimed will have to be forfeited after the August EMP201.

Want to claim ETI but don’t have the right payroll software to help you? 

SimplePay clients love having a hassle-free payroll experience that keeps them compliant and keeps up to date with changes in the payroll landscape. Not convinced? We offer a 30 day free trial that lets you see just how easy payroll can be. You can find out more and sign up here.

Team SimplePay

Automatic Quote Generator

We consider ourselves fortunate to have grown steadily over the years without the need for extensive marketing campaigns. We’re truly grateful to you, our clients, for spreading the word on our product and the service that we offer. As people hear about us through word of mouth, the first question that usually gets asked is, “Ok, but how much does it cost?”.

We’ve always maintained transparent pricing through the fees graph on our pricing page and there are never any hidden fees – one monthly fee that gives you full access to all that we offer.

We’re now making the process of determining the cost even easier with the introduction of an automated quote generator. Prospective clients (and existing clients that are expanding) that would like a formal quote can get a PDF quote sent directly to their email inbox. This quote uses the same pricing from the pricing graph.

To use this feature, go to https://simplepay.co.za/request_quote, complete the details needed for the quote and click the Request Quote button. You’ll then receive the quote in your inbox within a few minutes.

Alternatively, you can navigate to this page by first going to https://simplepay.co.za/cost and then clicking on the link in the sentence “If you would prefer a formal quotation, we’ve made that simple too.”

It’s as simple as that!

Team SimplePay

PAYE vs Income Tax

You might have noticed that we’ve renamed ‘Tax’ on the system and on payslips to ‘Tax (PAYE)’. Tax is often used as a general term for the tax attached to a particular transaction. The term’s meaning therefore differs according to the context in which it is used, such as ‘sin’ tax in the tobacco industry or sugar tax in the soft drinks industry. In the context of payroll, tax refers to PAYE (Pay As You Earn). We’ve made the change to the label as a reminder that PAYE is distinctly different from income tax for individuals, even though they are related.

Income tax for individuals refers to the tax on your world-wide earnings, which can be divided into:

  • Tax on employment earnings, such as your salary, fringe benefits and allowances; and
  • Tax on non-employment earnings, such a rent income. 

PAYE is a method of collecting income tax that applies to your employment earnings. Amounts subject to PAYE are taxed at the time of payment on the payslip. Some employment earnings are not subject to PAYE and the income tax on these is only payable on assessment* e.g. subsistence allowances where the amount is above the prescribed rate. 

Non-employment earnings are collected via provisional tax payments** and on assessment*.

*Tax on assessment refers to the tax due after an individual submits their income tax return (ITR12) annually to SARS (usually via SARS eFiling). The tax due on assessment is the difference between the income tax calculated for the individual for the year and the amounts that they’ve paid throughout the year via PAYE and provisional tax**.

**Provisional tax refers to payments made directly to SARS after registering and filing for provisional tax on eFiling. You can read more about provisional tax on this SARS webpage.

All of the above can be shown illustrated as follows:

Please note that SimplePay only assists with the calculation of PAYE and not any of the other income tax collection methods. However, to reduce the amount payable on assessment, employees can opt to pay additional income tax via PAYE. This is done via the Voluntary Tax Over-deduction system item – this is only allowed if there is an agreement between the employee and the employer. More information on Voluntary Tax Over-deductions is available on our help page here.


Not a SimplePay user but want a system that easily calculates your employee’s PAYE and helps you prepare their payslip? SimplePay takes the hassle out of payroll. We offer a 30 day free trial that allows you to explore the system and see just how easy and stress-free payroll can be. To find out more or to sign up for a trial, click here.

Team SimplePay

Compassionate Leave is now Family Responsibility Leave on SimplePay

Since our inception, we’ve been using the global term ‘Compassionate Leave’ to represent short-term leave taken by employees when a close family member is ill or passes away. This leave type is also referred to as Bereavement Leave in some countries, while South African legislation has called it ‘Family Responsibility Leave’ since 1997 (although Compassionate Leave and Family Responsibility Leave are often still used interchangeably in practice).

Due to increasing queries on the subject, we’re clearing up any confusion by bringing our labelling in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. After all, local is lekker. Compassionate Leave is therefore now labelled as Family Responsibility Leave. Admins can expect to see this change on the system, in reports and on payslips, while employees can expect to see the changes on payslips and in the self-service portal.

Don’t worry, this change does not impact leave balances, leave entitlement or any other aspect of how leave is calculated. As always, SimplePay takes the hassle out of system updates as all changes have automatically been applied to the system. All you need to do is sit back and remember the new lingo on the system.

If you’re an admin user and want more information on Family Responsibility Leave, head to our help article here

Not a SimplePay client but want to record Family Responsibility with ease? SimplePay takes the hassle out of payroll and leave management. We offer a 30 day free trial that allows you to explore the system and see just how easy and stress-free payroll can be. To find out more or to sign up for a trial, click here

Team SimplePay