POPI – We’ve Got You Covered

With rumours circulating of an effective date towards the end of the year, there’s been a lot of fuss lately around the Protection of Personal Information Act, otherwise known as POPI.

The basic idea behind POPI is the regulation of the processing of personal information. Personal information, broadly speaking, refers to any information regarding an identifiable natural or legal person, for example contact details, demographic information and private correspondence. Processing simply means anything done with personal information, including, but not limited to collection, storage, dissemination or destruction.

So what does this mean for you in terms of your payroll data?

As an employer, you will need to ensure that your employees’ personal information is processed in a manner consistent with the spirit and purport of POPI, meaning that it must be

  • processed with the employee’s knowledge and permission;
  • linked to a reasonable purpose – such as complying with tax and labour laws; and
  • carefully managed

At SimplePay, this was the case long before POPI, as the security of your sensitive payroll data has always been one of our greatest priorities. That’s why we have taken all of the steps reasonably possible to ensure that your and your employee’s data is securely stored and only accessed when necessary by those with the required permission to do so. This is done by means of SSL encryption, regular backups to two separate off-site locations and off-site data storage in an access controlled data centre.

For more detail on how we keep your data safe and your business POPI compliant, check out our Privacy Policy and Security Statement.

Improved Self-Service Leave Workflow

You may have noticed that the leave hierarchy has had a facelift. The interface is now cleaner, more intuitive and easier to use. But the improvements go far beyond aesthetics; the entire approval workflow has been updated to provide you with a simpler and more reliable experience.

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Multiple approvers. You asked, we listened – employees and approval groups can now submit leave requests to more than one approver. You can also decide whether only one or all of the assigned approvers must respond to requests.

Approval groups have replaced the old leave hierarchy and can be comprised of individual employees, specific pay points or even the entire company. Where employees are part of a higher level group i.e. pay point or company, and are subsequently assigned to a more specific group, this latest assignment will take precedence. New staff will automatically be assigned to the relevant approval group. This allows you to manage complex situations with ease.

For example, let’s say you initially create one approval group for the entire company but later decide that certain departments should have requests approved by their HOD, you can simply create new groups for each department without having to individually move each employee out of the old group and into the new one. And, when staff join or change departments, they will automatically be added to the correct approval group.

Administrators can now be leave approvers even if they are not employees.

Mappings, requests and comments preserved. We’ve brought it all across to ensure that you still have all of your info without any of the issues.

Constantly improving. We will soon be introducing the ability to add users as approvers only, whether they are employees or not. And, to ensure that you always have the best and simplest experience possible, the rest of the leave management is also being updated to be more customisable and user-friendly.

For more information on setting up approval groups, please see our help site.

And of course, as usual, we welcome any feedback or suggestions that you may have.


New Website Just Launched

“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.”

Henry Rollins

We have been working hard on a new website design to provide you with an even better SimplePay experience and are very excited to announce that it just went live!

Along with a sleek updated look, our website also has shiny new Terms of Service and an improved Privacy Policy – please ensure that you read these as continued use of the system will be deemed as acceptance thereof.

At SimplePay we deliver “Payroll that simply works” in a beautiful way and we hope that you have an enjoyable experience navigating the new site. As always, we welcome any comments or suggestions.

UIF Reform Postponed

In February, the Finance Minister announced a proposed reform that would see the UIF earnings cap reduced to R1000. This essentially means that no matter how much anyone earns, UIF deductions would only be calculated from a maximum amount of R1000.

In other words only 1% of R1000 would be deducted from an individual’s salary – R10! Added to that, should anyone earn below R1000 then only 1% of that pay would be reserved. Whereas currently for a person earning R5000, the UIF deducted would be R50. It is clear to see that this proposed plan would be favourable  to every employee and employer. Employers are also required to put up an equivalent UIF amount for each worker, thereby making the overall contribution 2%.

The minister faced opposition and a result this reform has now been postponed to provide time for further public consultation.

A new effective date has not been specified but it is unlikely to be any sooner than a year’s time.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

Kind regards


Updates in SimplePay for the 2015/2016 Tax Year

We are pleased to announce that SimplePay clients are once again some of the first to be informed of the relevant changes for the new tax year.   As from 01 March 2015, your payroll will automatically meet all the requirements for the 2015/2016 period, as announced in the 2015 Budget Speech on 25 February 2015.

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

As expected, that tax tables have changed with inflation, with tax rates increasing by 1 percentage point for individuals earning R181 901 and above.

  • 2015/2016 Tax Rates:
Taxable Income (R) Rate of Tax (R)
0 – 181 900 18% of taxable income
181 901 – 284 100 32 742 + 26% of taxable income above 181 900
284 101 – 393 200 59 314 + 31% of taxable income above 284 100
393 201 – 550 100 93 135 + 36% of taxable income above 393 200
550 101 – 701 300 149 619 + 39% of taxable income above 550 100
701 301 and above 208 587 + 41% of taxable income above 701 300

The primary rebate has increased from R12 726 to R13 257.

The tax threshold has also increased from R70 700 to R73 650

The medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:

  • The tax credit for the main member plus first dependent has increased from R257.00 to R270.00 per month.
  • For every additional dependent, the tax credit has increased from R172.00 to R181.00 per month.

The ‘tax free’ portion for subsistence allowance** has increased as follows:

  • The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R103.00 to R109.00.
  • The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R335.00 to R353.00.

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

If you have any questions relating to the above changes, you are welcome to contact SimplePay support to assist you with these queries.

The SimplePay Team

Employer filing season starts on 01 April 2014

Important date to remember!   The employer filing season for EMP501 submission starts on 01 April 2014 and will run until 30 May 2014.  SimplePay has done the updates to comply with the new [email protected] layout.  Changes you need to know:

– The new SIC (standard industrial classification) codes have been implemented.  You can now setup your company with your specific industry information.

How to do this setup:

In your payroll, go to settings and select the ‘Employer filing details’ option.  You will be required to fill in the company information required by SARS, as well as the new industry classification codes.  Important, your SIC code needs to be 5 digits!  But don’t worry, SimplePay has already done most of the work, you just need to select the correct options!

If you would like more assistance in setting up your SIC codes, and also a help guide to do your annual reconciliation and submission, follow the below link to visit the help section.

The SimplePay team.

Changes in SimplePay for the 2014/2015 tax year

We are pleased to announce that all SimplePay clients can now see what the changes are that have been made to SimplePay for the 2014/2015 financial year.  As from 01 March 2014, your payroll will automatically meet all the legislative requirements, as announced by Pravin Gordhan, the Finance Minister in South Africa.

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

– As expected, that tax tables have changed with inflation, and below you will see the tax table for the year ending 28 February 2015:

Taxable Income (R) Rate of Tax (R)
0-174 550 18% of taxable income
174 551 – 272 700 31 419 + 25% of taxable income above 174 550
272 701 – 377 450 55 957 + 30% of taxable income above 272 700
377 451 – 528 000 87 382 + 35% of taxable income above 377 450
528 001 – 673 100 140 074 + 38% of taxable income above 528 000
673 101 and above 195 212 + 40% of taxable income above 673 100


– The tax threshold has changed from R67 111-00 to R70 700-00.

– The medical aid tax credit has increased as follows:
* The tax credit for the main member plus first dependent has increased from R242-00 to R257-00 per month.
* For every additional dependent, the tax credit has increased from R162-00 to R172-00 per month.
It is important to note that employees 65 years and older will now also receive a tax credit on their medical aid. The medical tax credits amounts for employees who are 65 or older will be exactly the same as the tax credits for employees who are younger than 65.

– The ‘tax free’ portion for subsistence allowance has increased as follows:
* The allowance for incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R98-00 to R103-00.
* The allowance for meals and incidental costs within South Africa has changed from R319-00 to R335-00.
It is important to note that the subsistence allowance is only a guideline as provided by SARS, and is not enforced as per legislation.

– The OID limit has increased to R312 480-00 for the 2013/2014 year, and the 2014/2015 OID limit has been increased to R332 479-00.

If you have any questions to the changes that were made in legislation, you are welcome to contact SimplePay support to assist you with these queries.

The SimplePay Team

Employment Tax Incentive Functionality

We’re proud to announce we’ve now incorporated support for ETI (Employment Tax Incentive, a.k.a. Youth Wage Subsidy) in the system.  You can (and should) read more about it in the Employment Tax Incentive section of our online help.

If you’ve already submitted your EMP201 for January but have employees that qualify for ETI, we’d suggest submitting an amended EMP201.  If you’ve finalised the January EMP201, you should see a newer draft version on the Submissions tab, but only if the system calculated ETI for Jan.

Loads of New Features!

As usual, we’ve been hard at work adding new features to the system over the past few months, but haven’t gotten around to telling you about all of them yet. So, without further ado:

  • Improved Maternity Leave Function: A subtle improvement. Now, the employee can be re-instated without losing the historic status indicators on the UIF declarations. And the payslip date will automatically be moved forward to the first available date after returning to work.
  • Payroll admins can now approve leave requests: Previously, only another employee could approve leave. However, since in many companies the employee responsible for approving leave is also a payroll admin, this makes sense.
  • Better handling of paying out leave for weekly workers: After paying out multiple weeks of leave for a weekly worker (which is accomplished by overriding the end date of the payslip), the system will now default to the correct next payslip period corresponding to when the employee returns from leave.
  • Added Nedbank CSV EFT Format: Depending on how your internet banking is set up, this may be the preferred format for you to use.
  • Option to print residential address on payslips: Some clients asked for this so that employees can use payslips for proof of residence. This may or may not be acceptable depending on the institution requiring the proof.
  • Option to print pay point on payslip
  • Xero: Assigning pay points to Xero tracking categories
  • Custom deductions / contributions can now be calculated as a % of income

Please keep the suggestions coming. And as always, please contact us if you have any questions.