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

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

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

New Pay Frequency: Every 4 Weeks

We’re excited to announce the release of a new pay frequency. In addition to weekly, monthly, bi-weekly and twice a month pay frequencies, you can now also set up pay frequencies with four week cycles. There is no additional charge for the extra functionality and it is automatically available to you.

Employees on this pay frequency will have 13 regular payslips per year, calculated as 52 weeks divided by 4 weeks. As always, SimplePay has one monthly fee and doesn’t charge for the number of payslips that are generated as a result of the pay frequency.

Remember that where employees accrue leave, their accrual per period (the accrual that appears on each payslip) is calculated as Entitlement per cycle / number of pay periods per cycle. Therefore, employees on an annual leave cycle will accrue leave according to the following formula: Annual leave entitlement / 13

If you’d like to use this pay frequency, you can set it up by following the steps in this help article. If you get stuck and need further assistance, or if you have any other queries, please get in touch with our Support team.

Not a SimplePay client but looking for a payroll software provider that cares about your needs, one that listens and takes action, one that doesn’t bill you with unnecessary charges? Find out more about us on our home page or sign up for a free trial.

Team SimplePay

SARS’ SMME Feedback Survey

Is your business a Small, Medium or Micro Enterprise (SMME)? We write to you today about an opportunity for you to give input on any tax related pain points or bottlenecks that you’ve experienced.

SARS is currently performing a study on the effectiveness of the current tax legislation, policies and incentives from the point of view of SMMEs, in order to help influence future legislative changes.

If you would like to complete a survey in relation to this, you can do so by following this link.

SARS has given assurances that the survey is confidential. For any enquiries or feedback, they have also provided this number: 082 4667105.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Payslips Export

Being a SimplePay client means that you’re used to the benefits of a simple and efficient payroll system. But we’re always looking at ways to make your job even easier and faster. We heard your cries for a quicker way to download multiples payslips for an employee and are happy to announce that this is now available.

Our new Payslips Export report allows you to download a ZIP file with all the payslips within a specific date range for selected employees or pay points. For more information on how to generate this, head to our help article here.

This report makes the task of assisting employees with payslip requests much faster. Remember that employees also have the option to download payslips themselves using the self-service portal or app.

For any further questions, do not hesitate to contact our support team.

Not a SimplePay client? Want a payroll software provider that actually listens to their clients? Sign up for a free 30-day trial here to see just how simple payroll can be when using SimplePay.

Team SimplePay