TERS Updates for September October Applications

Hello and welcome to another TERS update blog post. Our information today is taken from the UIF’s most recent update letters, which announced a post-verification audit and highlighted an issue with some applications for the most recent application period. You can read more about the 16 September to 15 October TERS application period in this recent blog post

Post Verification Audit

The UIF has announced that audits of the TERS process will begin from 1 December 2020 and will last for an estimated period of six (6) months. The audits are to be completed by a number of named companies with expertise in this area. This is in line with the Memorandum of Agreement you signed to be able to partake in the TERS scheme.

The UIF requests that you keep at least the following information readily available in hard or electronic format in case you are contacted:

  • UIF COVID TERS application pack 
    • There should be an application pack for each period which you applied to, containing the documents which you submitted;
  • Bank statements relating to your COVID TERS application(s);
  • Each employee’s HR file;
  • *Payroll report from 1 January 2020 to July 2020;*
  • Proof of payment to your employees; and
  • Proof of any refunds to the UIF (if applicable).

*Thankfully, by using SimplePay all of your payroll information is in one centralised location! We hope that this helps you with any prospective bookkeeping which may follow.

NOTE: The information listed above contains personally sensitive information for both you and your employees. Because of this we would recommend that you verify the credentials of anyone who may contact you in this respect.

Issue with SOME September / October TERS Applications

The UIF has announced that some applications received for the 16 September to 15 October period, submitted before 10AM on Wednesday 25 November 2020 did not meet their system’s requirements. As a result, they have been rejected and if this applies to you, you will need to resubmit. The UIF won’t notify you if you fall within this set of applications, so if in any doubt you should check your application status.

This issue does not apply if you applied using SimplePay’s CSV, but if you have made applications manually, this may affect the employees for whom this was done. 

Whether you submitted via CSV or manually, we recommend you log in to your TERS profile and look for the September / October applications in the Saved Employees section. If your applications appear then your submission is deemed to be correct and you don’t need to resubmit. 

If you cannot find your applications for the September / October period, you must resubmit for your employees to receive TERS benefits for this period.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to 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

ETI Refresher and Employer Reconciliation Recap

The calendar’s page has been turned over to November, which means that for the vast majority of you, the interim filing season is done and dusted! Our blog post today contains a refresher on ETI balances and the effect of tax periods on them, in addition to a polite reminder for any clients still to complete their filing.

Carrying Forward Unutilised ETI 

You may remember that as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, ETI was adapted to increase both the number of eligible employees and the amount claimable per employee. Due to the scheme’s increased uptake, we thought it would be helpful to give you a brief refresher of some important points.

Under the rules that govern ETI, if your total ETI for a certain month is greater than your overall PAYE liability, you can have the balance rolled over to the following month(s). This roll-over is only allowed within any one six (6) month tax period – March to August and September to February, after which any unutilised ETI which you haven’t claimed as a payout from SARS is forfeited. As the extended COVID-19 ETI ran for the months of April to July 2020, these all fell within the last bi-annual filing period of March to August. Therefore, from August the usual roll over rules applied, meaning that any unutilised ETI is not rolled over, but should rather be claimed as a refund from SARS.

SARS has stated that despite the challenging circumstances brought about by the pandemic, these rules stand and that any ETI balance that you may have held will not be extended beyond the 31 August cut-off point. Despite this support measure no longer being available, we hope that the lesser restrictions means your business continues to regain a sure footing.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of correct and timely ETI submissions and claims, as the penalties for non-compliance can be severe. For more details, check out our ETI help pages.

Filing Reminder

Having gotten through another interim filing period, we hope that our continued endeavours to make payroll a breeze has made this filing season the smoothest yet for you! If you have not yet filed your EMP501 and IRP5 / IT3(a)s, the deadline was the end of October. We urge you to complete your filing as soon as possible, as the sooner you do this, the lesser the prospective penalty for late submission. If your EMP501 remains outstanding for several months, you could face a maximum penalty of 10% of the total amount of your employee’s tax deducted for the 2021 tax year.

If we can assist at all, please reach out to our support team who will assist you as best they can in resolving any issues you are facing with submission.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to 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

TERS: Updates and Clarifications

The blog post today is aimed at trying to provide some much needed clarity on the TERS process. These changes, as outlined in a recent UIF update letter, were first introduced in our blog post from 5 October. The content of this blog post is taken from and summarises the UIF’s official update letter dated 14 October, sent to all employers.

Our post today covers:

  1.  how to determine salary and remuneration paid on applications;
  2.  the finer details of the bank verification step;
  3.  an update on foreign national applications; and
  4.  a reminder of how to end service on SimplePay.

1.a – How to Determine the Correct Monthly Salary to Declare

The monthly salary column of your TERS CSV, should reflect the aggregate of the wage and fringe benefits you pay to each of your employees. As SimplePay pre-populates this column, provided your employee’s salary information is correct, there’s nothing further to worry about. It is worth noting that if this value is not accurate, the UIF has introduced a new verification step.

The UIF is cross referencing the “taxable earnings” value for your employees’ March 2020 uFiling submission, in order to ensure that salaries are not inflated. If the values differ, the lower value will be used for the calculation of TERS benefits.

This is not a retrospective change, meaning it will only be applied to applications that have been processed from 3 September onwards. The change will though apply to all applications past this date, regardless of the lockdown period to which they relate. Unfortunately, even if you had legitimate reasons for increasing an employee’s salary, there is no way to apply to receive the higher sum that this would yield. 

1.b – What is the Correct Value for Remuneration?

To answer this question, it helps to take one step back. An employee is entitled to TERS benefits where he or she earns a reduced salary due to:

  • business closure;
  • comorbidities (an illness which puts the employee at an increased risk);
  • reduced working hours; or
  • having to take a temporary reduction of salary due to operational requirements.

Any of your employees satisfying the above can receive TERS benefits. Importantly though, where your employees receive remuneration in addition to TERS benefits for any given period, this needs to be recorded. This is because the aggregate of the TERS payment, plus the reduced remuneration paid by you cannot be greater than the amount the employee would ordinarily earn. Because of this, it’s important you know what falls under remuneration.

The UIF has clarified that all amounts / payslip components that would normally count as remuneration are included, except for loans, advances and payments related to leave taken.

2. Bank Verification

As part of the improvements to the TERS process, bank verification steps have been introduced. To help avoid delays it is important that you provide correct banking information. 

Some of the most common reasons for the failure of bank verification include:

  • The incorrect Personal ID number is used. This should be that of the bank account holder. If it is a joint account, you should ensure that it is the primary holder’s ID used.
  • If the bank account is held in a trade name, it is important that it matches the bank account’s name. 
    • If the bank account includes special characters, these should be used
    • Do not include any “t/a” sections of the bank account information
    • If the account’s name is in Afrikaans, this is how it should appear

Single Bank Account for Several UIF Entities

If you have several companies that pay into one bank account and you wish to claim TERS benefits to all the employees of the different companies, you will need to use the “Trade Name Verification” option to verify these UIF entities.

On the TERS portal, you will need to change all of your companies’ names to match the company name stated on the bank account. This will mean that you will have more than one UIF entity with the same name on the TERS portal, but also allows you to apply for benefits for all employees.

If you are at all unsure about this we would encourage you to get in touch with the UIF on 0800 030 007.

3. Foreign Nationals Update

The UIF has said that it’s currently working with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the foreign nationals. No payments will be made until the UIF has verified individuals’ identities, but it hopes it will manage this within the next fortnight.

Foreign nationals must be declared via uFiling, regardless of whether you submitted their declarations to the UIF using SimplePay.

How To Change Existing Applications

If you now realise that there’s an issue with one or more of your applications, this can be done using the UIF’s discrepancy function. Corrections can only be made once per employee, per application period so it’s crucial that you make the amendments carefully and accurately.

The discrepancy functionality is open for claims made up to and including the July / August application period, and will open in due course for the later lockdown periods.

How To End Service on SimplePay

It is important to correctly reflect your employees’ current working status on SimplePay for several reasons. Having this information allows:

  • SimplePay to provide you with accurate auto filled TERS CSVs;
  • you to make correct submissions to SARS;
  • Your employees to claim UIF where necessary; and 
  • Reduces your monthly charge to the number of active employees

To allow for SimplePay to provide you with accurate auto filled TERS CSVs, make correct submissions to SARS and reduce your monthly premium to an appropriate amount, it is important to correctly reflect your employees’ current status on SimplePay.

For a reminder of how to end an employee’s service on SimplePay, you can read this previous blog post.

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

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not try out our service free? You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here, get to grips with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or try our free online course. Concerned about cost? Don’t be; we’ve simplified that too – check out our pricing page. Alternatively, you can request a formal quote if you need one here.

Keep well and stay safe.

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

Lockdown Level 2

Note: This information was correct at the time of writing, being based on the Government’s related media releases.

Today (18/08/2020) is the first day that South Africa has dropped down to lockdown level 2 out of 5. But what does this actually mean? In today’s blog we shall outline the new changes and provide a summary table of what changed between each level of lockdown. 

Level 2

Travel and Accommodation

For the first time since 27 March 2020, people living in South Africa are allowed to travel between provinces for leisure purposes. This relaxation comes at the same time as the removal of the limit to the range of accommodation facilities which can be used, meaning that those of you in the hospitality sector can once again welcome nationwide guests. 

Gatherings

Under level 2, provided that you observe the Government Regulations on social distancing and health protocols, a number of gatherings are now permitted. This further expands the number of businesses that are able to operate under level 2. You can read the full list of permitted gatherings in section 55 of the Government gazette, but we have picked out a handful of the most relevant ones below:

  • Accommodation establishments and tour operators (up to 50% of available floor space, with patrons at least 1.5 metres apart)
  • Bars, taverns, shebeens and similar establishments (up to 50 people)
  • Concerts and live performances (up to 50 people)
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms, subject to guidelines (up to 50 people)
  • Swimming pools (up to 50 people)
  • Sports grounds and fields
  • Beaches and public parks

Sale of Alcohol and Cigarettes

The Government has relaxed its stance on the sale of alcohol, meaning that bars, restaurants and other institutions with a license to sell alcohol on-site can again do so, provided strict adherence to the 10pm curfew.

Additionally, alcohol can now be sold in shops between the hours of 9am to 5pm. Cigarettes may also now be sold in shops.

Businesses that must Remain Closed

Despite the majority of businesses, there are a number which must remain closed at this moment under level 2. These are:

  • 1. Night clubs
  • 2. International passenger air travel for leisure purposes
  • 3. Passenger ships for international leisure purposes
  • 4. Attendance of any sporting event by spectators
  • 5. International sports events
  • 6. Exclusions relating to public transport services as set out in the directions issued by the Cabinet member responsible for transport

Comparative Table of Lockdown Levels

Below is a comparative table between lockdown levels 5 to 2. If changes were made within the period of a certain lockdown level, the changed position will be recorded within the table. For a more detailed evaluation of the level, you can click on the link at the head of each column.

Lockdown LevelFive (5) Four (4)Three (3)Two (2)
Effective Date27/03/202001/05/202001/06/202017/08/2020
ShoppingFood, medicine and healthcare onlyFood, medicine, healthcare and limited others Most shopping reopened, but alcohol and tobacco sales remain prohibitedMajority of shopping reopened
TravelNone, except essentialNone, except essential and for businessBusiness travel and Intra-provincial leisure travelAll Inter-provincial travel, including domestic flights
Permitted GatheringsNone, except for funeralsFunerals, workplaces and obtaining certain goods and servicesA large number of gatherings permitted, subject to conditionsA large number of gatherings permitted, including amateur sport and small social events
Public SpacesClosedLimited number open, e.g. exercise permitted between 6 – 9amLimited number open for activities e.g. exercise between 6:00 – 18:00Open, subject to the Minister announcing closure and adherence with health protocols
Workplaces  Open for the provision of Food, medicine and healthcare onlyOpen for the provision of Infrastructure, manufacturing and food, as well as some other services.Majority reopened, except for some accommodation establishments and nightclubsMajority reopened
LeisureNoneNoneLarge number of services reopened within provinces, minus gyms, sports facilities, beaches and othersMajority of services reopened, minus nightclubs, spectating live sport and limited others

We hope that you have found the above information useful. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]  

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, you can get a formal quote, sign up for our 30-day free trial or learn how to get set up on SimplePay. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our amazing support team at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

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

Self-Service Employee Claim Requests

We love innovating to make payroll simpler and our new self-service employee claims feature does just that.

Our employee self-service option was built to ease the administration burden that comes with payroll:

  • Employees can access historic payslips and tax certificates at any time without having to ask you to send it to them. 
  • Leave requests allow employees to request leave and upload supporting documentation (such as medical certificates), saving you the hassle of having to remember to record leave or follow up with employees for their supporting documentation.
  • Info update requests allow employees to request changes to their basic information, ensuring that you have up-to-date and accurate information for employees.

Our new feature expands self-service to allow employees to submit inputs for the following payslip items:

  • Expense claims
  • Travel allowance
  • Custom items, with the Input Type as “Once-off for specified payslips”, “Different on every payslip”, “Hourly rate * factor * hours” and “Custom rate * quantity”

Employees can enter the amounts that they wish to claim and upload supporting documentation. An approver simply needs to approve the request. It will then be added to the employee’s next draft payslip without the payroll administrator needing to capture any of these payslip amounts. In addition to saving the payroll administrator processing time, it also takes the hassle out of verifying claims, since a separate approver (such as a direct line manager) can be set up for this purpose.

Note: As this is an opt-in feature (for now), you need to request it from our support team, at no additional charge. More information on how this feature works can be found on our help page here.

Not a SimplePay client but want to use our self-service feature? Unfortunately this feature is only available to SimplePay clients. The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here. Come and experience the joy of stress-free payroll.

Team SimplePay