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:
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Most shopping reopened, but alcohol and tobacco sales remain prohibited
Majority of shopping reopened
None, except essential
None, except essential and for business
Business travel and Intra-provincial leisure travel
All Inter-provincial travel, including domestic flights
None, except for funerals
Funerals, workplaces and obtaining certain goods and services
A large number of gatherings permitted, subject to conditions
A large number of gatherings permitted, including amateur sport and small social events
Limited number open, e.g. exercise permitted between 6 – 9am
Limited number open for activities e.g. exercise between 6:00 – 18:00
Open, subject to the Minister announcing closure and adherence with health protocols
Open for the provision of Food, medicine and healthcare only
Open for the provision of Infrastructure, manufacturing and food, as well as some other services.
Majority reopened, except for some accommodation establishments and nightclubs
Large number of services reopened within provinces, minus gyms, sports facilities, beaches and others
Majority 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]
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.”
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.
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.
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:
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.
SimplePay is all about providing you with a high quality payroll solution so that paying your employees becomes a breeze. But we realise that when it comes to employee remuneration, processing payroll is only half the story – your ability to employ and pay individuals depends on the success of your business. Today’s blog post is therefore broader than payroll processing and highlights schemes and incentives to help businesses succeed, allowing them to create job opportunities in the process.
At the Budget 31 conference in July, Productivity SA was presented with a R104 million grant by the UIF for the purposes of promoting employment growth and productivity. The bulk of the grant is being directed towards the Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme (BT & R). We should also point out though that there is more support available for companies at all stages of maturity, such as their Continuous Improvement Services. More information can be found on the Productivity SA website.
What is the Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme?
The BT & R is a programme aimed at intervening to help companies in distress. By working closely with the UIF, CCMA and TERS as strategic partners, Productivity SA aims to turn around companies’ fortunes and put them on a profitable trajectory. The programme will last approximately 9 months for the selected companies. The programme focuses on the following key areas:
Assessing problem areas, managing crises and developing strategies to help turn the company around.
Enhancing company performance through aiding in improvements to marketing, operations, HR and financial strategies.
Educating employees on basic business principles and operations, so that they can understand how their actions impact the entire operational process.
Building capacity and staff training to improve and sustain productivity, long after the intervention.
By doing this, it is hoped that the turnaround programme will:
Improve productivity of company operations and in doing so promote economic and employment growth;
improve operational efficiency to make businesses financially viable and competitive; and
provide productivity measures so the productivity improvement of the workplace can be measured.
You can find a more detailed outline of the BT & R programme on their relevant web page.
What are the Eligibility Criteria?
For your company to be able to partake in the BT & R programme, there are some requirements which are mandatory to qualify, and others which are beneficial but not essential.
Mandatory requirements are:
Your company must be in distress or showing decline, as evidenced by income statements, cash flow statements and / or other documents that may prove decline / distress;
you must be in good standing with the UIF and SARS, as the UIF is the source of Productivity SA’s funding to run the programme; and
there must be a genuine potential or likelihood that intervention will result in making the business profitable.
Whilst not mandatory, it would be beneficial if your company fulfils one or more of the below:
Your company employs at least 20 employees.
Your company meets one or more of the targets laid out in the Government’s New Growth Plan, Industrial Policy Action Plan or National Infrastructure Plan. These plans are mainly aligned with the manufacturing and industrial sectors.
Funding your company would promote black industrialists or entrepreneurs.
How can you Apply?
If the above is of interest you can get more information directly from Productivity SA by emailing them at [email protected]. In response, they should be able to provide you with the application forms required and further details of the programme.
We hope the above information has proved useful to you. If you have any queries on any of the programmes mentioned in this blog, we would recommend that you reach out to Productivity SA. If you have any questions for us, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us at [email protected].
Not yet a client of SimplePay? Want to take the effort out of payroll? Why not try our 30 day free trial found on our website, or contact one of our team to find out more?
SimplePay has always taken a user-orientated approach to payroll. It’s why we focus on two things – building an outstanding product and providing quality customer support. In a nutshell, SimplePay is all about you – our clients! So when the requests came streaming in for an easier way to filter employers, we jumped right on it. Introducing our newly revamped employee filters.
Our new employee filters functionality gives you more options for filtering employees. Depending on what page you’re on, you can filter employees according to pay point, pay frequency or active / inactive status. All pages with filters also let you select employees individually or use the convenient search bar to find specific employees by searching for their name or employee number.
Filters have been added or revamped for the following:
Employee list (Under Employees)
Employee users (Under Employees > Self-Service)
The leave overview calendar (Under Employees > Leave Overview)
All bulk action options (Under Employees > Bulk Actions)
Bulk finalising payslips (under Pay Runs)
All reports (Under Reports)
Finding an employee or selecting only the employees that you need has never been easier! Go check it out and let us know what you think.
Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that is all about you, the user? The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial that allows you to explore our system and see just how easy and stress-free payroll can be. Sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here.
At SimplePay, the protection of your data and privacy is of utmost importance to us. With that in mind, we’re changing the way that we do company transfers. Our new 4-step process makes company transfers even more secure and gives you greater control over the process.
Company transfers involve moving a company from one SimplePay profile to another. Transferring the company will change which profile owns the company on SimplePay and consequently which profile gets billed for the company.
It is important to note the following, which often causes confusion:
Ownership of a company on SimplePay is not necessarily related to the actual ownership of a business. When a new company is added to SimplePay, it belongs to the profile that the user was logged into when creating it. For example, a small business may be owned by an entrepreneur, but the company’s payroll is managed by an accounting firm. If the company was added to the accounting firm’s profile, the accounting firm is the owner of the company on SimplePay, even though they are not the owners of the registered business.
The need for company transfers must not be confused with the need for different users. If you need to give or revoke an individual’s access to a company, this can be done by adding or removing the individuals as users. (The exception being that you cannot remove the account owner i.e. the user with the email address used to create the profile that owns the company).
The following examples illustrate when company transfers are necessary:
A business’s payroll is managed by an accounting firm and the business now wishes to process their own payroll. The company on SimplePay would be transferred from the accounting firm’s profile to the business’s profile.
A business is sold. The previous owners should no longer have ownership of the company on SimplePay. The company on SimplePay would need to be transferred from the prior owner’s profile to the new owner’s profile.
If you have determined that a company transfer is necessary, you will need to follow our 4-step process for company transfers, which is outlined in the following help article:
Not a SimplePay client but want to enjoy the benefits of secure payroll? Unfortunately our payroll system is only available to 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.
Update 29 July 2020: We have updated the system to reflect the changes to employer loans benefit calculations. All employer loans on payslips dated from 1 August 2020 will make use of the new interest rate. As our system is built to be intuitive, any payslips dated before 1 August 2020 will make use of the previous interest rate.
In a historic, yet somewhat expected announcement, the Monetary Policy Committee has cut the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points. This brings the repo rate to an all-time low of 3.50% per annum, effective as from tomorrow (24 July 2020).
The official interest rate, which is used to calculate employer loan benefits, is set at 1% above the repo rate. The new official interest rate will therefore be 4.5% per annum, effective 1 August 2020. Although the change in the repo rate is effective tomorrow, income tax legislation prescribes that changes in the official interest rate only occur at the start of a new month.
Being a SimplePay client means that you’ll benefit from updates to the system without having to install these updates or make any manual changes to your settings. You simply process payroll as normal and our system will use the correct official interest rate for the period of the payslip. Our development team are busy making the necessary system updates for the latest interest rate change and we’ll let you know as soon as they’re ready. This means that you should not yet finalise payslips for August for those employees with outstanding employer loans.
For more information on employer loans, head to our help page.
Not yet a SimplePay clientbut want to experience seamless payroll no matter what changes in legislation or policy occur? 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.