New Feature: EMP201 Breakdowns and Variances

If you’re managing a business or department, you know the importance of tracking variances and maintaining an audit trail. Similarly, if you manage the submissions to SARS, it is important to be able to track any changes to your payroll which impact your submission and resubmit if necessary. What if there was a way to make these easier? Well now there is! Introducing the expanded EMP201 web view.

In a previous blog post, we introduced the ETI breakdown, accessible from the EMP201 web view. We have now applied the same concept to other areas of the EMP201, with breakdowns available for PAYE, SDL and UIF. 

Each breakdown shows a list of your employees and the total PAYE, SDL or UIF calculated for each employee. 

Remember, you can view the PAYE, SDL and UIF trace for each employee by going to their profile (announced in this blog post).

We have also created a variance feature for months where more than one EMP201 has been generated. Remember, if you make changes to your payslips after your EMP201 is finalised, a new EMP201 is generated so that you have a clear audit trail for resubmitting to SARS if needed. The breakdowns for any updated EMP201s now also show the differences between the PAYE, SDL, UIF and SDL in the updated EMP201 compared to the previous EMP201. The differences are shown per employee and the total difference is shown at the bottom of the breakdown.

We hope you love this new functionality and the benefits that it provides.

Need more information? The following help articles may be useful:

Not a SimplePay client? The EMP201 form and all functionality covered in this blog post and on our help site are 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

COVID-19 Support Measure Timeline and Switching Support Options

Update 15 July: The UIF has released a statement that in order for them to authorise the disbursement of TERS benefits, you must enter your Enterprise number or ID number of the bank account holder. Failure to do so will result in delays.

Following on from the President’s speech last Sunday, 12 July, concerns over a spike in coronavirus cases has led to an extension to level 3 of lockdown. The effect of this is that many businesses and their employees will likely have to continue relying upon support to remain operational. In the blog today we want to outline the timelines for the existing COVID-19 support measures, thus helping you in making an informed decision for the coming phase of transition.

Timeline of Support Measures

Dependent on any announcements from the Government, as of 15 July 2020, this is the current timeline for the rolling up of support measures.

1 July 2020

Update 22 July: The UIF has announced an extension of the COVID-19 TERS scheme to 15 August 2020.

COVID-19 TERS scheme ceases to operate, meaning that TERS benefits cannot be claimed for July. Despite this, the Minister announced that there has been no cut off date put forward for claims to be made for the months of April, May or June. Therefore, if you are yet to apply for these months, you should do so as soon as possible.

NB: As per the above update, the home page of the TERS application portal has been altered, with a new message outlining urgent steps for the employer to take, in order for the UIF to be able to authorise payment of applications. Please take a look in case any action on your part is required for claims already submitted.

1 August 2020

35% PAYE deferral reaches completion, meaning that repayments start to become due for the amounts  deferred over the last 4 months, These repayments will be spread equally across the 6 months after the scheme finishes. It appears SARS will calculate these repayments and add them to your Statement of Account – please see question 10 SARS’s FAQ for more detail.

Additional and Extended ETI period closes, meaning that the original ETI sums and eligibility requirements will be back in force.

1 September 2020

SDL Payment Holiday comes to a close, meaning that employers and their employees will have to resume making contributions. SimplePay will automatically start to calculate SDL contributions again come 1 September. We also anticipate SARS to update their channels to allow for these inputs again. No repayments for the months that the holiday was in force will be necessary.

Alternate Support Systems Remaining in Place

We appreciate that the above list of timelines is quite a change in the tides, but we should reiterate that some of these deadlines could be subject to change. Additionally there are still other support measures available to help you with reducing cash outgoings, whilst your business returns to normality. Below is a non-exhaustive list of examples which you may wish to look into: 

Now is a good time to start planning ahead for how to handle this next transition phase and if necessary look into additional support measures.

Moving From TERS to UIF Benefits

If your business remains closed or affected by the pandemic and you have been reliant upon TERS benefits to help support your employees, now is the time to look into switching your employees onto claiming UIF Benefits.

The Department of Employment and Labour and UIF have released the “UIF Benefits – Easy Guide for Electronic Claims” which provides guidance on how your employees can apply for UIF benefits through uFiling, as well as a list of useful contacts. 

To help make this process as hassle free as possible for you, SimplePay generates both the individual UI 19 and UI 2.7 forms, which are necessary for your employees to be able to apply for benefits in relation to reduced working hours, maternity leave or parental leave. Note that the documents required are different for employees applying for illness benefits.

Further guidance on the correct procedure for you to follow for ending employee service is given in our blog from 6 July. Doing this process correctly will help improve your chances of a smooth transition onto UIF benefits.

We hope that the information we have provided proves useful to you. Should you have any questions on how the above relates to SimplePay or where to find further information on the functionality provided please refer to our Help Site, or get in touch with us at [email protected].

Recap for June

Welcome to the second half of 2020! The year so far has been a bumpy ride and while we realise that the journey is not yet over, we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank you for your support during these first six months. Over this period we have strived for continued excellence in meeting your payroll needs despite the challenge of ever-changing regulations and processes, and thank you for your patience and understanding during periods of high support queries.

As we move forward into the latter half of 2020, here’s a quick recap of the new features and pertinent information from the last month:

NEW FEATURES

Amongst other smaller or less visible improvements and updates, our fantastic development team managed to introduce the following new features in June:

Web View for Payslips

The web view for payslips allows you to see the payslip items that do not impact nett pay directly without having to open the PDF version of the payslip. This view also gives you access to additional traces, such as UIF. Read more.

UIF, SDL, and Retirement Deduction Traces

The web view for a payslip now allows you to see traces for how UIF, SDL and retirement deductions are calculated. Read more.

ETI Breakdown and ETI Trace

A new web view for EMP201s was introduced, with an ETI breakdown and ETI trace, allowing you to see exactly how the ETI on an EMP201 is calculated. Read more.

Download UIF Files and Responses

The introduction of TERS lead to an increased importance being placed on the UIF DecIaration and its timely, monthly submission. In response, we expanded our functionality to include downloads of the actual file submitted to the UIF, as the responses for the UIF submission. Read more.

Deleting Leave Requests

We expanded our functionality for deleting leave to provide a breakdown of leave that cannot be deleted as they are part of a finalised payslip. We also allow the option of deleting leave requests superficially or its entirety. Read more.

End Service Checklist

The End Service Checklist reminds you about positive leave balances, savings and employer loans when ending an employee’s service from their profile. Read more.

Wow! All of that in one month! Pretty cool, right? 

Besides cool features, we also brought you important information updates. This is covered in the next section. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Additional COVID-19 ETI

The rules for the additional ETI as a relief measure were amended by the government. Our system has been updated to factor these new rules in, so that it’s one less thing for you to worry about. Read more

Advance TERS Payments

We clarified how to deal with situations where you wish to provide advances to employees for TERS payments that are delayed or still being processed by the UIF. Read more.

TERS May and June Applications

The June applications for TERS opened and then subsequently were halted due to technical issues. They are likely to reopen over the weekend or early next week. The May application remains open. Read more..

POPI

The Protection of Personal Information Act came into force and became law on 1 July. Due to our stringent security measures, SimplePay has been compliant with these regulations long before they even came into effect. Read more.

We hope that the second half of the year marks a turning point and sees things improving and normalising. Whatever the coming months hold, we’ll continue to be here to support you and remain committed to providing you with high quality support, informational updates and maybe even a few more features.

If you require assistance, please head over to our extensive help site, which we are regularly updating. If your query cannot be answered using the help site, please reach out to our support team.

Not a SimplePay client but interested in the functionality mentioned in this blog post? 

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. Join now and experience the joy of stress free payroll and SARS filing for years to come 🙂

Team SimplePay

New Feature: UIF, SDL and Retirement Deduction Traces

In our blog post on 5 June, we announced a new ETI trace, which shows the ETI calculation for each employee. Today, we are happy to announce that we have also created traces for the UIF, SDL and Retirement Deduction calculations.

To view these traces, go to an employee’s profile, click on More  next to Preview to  open the web view of the payslip that you are on.

Click on any of the following to open the trace for that payslip item:

  • UIF – employee (new)
  • UIF – employer (new)
  • SDL – employer* (new)
  • Retirement deduction (new)
  • Tax (existing)

When you open the UIF trace, you will then be able to click on Income Subject to UIF to view how the income used in the UIF calculation was determined.

Similarly, when you open the SDL trace, you will be able to click on Income Subject to SDL.

*Reminder: the government has provided an SDL holiday until the end of August. The SDL trace will therefore only be available for payslips after August.

We hope these new features help you to answer some of the questions that you may have on how these payslip items are calculated, so that you can more easily check your payroll and also answer questions that employees may have.

If you need any assistance with these new features, please reach out to our support team.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: ETI Breakdown and ETI Trace

Despite the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue our commitment to giving you the best payroll experience. Our team have been hard at work to bring you a web view of EMP201, an ETI breakdown and an ETI trace:

You can now see the information contained in the monthly EMP201s without opening the PDF version of the document. To do this, go to Filing > Monthly Submissions and click on Web in the EMP201 section.

The EMP201 for the month will be opened, showing you a breakdown of the EMP201 figures. You can now see more details for ETI by clicking on the amount next to ETI Calculated.

This will give you a breakdown of the ETI calculated for each employee:

You can then click on the amount next to an employee’s name to see a the ETI Trace, which shows how the ETI for that employee is calculated.

If there is no ETI calculated for the employee, the ETI trace will also show you if the employee has not been enabled for ETI, if they do not meet certain criteria, or if their earnings fell above the ETI threshold.

Pretty cool, right? We hope you love these new features.

If you have any queries regarding the new feature or the information that it contains, reach out to our Support team.

Team SimplePay

Reminder of ETI Minimum Wage Changes for May to July 2020

This is an important reminder that ETI should only be claimed if your employees earn at least the higher of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) applicable to them, or the wage specified by a wage regulating measure (e.g. a sectoral determination), if applicable.

During this time of crisis, more employers than ever are availing of the ETI scheme to help their finances. It is important to get it right, because the penalties can be steep.

You should only enable ETI for employees if you are sure they meet the higher of your sector’s wage regulating measure or the NMW. If your employees are working fewer hours than normal, but still meet the requirement per hour, it’s fine to claim ETI. If they are now earning less per hour than the minimum wage, ETI should not be claimed. Alternatively, if there is a single minimum wage applicable to all your employees, entering it under ETI settings will enable the system to automatically calculate 0 ETI for employees who do not qualify.

If you have not yet done so, you can update your ETI settings as described in this this section of our ETI help article. You can also find more on the COVID-19 ETI in this help article.

Please note that May’s payslips need to be unfinalised in order to effect the minimum wage change for May (if you had not already done so). We generally do not recommend unfinalising payslips as this can cause significant variances if regular items have been changed. Therefore, it is recommended that you take caution when doing this – ensure that you have saved a copy of all payslips, as well as the transaction history report for the period before unfinalising the payslips. You will then need to reconcile your new finalised payslips against the saved payslips used to pay employees.

It is important to note that there were minimum wage changes on 1 March 2020, as mentioned in this blog post.

If you have successfully applied for exemption from the NMW, and also do not have a minimum specified by a wage regulating measure, a minimum wage of R2000 per month could previously be used. However, effective 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2020, such employers no longer qualify for ETI at all.

Additional COVID-19 ETI Changes

In a previous blog post, we informed you of additional ETI as a COVID-19 relief measure. The revised Disaster Management Tax Relief bills have given rise to some changes:

  • The ETI claimable for those in the R0 – R1 999.99 bracket has changed, retrospectively effective from 1 April 2020.
  • Employees with an appointment date before 1 October 2013 are now eligible for the Additional ETI, retrospectively effective from 1 April 2020.
  • As with normal ETI, remuneration should be grossed up and additional ETI for April should be grossed down proportionately if an employee is employed for less than 160 hours per month. This grossing up of remuneration and grossing down of ETI no longer applies, effective 1 May 2020.
*The ETI amount changed for this bracket
** The employee’s wage must not be less than the higher of the minimum wage specified by a wage regulating measure and by the National Minimum Wage Act. This will need to be configured under Settings > Payroll Calculations > ETI.

SimplePay has implemented these changes to the system and automatically applied it to all payslips for April (even finalised ones). Therefore, all you need to do is:

  • Finalise the new EMP201 that is automatically generated by the system
  • Submit the new EMP201 information to SARS

Please also note:

  • The additional ETI is applicable until 31 July 2020
  • To qualify for the additional ETI, the employer must have been registered for PAYE after 25 March 2020
  • Employers that are not subject to a wage regulating measure AND that are exempt from the National Minimum Wage Act are not eligible from the additional ETI benefits for May – July 2020.

For more information, head to our help pages:

If you need further assistance, please contact our support team.

Team SimplePay

Week Recap and Level 3 of Lockdown – Effect on Business

Closing off the month of May and level 4 of lockdown in style, this blog will give a brief overview of what’s been covered this week in our blogs, before turning to what businesses can expect under level 3 in June.

Week Recap

REMINDER – The deadline for the Annual Employer Reconciliation Period is this Sunday, 31 May, as detailed in our previous blog.

Upcoming ETI changes for the May EMP201 blog contents:

  • Revisions to the COVID-19 ETI legislation is being completed in time for May payroll submissions
  • Please delay in submitting for May, we shall ensure the changes are ready for 7 June and shall inform you when the changes are complete

TERS Applications for May Open blog contents:

  • Details of the application process for COVID-19 TERS applications.
  • Key changes between the TERS process for May in comparison to April

TERS: Foreign Workers Update blog contents: 

  • Details surrounding the issue(s) in making a claim for TERS benefits on behalf of foreign employees
  • Possible means of remedying the issue and prospective changes for May applications

New Functionality: Download Responses to Electronic UIF Submissions blog contents:

  • Users can now download responses from the UIF in relation to their monthly UI-19 submissions

Level 3 of Lockdown – Effect on Business

On Sunday 24 May, the President announced that the whole country will move to level 3 of lockdown on 1 June. We thought it would be handy to provide you with a blog on what this actually means for your business. Below we have summarised some of the most relevant points to note for life under level 3.

Which Businesses can now Open?

According to President Ramaphosa, as of 1 June all manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, professional and business services, wholesalers, retailers, media services and ICT businesses can reopen.

Retailers can be fully reopened, including stores, spaza shops and informal traders. Additionally, airlines will be allowed to reopen, initially for domestic business purposes, with more air travel being phased in on announced dates.

Industries which were open under levels 4 and 5, such as agriculture, medical services and food production, will remain fully open.

In the President’s speech, he stated that the reopening will be contingent on each business creating a workplace plan. This plan must be aligned with the Government’s guidance (discussed below), as well as any protocols released by the relevant sector (if any are released). 

You can read the Government’s notice on lockdown level 3 here. The most relevant sections to this blog are sections 46 and 47. Below are a few key points from subsections of  section 46:

  • Businesses and other institutions with over 100 employees must implement measures to minimise the number of employees in the workplace at one time. Examples given include shift patterns and remote working.
  • Relevant health protocols and social distancing measures must be adhered to, including the screening of employees.
  • Construction, manufacturing, business and financial services firms with more than 500 employees must finalise appropriate sector or workplace arrangements addressing transport, staggering employee working and screening, whilst also documenting these actions.

Under section 47 of the above notice found in the PDF linked below, each business needs to designate a “COVID-19 compliance officer”. The compliance officer needs to implement the aforementioned workplace plan, as well as oversee the adherence to hygiene measures. 

Further details of the requirements of the workplace plan and compliance officer can be found in section 47, on page 14 of this linked document.

Which Businesses must Remain Closed?

Under level 3, a number of businesses must remain closed, these include:

  • Professional Care services e.g. hairdressers, beauty treatments and beauty salons
  • Restaurants, except for the provision of takeaways, drive through services and collection
  • Bars, taverns, shebeens, nightclubs and casinos
  • Hotels, lodges and other accommodation facilities (except for certain permitted guests)
  • Gyms and sports facilities
  • Exhibit and conference centres
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Museums
  • Flea Markets and bazaars

If we are made aware of any developments for the above mentioned businesses, we shall update you.

Recommendations from Government

For this new list of businesses that can return to work, the President advised that where possible, employees should work from home. Where this is not practicable workplace plans should be in place. Additionally, those deemed especially vulnerable, such as employees over 60 years old and those who suffer from underlying conditions, should ideally work from home. Failing this, the employer needs to ensure that these vulnerable employees have a safe return to work, which may include the use of special measures.

A potential problem which was identified from the reopening of the economy is the use of public transport. It was stated that all commuters must wear masks and wash their hands before and after travelling, as well as avoiding touching their faces with unwashed hands.

The full transcript of the President’s speech can be read by following this link and an infographic summarising level 3 is linked here.

Closing on a positive, to relieve the stress provided by business operations and TERS applications, you now have the opportunity to release that tension by exercising between 6am and 6pm! And on that happy note, we wish you a pleasant and relaxing  weekend.

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Upcoming ETI changes for the May EMP201

The Second Revised Draft Disaster Management Bill was issued by the National Treasury on 19 May 2020. Although the bill provided a large amount of clarity, there were still a few parts that were unclear, which we were only able to finalise early this week. The revised bill made several important changes to the Employment Tax Incentive Act, which provides for further tax relief in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The SimplePay team is hard at work implementing these changes to our system. If you are claiming ETI for May, please do not finalise or submit your EMP201s yet. We will ensure that these changes are made in time for the 7 June EMP201 submission deadline and we will keep you updated when these changes are live.

We are also seeking clarity on how, if at all, these changes will affect the EMP201 submissions made in April.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Recap Blog #4

Friday has come around again meaning, it is time for our blog rounding up the week’s events.

The contents of the blog today includes a summary of this month’s blogs to date, as well as some reiterations of key points that were made within these blogs throughout the week.

May’s Blog Posts to Date

Below you will find a list of the most recent blogs and their content, just in case you missed them!

8 May Update blog contents:

  • Clarification on COVID-19 TERS payout amounts, as well as the effect of additional payments made by the employer on the benefit amount.
  • UIF electronic submissions: new progress notification functionality to update you on your submissions.
  • SARS Updates: Note on the annual employer reconciliation period, as well as means to get updates directly from SARS.
  • ETI: Explanation as to how our system will be altered when the latest draft Disaster Management Tax Relief and Tax Administration Bills pass into law.

COVID-19 ETI relief blog contents:

  • Update on the amount of ETI an employer will receive for each ETI qualifying employee, during the period of 1 April to 31 July 2020.

Draft Disaster Management Bills summary blog contents:

  • Summary of the proposed amendment’s effects on ETI entitlements, SDL payment holiday and employer PAYE deferment.
  • Outline of the workplace requirements for employers reopening under lockdown level 4.

Summaries of the contents for the end of April’s blogs, as well as a COVID-19 TERS specific section can be found in our Lockdown Recap #3 blog

Alternatively, if you would like to see the full list of our blogs, including information about UIF claims, these can be found on our website.

Take Homes from the Week

Additions to the SimplePay Help Site

In order to help ease some of the confusion and concern around the lockdown, we have been very active in producing blog content dealing with the various measures to support businesses and employees. We have also created a dedicated COVID-19 Help section, which will be updated as quickly as possible as new information and requirements are made available.

If you have a query relating to COVID-19, we’d like to request that you consult one or more of the following posts and / or help articles (accessible from the two links above) as they contain the most up to date info we have and will hopefully resolve your query.

Annual Employer Reconciliation Period

SARS has not announced any extensions to the employer filing deadline of 31 May. We have made all the necessary arrangements on our end, so you can proceed with annual filing whenever you’re ready!

When can the Disaster Management Bills be relied upon?

As mentioned in previous blogs, the latest draft Bills are open to public comment until 15 May 2020. It therefore follows that soon after this date, they shall pass into law, possibly with minor changes made. 

A good indication of the progress of certain subject matter within the Bills can be gleaned from Government body websites and media platforms. An example of this being SARS’ twitter handle (@sarstax) today tweeted, that employer SDL contributions shall be defaulted to zero on their EMP201s, for the months of May to August. This therefore provides a strong indication of what will pass into law in the near future.

Calculation of the COVID-19 TERS Benefit 

COVID-19 TERS is a subject which has caused much confusion and media attention, not only in how to apply for this aid, but also how to distribute it to employers correctly.

As discussed in the 8 May Lockdown blog post, the Department of Labour has released an FAQ document, hopefully providing clarity on many of the questions you may still have around the subject.

Returning to Work – Lockdown Level 4

Coming to the end of the first week back for many businesses, it is important to know where your responsibilities stand to your employees and otherwise under lockdown level 4.

Our blog from 5 May helps outline what you as an employer need to do to remain compliant when reopening your workplace.

We hope that this information proves useful to you, and that the first 5-day working week in a while has been kind to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay