The South African Reserve Bank has decided to decrease the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points, effective from 16 January 2020.
The official interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on low or interest free loans to employees is set as 100 basis points above the repo rate. This means that the interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on employer loans decreases from 7.5% to 7.25%, effective 16 January 2020.
If you’re a SimplePay user, you do not need to take any action to implement the new interest rate, as we have already updated our system to reflect these changes. Therefore, all payslips dated and finalised from 16 January onwards will use the new interest rate. If a payslip dated after 16 January was finalised before the 16 January (i.e. it was finalised in advance), you will need to unfinalise the payslip and then finalise it again for the changes to take effect. As we have built our system to be intuitive, the previous interest rate will be used if you are still preparing payslips dated before the 16 January, regardless of what date you physically finalise the payslip.
If you are unsure of how to capture employee loans or calculate the fringe benefit on them, refer to our help page here.
As 2019 (and the decade) draws to a close, we’d like to thank you for choosing SimplePay as your payroll software provider. We really value the loyalty, ideas, feedback and love that we get from you, our clients.
We would also like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and share some important information with you.
In January, our annual price adjustment will come into effect. As always, this will be an inflationary-related increase, which allows us to maintain the quality of our product and the service that we offer. Our current prices are available here – we will send out a notice in January to alert you of the new prices.
When looking back on 2019, it was certainly a year of growth for our team, which led to the fantastic accomplishment of being nominated as a Xero App Partner of the Year. Some of the major features and functions that we accomplished were:
Custom items based on system items, and the subsequent expansion of this feature
Custom employee fields in Basic Info
A new leave days report
Customisation of employee self-service
Bulk actions for once-off payslips and overriding payslip end dates
QuickBooks integration upgrade
Automatic logout for idle accounts
In 2020, you can expect the team to continue striving to enhance your payroll experience. As always, all added features are completely free for all and do not change the monthly fee that you pay.
From all of us here at SimplePay, have a joyful festive season. We are looking forward to a great 2020 together!
Introducing the latest system expansion from the SimplePay team: employee leave expiration for leave days carried over.
With our aim to give you the ultimate payroll experience, you can now customise your leave settings even further by specifying how long leave carried over from a previous leave cycle remains valid for. For example, you might have a policy that any unused leave from 2019 may carry over to 2020, but if it is not used by the end of June 2020, it will expire and be forfeited.
This is usually done to ensure that your employees’ leave does not excessively accumulate and aligns with the BCEA, which requires leave to be taken within 6 months of the end of a cycle. In addition, by prompting employees to take their leave in due course, it leads to increased employee well-being which has long-term benefits for both employees and the company. Before implementing this on the system, ensure that it aligns with your company’s leave policy and your employees’ contracts to avoid any labour disputes.
To make use of this new feature
on current policies, follow these easy steps:
Go to Settings > Leave.
Click on View next to the leave type that you wish to edit.
Under Available Entitlement Policies, click on View next to the entitlement policy that you wish to edit.
If the Allow leave to be carried forward to next cycle? checkbox is set, there will now be an additional line that appears under it.
In the new field , enter the number of months that leave must be held for before expiring.
If you are creating a new leave policy, you will be able to follow the same process when creating the entitlement policy.
For more information on creating and editing leave entitlement policies, head over to our help page here.
We have been working on expanding our self-service functionality recently and are pleased to announce that we have added two new features. These changes allow you to disable different types of self-service requests (i.e. leave and / or info update requests). You’re now also able to hide leave balances for all or some of your leave types.
You can make these setup changes by navigating to Employees > Self-Service > Settings and then selecting either General or Leave from the drop-down menu.
To disable self-service request types, select General from the menu and select whichever types of requests you would like to disable for self-service. Once you’ve done this, self-service users won’t be able to submit any new requests for the type you disabled.
To hide leave balances, select Leave from the menu and uncheck the leave types for which you would like to hide the balances. After you’ve done this, self-service users won’t be able to see their leave balances for the specific leave type, but will still be able to submit requests.
We hope that these new features improve your payroll processing experience.
For more information on how to make these changes, please refer to our help site pages here or contact our support team.
The Compensation Fund has begun the process of modernising and consolidating their systems. This process includes an update to the CF-Filing platform.
To allow for this update, the CF-Filing system has been offline as of 28 August. While the technical migration to a new system is underway you will not be able to submit information through the [email protected] mailbox.
The Compensation Fund has reinstated the old ROE Online system so that filing can continue during the update. The ROE Online system can be accessed from cfonline.labour.gov.za
You will be able to perform the following actions through the ROE Online system
Submit Return of Earnings
Retrieve Letter of Good Standing
Verify Letter of Good Standing
Furthermore, the online payment platform will no longer be available and you will need to utilise the banking details on the Notice of Assessment/Invoice to make direct payments through your bank.
The following contact details are available for any queries you may have:
The South African Reserve Bank has decided to decrease the repurchase rate (repo rate) by 25 basis points, effective from 19 July 2019.
The official interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on low or interest free loans to employees is set as 100 basis points above the repo rate. This means that the interest rate used for calculating the fringe benefit on employer loans decreases from 7.75% to 7.5%, effective 19 July 2019.
If you’re a SimplePay user, you do not need to take any action to implement the new interest rate, as we have already updated our system to reflect these changes. Therefore, all payslips dated and finalised from 19 July onwards will use the new interest rate. If a payslip dated after 19 July was finalised before the 19 July (i.e. it was finalised in advance), you will need to unfinalise the payslip and then finalise it again for the changes to take effect. As we have built our system to be intuitive, the previous interest rate will be used if you are still preparing payslips dated before the 19 July, regardless of what date you physically finalise the payslip.
If you are unsure of how to capture employee loans or calculate the fringe benefit on them, refer to our help page here.
We are happy to announce the release of a new feature that allows you to override payslip end dates in bulk. This feature is used to extend or shorten the payment period for a specified payslip.
This feature is particularly useful for companies that have an annual shutdown and pay their employees upfront for the period that they are on leave. If an employee is paid upfront for their leave period and the payslip end date is not changed to reflect this, then it is likely that the employee will overpay tax. This is because an employee’s year-to-date income earned and the length of period in which it was earned is used to calculate tax. Therefore, payslip dates must accurately depict the period for which the income is earned to ensure that the tax calculation is accurate.
Of course, overriding payslip end dates in bulk is not exclusively for annual shutdowns and this feature can be used in various contexts.
For more information on how to use this bulk action, refer to our help articles:
Sometimes small changes make a big difference, so you may spot some modifications that we have made to leave.
A new report
We have added a new report called Leave Days Report. This report shows the specific days that employees have taken/will take leave for the specified leave type and period. It complements our current Leave Report, which shows you the total number of leave days taken during the period, made up of the individual days shown on the Leave Days Report. This added leave report will simplify your payroll duties, as you can confirm leave dates with employees or managers. It is also useful in the management of employees and communication with other departments.
Visual tweaks to entitlement policies
We have made it clearer to see whether or not an employee is on the default company leave policy. When going to an employee’s profile and clicking on Leave > Entitlement Policies > Edit, (company default) will now display next to the leave policy if the employee is on the company’s default policy. In addition, we have updated the heading to display as Active Entitlement Policies.
You can still see the company default policy by going to Settings > Leave > View (next to the leave type) and scrolling to the bottom. However, we have changed the heading to Active Entitlement Policies (company defaults) to align with the changes made in the employees’ profiles.
We hope that these small changes will make a big difference in your payroll experience. If you need any help with leave management, refer to our help page here. For more information on reports, click here.
ETI is aimed at reducing youth unemployment by providing a tax incentive to employers who hire young workers aged 18 to 29. It was meant to end on 28 February 2019, with no further tax credits being granted. However, towards the end of 2018 it was confirmed that, due to the success of ETI, it would be extended until 2029.
As of 1 March 2019, the ETI remuneration brackets have also been amended to account for inflation. Employers must still pay employees who work 160 hours per month a minimum of R2 000 in order to claim ETI. However, the maximum that employees can earn and still qualify for ETI has now increased to R6 500 (from R6 000). As a result of this increase, the R2 001 – R4 000 bracket has also been amended. Employers can claim a R1 000 tax credit per month for the first 12 months for employees earning R2 000 to R4 500.
The new remuneration brackets are as follows:
ETI monthly tax credit in first 12 months of employment
ETI monthly tax credit in second 12 months of employment
You were onto something! Thanks to your suggestions on ways of making SimplePay even greater, we are happy to announce our newest feature! While we have built our system on simplicity and compliance, we understand that sometimes you have unique needs. Our new feature therefore gives you the ability to add your own fields to an employee’s Basic Info screen.
Want to capture an employee’s nickname or cellphone number? Add a custom “Text” field.
Want to record the date that employees completed their orientation training? Add a custom “Date” field.
Want to record an employee’s marital status? Add a custom “Dropdown” field with options to select from.
You can now capture the information that you want, with added features coming soon!
To learn more about how this functionality works, head over to our help page here.
We’d love to hear from you if this feature enhances your payroll experience. In addition, if you have any trouble with this new feature or would like some further guidance, please reach out to our friendly support team who would be happy to help.