Ending Service on SimplePay

One of the many tragic results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the adverse effect that it has had on businesses, resulting in the need to reduce staff complements, close divisions or cease trading entirely. We realise the importance of receiving clear guidelines during such difficult and confusing times. This blog post, therefore, aims to provide clarity on how to manage your SimplePay account should you find yourself in one of these unfortunate circumstances.

Employees Leaving your Company

Ending Employees Service

If for any reason, one or more of your employees are no longer able to work for your business, whether only for a period of time or indefinitely, it is important to end their service on SimplePay for the following reasons:

  1. Ending employees’ service correctly provides them access to accrued unemployment insurance (UIF) benefits or TERS benefits.
  2. SimplePay’s pricing model is based on the number of active employees on the system at the start of your monthly billing cycle. Therefore, if the employee is still active on the system when your invoice is generated, you will be charged for the employee even if no payslips have been processed for that employee. 

Information on ending an employee’s service is detailed in this help article, including steps to follow, the end service checklist and which UIF status code to use.

If you have several employees whom you have to end service for, you can do this in bulk, as detailed in this blog.

If you are ending employees’ service in order to apply for TERS benefits for them, the correct UIF status code to use is given in the COVID-19 UIF Quick Reference Guide.

What Must be Provided to Employees Upon Ending Their Service

Having ended an employee’s service, there are a number of forms which you must provide them with. SimplePay generates the following forms on your behalf, saving you the added paperwork (click on the link for each for further information): 

More information on these forms can also be found in the COVID-19 UIF Quick Reference Guide. By furnishing employees with the above forms, this means that if you are not participating in the TERS scheme, employees can claim UIF benefits. For information on how to assist employees in this process, refer to this help page.

If whilst still under your employ, an ex-employee was sent invoice emails from SimplePay, the billing email list needs to be amended. To do this, click on the Profile Icon > Billing > Update Billing preferences and remove the relevant billing email(s). 

The final thing which you must check before your employees can claim UIF is that you are up to date with UIF declarations and payments. SimplePay has recently released several new features to ensure that you have all the information you could possibly need. As detailed in our blogs you can now download submissions, responses and view reasons for any error responses, allowing you to correct any issues that may have arisen. 

If you pay your and your employees’ UIF contributions directly across to SARS, SimplePay automatically details the UIF amounts owed in the generated monthly EMP201s. If adhered to, this should mean that you are not in any arrears. 

By following the above, this should result in a smooth transition and lessen the stress for all parties involved.

Shutdown of Business

Lockdown or other reasons might mean you sadly need to close your business on a temporary or permanent basis. Your intention on whether to reopen your business or not determines the appropriate actions to take.

Closing For A Period of Time

If it becomes necessary to close your business, but you intend to reopen, you should end the service for all employees and provide them with the necessary forms (as detailed above). 

As you are charged per active employee, ending the service for your workforce means that you will not be billed until they become active again.

Permanent Business Closure

In the unfortunate event that you need to close your business permanently, the following steps  need to be followed:

  1. End Service for Employees and Furnish Them with Forms – as described under “Employees Leaving Your Company” (above), the employees’ service should be ended and they should be provided with the forms to facilitate claims for UIF benefits.
  2. Deactivate Admin Users on your Account – if you have provided administrative privileges of your company to any ex-employees, we would recommend that these are deactivated upon ending their service. To do this, click on the profile in the top right corner > Manage Users >Delete. Should you wish for an ex-employee to retain access, you can leave their access rights unamended.
  3. (Optional) Remove the Company From SimplePay – If you wish you can delete your company from SimplePay. We strongly recommend against this as it will mean you no longer have access to information assimilated on SimplePay, which might come in useful e.g. should you have any documents requested from SARS. If you wish to delete the company details of how to can be found here

Closing User Account on SimplePay

It may be the case that you have come to the decision to close your account on SimplePay. If you are sure that this is the right decision for you and there is nothing we can do to change your mind, you will need to do the following:

  1. Get in touch with SimplePay at [email protected] and request they close your account. It would be greatly appreciated if in this email you include:
    1. The reason(s) for ending your SimplePay membership
    2. Method of payment used (direct debit / EFT etc.)

N.B.  SimplePay provides you with the option of freezing your account, meaning you can still access SimplePay for three months. This provides you with ample opportunity to ensure that there is not any information that you need which is still on SimplePay.  If though, you are certain that you have all the information you need, you can also opt to close your account with immediate effect.

  1. If there are any outstanding sums, these must be paid. If you are not in a position to do so, please advise us of this so that our billing team can engage with you on the best course of action.

We appreciate that this must be an extremely stressful and turbulent situation for you, with many hard decisions to make. If this is the end of your use of SimplePay, thank you for the support. We wish you well and hope that we will get the opportunity to work symbiotically with you again in the not-so-distant future. Should you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

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

Commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is South Africa’s legislation for the protection of individuals’ personal information against unethical use.

Despite being passed into law back in 2013, most of POPI has been waiting in the wings to be commenced. At the end of June 2020, the President announced that  1 July 2020 is the commencement date for the majority of the remaining POPI sections, with the exception of sections 110 and 114(4), which are to commence on 30 June 2021. 

This starts a one year grace period for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant. In this blog we will outline how SimplePay fits into the equation of POPI and our compliance with its requirements.

Overview of Organisations’ Responsibilities under POPI

POPI lists eight key principles with respect to the lawful processing of personal information, most of which can be grouped  into three broader categories. The first category relates to the collection of information, where the purpose for the collection should be clear and the accuracy of information ensured. The second category relates to the processing of information, where it can only be processed for the purpose it was collected, not for an expanded or additional purpose. The third category relates to security, where the information needs to have sufficient security measures to reduce the risk of data breaches.

The final principle that does not fit into the three above categories is accountability. POPI states that the responsible party needs to ensure that the conditions for lawful processing are met. 

Responsible Parties and Operators

The responsible party with respect to POPI is the public or private body or any other person which determines the purpose of and means for the processing of information.

An operator is a person or entity who processes information for a responsible party in terms of a contract or mandate, without coming under the direct authority of that party.

Putting this into context, you, the client are the responsible party for your employees’ (data subjects) personal information. SimplePay is acting as an operator for your benefit, processing your employees’ personal information in order to assist you in your payroll obligations. The relevance of this is that a party’s role determines their rights, obligations and liabilities.

An example of this is shown above, where the responsible party is obliged to ensure the conditions for lawful processing are met when determining the purpose of the processing.

SimplePay’s POPI Compliance

Even before it was required by law, SImplePay was already largely compliant with all our operational regions’ data protection laws, due to our underlying commitment to strict privacy and data handling practices. Since 2018, SimplePay has been fully compliant with GDPR, the EU’s equivalent data protection legislation, with which POPI shares many principles. This has resulted in SimplePay being compliant with POPI even before the official commencement of the Act.  

This means you can have peace of mind that the rights of you and your employees have always been, and will continue to be safeguarded by us. 

For greater detail on SimplePay’s compliance with POPI, you can visit the dedicated page on our website: www.simplepay.co.za/popi.

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, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website at simplepay.co.za.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Update: June TERS Applications

Since the announced opening of TERS applications for June, mentioned in our blog, the application portal site has experienced technical difficulties. This has resulted in June applications being closed until this glitch is ironed out. 

In a media statement, Minister Maruping suggested that testing may be done by Friday, so that applications for June can be reopened over the weekend.

The full media statement can be read here.

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, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.co.za.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Update on TERS May Applications and June Applications Now Live

You may have noticed it’s been a while since we have had a blog with the word TERS in the title. This is a good thing! This is a reflection of how the process has been streamlined and clarified through the hard work of the UIF. This blog therefore aims to provide a consolidatory recap on some of the questions which remained outstanding since our last blog on TERS.

Application Process for May

As we’re sure you are aware, the application process for May is much the same as the process was for April, being made via the online portal at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19

The Department of Employment and Labour has released a TERS May 2020 Applications – Application Guide (Application Guide), which provides you with a step by step guide on how to Apply for May. Additionally there is an attached FAQ for common problems experienced during the process.

Applicants Reapplying in May, Having Received TERS Benefits for April

If you are reapplying for TERS benefits for your employees, having received TERS benefits for them for April, you simply need to follow the instructions laid out in the Application Guide (linked above).

One point to note is that in step 7 of the guide, if you select Yes to both questions one and two, then the system will re-submit your application for April (but with the altered date range). This can lead to errors. Even if you think the above is correct, we would advise you to submit a new application and attach a new CSV, lessening the chance of errors.

Having uploaded your new CSV, you can submit and that’s it! your application is filed!

Applicants Reapplying in May, Having Not Received TERS Benefits for April

Although the UIF has made significant inroads into the backlog of April Applications, there are still a limited number of unpaid applicants. If you have not received any payment for any of your employees for April, the last FAQ in the  Application Guide would suggest that you nonetheless can apply. Unfortunately, it is not stated what you should put in place of the proof of payment to employees, under step 6 of the Application Guide. We would imagine that, similar to entities applying for the first time in May, you can substitute proof of payment with a letter in the format prescribed in step 6. We would though recommend you verify this with the TERS call centre on 0800 030 007.

If some of your employees have received TERS benefits in April, but you are still awaiting payment for some, you can continue to apply for all of the employees for May. When the employees who are yet to receive TERS payments, do get payment, proof of payment can be sent to [email protected].

Points of Note for Applicants in Non-standard Situations

Applicants Applying in May for the First Time

Note: You will first need to register. This can be done at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/, by clicking on Register. The steps which should be followed are the same as in the Application Guide, save for what’s mentioned below.

At the opening of May Applications, employers wanting to apply for the first time in May encountered the problem that they were unable to provide proof of payment of benefits for April (Step 6 of the Application Guide).

The UIF has now put forward a solution. Employers who have not applied for April relief must attach a signed letter, on a company letterhead, confirming that they did not apply in April. This needs to be signed by the director or CFO of the company and attached in PDF format under “Signed Proof of Acceptance Letter”.

In step 7 you should select No to both questions and the shutdown date range should reflect the date range your operations were totally or partially closed for this period. After clicking PROCEED, you can fill in the staff for which you wish to claim. SimplePay provides a TERS CSV download, saving you the arduous task of inputting all employees manually. More information can be found on our related help page, linked here.

Extra Info

Advance Payments – Setting Off 

Due to the quantity of applications and number of possible reasons for delay, it is likely that TERS benefits are not always released to employees in timely, periodic instalments. This can clearly create all manner of difficulties for your employees.

To address this issue, if employers are able, they can advance money less than or equal to the TERS benefit amount to their employees, then set off this money when the TERS benefits are disbursed. The same principle applies for if it was agreed between the employer and employee that they would take annual leave, the sums the employer paid can be set off, provided the employee regains their leave entitlement.

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].

TERS Applications for the Month of June

The UIF has announced that TERS applications for June are now open. To date there have been no new documents released for June applications, so we assume that the information provided above for May is also relevant to June applications. If you wish to verify this, we would recommend contacting the COVID-19 TERS hotline on 0800 030 007.

Keep well and stay safe,

Team SimplePay

New Feature: End Service Checklist

You asked us for a way to help you remember to capture the necessary payslip items associated with employee terminations, and we’ve been listening. Introducing our newest feature: the End Service Checklist.

When ending an employee’s service on the system, there will now be a pop up if the employee:

  • has a positive leave balance that you need to pay out
  • has a savings balance that you need to pay out 
  • has a loan balance that still needs to be paid

If you are capturing the termination and the employee only has the last payslip as a draft (i.e. prior payslips have been finalised), you can click on each item in the checklist to open the system item where action is needed.

More information on these topics can be found in the following help articles:

Please note: Expansion of this feature is in our pipeline. At this stage, this new checklist only works for:

  • employees terminated individually, not in bulk.
  • positive balances (i.e. if an employee’s leave balance is a negative, then it will not appear on the checklist).

We hope this new feature is everything that you imagined it would be, and more!

If you need assistance with any of these payslip items, please contact us.

Team SimplePay

Improved Functionality for Deleting Leave Requests

At SimplePay, we believe in continuous improvement and are therefore committed to refining and enhancing the system to better suit your needs. With that in mind, we have made tweaks to our leave functionality to improve the deleting of leave requests. We’d like to highlight some of these changes:

  • In addition to payroll administrators and leave admins, previously approved leave requests can now also be deleted by any leave approver that is part of the employee’s approval group.
  • Where the payslip for the period when the leave dates occurred is unfinalised, the leave request will immediately be deleted in its entirety when clicking on Delete
  • Leave requests with leave dates that fall during a pay period with finalised payslips will result in the opening of a new screen when clicking on Delete. From this screen, you can
    • see which of the leave days cannot be deleted as they impact the pay on a finalised payslip, and which of them can be deleted;
    • directly open the payslip where the nett pay is impacted by the leave, if you have administrator rights in addition to being a leave approver; 
    • opt to delete leave in its entirety (the default) or superficially*.

*The Retain these leave dates? checkbox is used to indicate whether leave should be deleted in its entirety or superficially. If you leave the option unchecked, the leave request will be deleted in its entirety (the leave request will be deleted, the leave days will be removed from the calendar and the leave days will be added back to the employee’s leave balance). If you select the checkbox, the leave request will be deleted superficially (only the actual request will be deleted, but the leave will remain recorded in the leave calendar and the leave balance will still take into account the leave days recorded).

You can read more about deleting leave on our help page here.

We hope these improvements provide more useful information and a more enjoyable user experience. 

If you require any assistance, please reach out to our Support team here.

Team SimplePay

Expanded Functionality: Download Responses to Electronic UIF Submissions

In our blog on 18 May, we informed you that in addition to our email confirming UIF submissions, we had added new functionality where you could download your submitted file. In order to keep you in the loop with UIF communications, whilst saving you the hassle of having to go through the UIF submission process, we have enhanced our UIF submission functionality. SimplePay now allows the downloading of both monthly submissions and responses from the UIF on one page. 

To reiterate, whilst these files may not be useful for payroll administration purposes, they will provide records of the file submitted and the response from the UIF.

To locate and download the files:

  1. Go to Filing
  2. In the UIF Declaration section for the relevant month, click Submit
  3. After submission, click on awaiting_response. This will open up a new pop-up, from which you can download your submission file.
  1. When SimplePay receives a response from the UIF, the status will either change to confirmed or error.
  2. Click on confirmed or error to obtain more information on your submission.
  3. As was the case in step 3, you can download your submission by clicking on the icon under Submission. You can download the UIF’s response to your application by clicking on the icon under Response.

In the case of confirmed applications, the icon for downloading the UIF’s responses are shown below:

In addition to being able to download the submission file and response, submissions with an “error” response also provide insight into the reason for the error. This can be viewed by hovering over the blue question mark to the right of the failure status:

More information on UIF submissions, submissions for foreign employees and re-submissions can be found on our help page.

Please note: Should you need to open these files, you will need to rename the file to include “.csv” at the end (and remove the abbreviation for the current file format). This will allow you to view the file in Excel, Google Sheets or another spreadsheet application.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you require any assistance regarding this functionality, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team at [email protected].

Keep well and stay safe.

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