The date by which employers must submit their Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and the Annual Training Report (ATR) to their SETA’s is fast approaching. Don’t get caught with your pants down… again!
As consultants, we have come to realise that many companies are not aware of their legal obligation to pay a skills development levy and have little knowledge about the submission of the annual ATR and WSP reports.
Let’s look at the requirements step by step and break down some of the jargon.
Who is eligible to pay levies:
- A registered company that is paying PAYE to SARS. The company also must have an annual turnover cost of R500 000 OR more even those who are exempted by SARS.
- Your company will also have to be paying your 1% of your annual payroll towards the Skills Development Levy (SDL) for the sake of being compliant.
- To verify what you levy number is you can do this by requesting a Valid Tax Clearance certificate of EMP201 from SARS or contact your relevant SETA to verify your levy details.
What is an ATR?
An ATR is the acronym for Annual Training Report – This document is submitted to the relevant SETA and this report consists of all the attendance registers, proof of expenditure, training provider used in this report the SETA can establish whether training was done or in the process of being done
What is a WSP?
The Workplace Skills Plan serves to structure the type and amount of training for the year ahead and is based on the skills needs of the organisation. A good WSP should consider current and future needs, considering gaps identified through a skills audit, the performance management system, succession planning initiatives, and any new process or technology changes planned for the year.
And what exactly happens to the 1% that you pay over towards the SDL?
20% is allocated to the National Skills Fund (NSF) and 80% to the different SETAs.
The SETAs break their 80% down to 10.5% SETA administrational allowance, 0.5% to QCTO for quality assurance, 20% for Mandatory Grants and 49% for Pivotal Grants (which are split into 80% Pivotal Funding and 20% Discretional Funding).
The National Skills Fund support skills development projects that don’t fall under the SETAS. The fund enables the state to meet training needs of the unemployed, non-levy paying cooperatives, NGO’s, community structures and vulnerable groups. In 2015/2016 fifteen thousand students benefited from the R1 billion in scholarships and bursaries from the NSF.
Does your HR manager have your Skill Development needs under control?
Life happens. Employees get sick, they retire, they resign. You can still appoint a secondary SDF to double check your compliance and to be ready to step up, should your HR manager or internal SDF not be able to act when they are needed to.
Why should you use an external SDF?
Firstly, cost – you don’t need to employ another permanent staff member.
SDFs do Workplace Skills Plans (WSP) and Annual Training Reports (ATR) as their core business:
When you appoint an SDF, you only get billed for the time the facilitator spends working with your company. SDFs do Workplace Skills Plans (WSP) and Annual Training Reports (ATR) for a living; therefore, they can do this in a fraction of the time it would take a business owner or an HR manager who only works with this once a year. Failure to submit your WSP and ATR will result in a zero score on skills development as this is a strict requirement for the new B-BBEE codes.
SDFs keep up to date with all the changes in the SETAs. They know all the terminology, have the right contacts and have long-standing relationships with SETAs. They also keep themselves updated with the discretionary funding opportunities from the SETAs – Discretional and Pivotal Funding gets allocated the largest part of the SDL funds.
External SDFs have a huge network of service providers and will be able to refer you to the supplier whose training will best fit your company and employee’s needs.
Should you have more than 50 employees, you are required to create a Skills Development Committee that can be chaired by an internal or external Skills Development Facilitator. This committee identifies skills requirements that are evidenced through the provision of meetings and skills audits. You are also allowed to use an external SDF to chair these meetings.
One of the services offered by NETIKET is the use of external Skills Development Facilitators (SDF) to assist companies with exactly this process.