HRTorQue Now Offering VIP and Psiber Payroll Support

We are pleased to announce that HRTorQue now has the resources and capability to offer a support service to clients who wish to run their own payrolls on Sage VIP or Psiber, but who need help with material changes. 

Our team are available to help with:

  • Payroll Setup
  • IRP5s and EMP501 Reconciliations and Submissions
  • Report Setup
  • Package Changes e.g. medical aid price increases; new income/deductions

Namibia Implementation of Integrated Tax System

(Source: CRS)

The Ministry of Finance has developed an integrated information technology solution for the administration of taxes. The new system, known as Integrated Administration System (ITAS) is replacing the existing legacy system (Taxlive) and became operational on 17 January 2019.

Taxpayers are urged to register as E-service users and maximize the benefits of electronic filing. To register, log in on www.itas.mof.na and download the ITAA Portal User Guide.

Key changes employers should take note of:

  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN): The new system requires a “0” (zero) to be added in front of your existing TIN. Current TIN’s (7 digits) on Taxlive will be migrated to ITAS, where an additional digit, ‘0’, will be added in front of the existing 7 digits in order to make up the 8 digit TIN required for ITAS.
  • Employees Tax Return Tax details (ETX): An employer’s Tax return is designed to capture employees tax detail. This change will be effective as from 1 March 2019, and all employers will be required to submit a detailed monthly ETX return which contains Employees’ PAYE 4 details as opposed to just a monthly payment. An excel sheet template designed for this purpose can be downloaded from the portal and can be uploaded after completing it when the taxpayer submits the return.
  • Tax Period Number for all Tax Types: With ITAS, the tax period number does not represent the calendar Month. For example, period 01/2019 does not mean January 2019, but it means period one (1) of 2019.

The submission of monthly employee tax (PAYE) returns are expected to be lodged online, through the ITAS portal as from March 2019. The online submission is done by completing an Excel spreadsheet with detailed payroll information of employees and uploading it on ITAS.

The Ministry was informed that some employers are not ready to submit their PAYE returns electronically due to the need to adjust their payroll systems in order to be compliant with the ITAS requirements.

It was agreed that affected employers may submit their monthly PAYE returns manually until September 2019. Thereafter no manual submissions for PAYE will be accepted.

Employers opting to submit their returns manually must take note that they are obliged to update all manual submissions by uploading electronic versions on ITAS by September 2019.

The deadline for submission and payment remains the 20th of every month.

HRTorQue Becomes a Signatory of the UN Global Compact

HRTorQue is pleased to announce we have become a signatory of the UN Global Compact. The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals. The UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles encapsulate a desire to incorporate and improve the following areas of one’s business:

  • Human Rights
  • Labour – including the elimination of unfair discrimination
  • Environment – and greater environmental responsibility
  • Anti-Corruption

HRTorQue believes good citizenship is an essential ingredient of good business and through this initiative hopes to build on the principles already embedded in our organisation.

Substantive Fairness in Dismissal

(Source: IR Network LexisNexis)

South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union obo Maribe / Flamingo Casino – (2019) 28 CCMA 8.37.5 (CCMA) also reported at [2019] 4 BALR 433 (CCMA).

Subject Matter Classification:

Substantive fairness in dismissal – Misconduct – Racist language – Employee warning colleagues that they faced dismissal because they were black after colleague dismissed by white presiding officer – Dismissal fair. 

Mini Case Summary:

The applicant employee was dismissed for declaring while defending a colleague in a disciplinary hearing that “this is a racist issue” and telling employees afterwards that they faced dismissal because they were black. The employee denied making a statement about a racist issue during the disciplinary hearing but admitted that he had told employees afterwards that they faced disciplinary action because they were black.

The Commissioner accepted that the employee had uttered the words “this is a racist issue” and had also told employees that they faced dismissal because they were black. There was clearly a link between the two comments. The employee had not been charged with racism, but with uttering comments which clearly had racist connotations because they were uttered immediately after an employee had been dismissed by a white presiding officer. Moreover, the applicant had previously been warned for making racially charged comments. Dismissal was, accordingly, appropriate in the circumstances.

The dismissal was upheld.

The Future of Work

“The future of work is being shaped by two powerful forces: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet talent.” (Source: Deloitte Insights)

The Future of Work is a current debate around how new technology and global changes will impact three aspects of our work environment. What work will be done (the work), who will do the work (the workforce) and where will the work be done (the workplace).

  • The Work
    We are already seeing artificial intelligence and other technologies (including robotics) make in-roads into the traditional processing and repetitive tasks of the past. This substitution of repeatable tasks will over time most likely push human interventions into areas involving problem-solving, communication, listening, interpretation, and design.
  • The Workforce
    Traditional models of companies engaging permanent, long term workforces in fixed locations have made way for flexible working models with greater use of managed services and outsourcing; independent contractors; gig workers and crowdsourcing.
  • The Workplace
    Digital communication, collaboration platforms and digital reality technologies, along with societal and marketplace changes have already made it easier for teams to be distributed rather than in fixed physical locations. We have already seen industries with bricks and mortar pulling back and closing branches/retail outlets to cut overheads and adapt to changing conditions.

In South Africa, we have a couple of pre-conceived ideas that because we tend to be a semi-skilled labour market the debate around the Future of Work should only be the preserve of specific skilled and wealthy industries and even then; are only future questions and shouldn’t impact our current approach to work, the workplace and the workforce. 

For the next couple of editions of our reporter, we are planning to explore some of the issues/questions raised by the Future of Work and consider how these are pertinent to our organisations today in South Africa.

Business Intelligence Tools and HR

Modern technology offers businesses essential tools to better interrogate data to improve decision making. HRTorQue is working with a number of BI Tools to improve the quality of data available to CFOs and HRDs in the workplace.

Consider these scenarios:

  • You are sitting in an EXCO meeting having presented your HR Strategy and your CEO asks you for specific data on the impact of absenteeism on the business and why it isn’t a key part of your strategy. He/she then follows up with a question on whether your main operating facility workforce is more efficient this year than last. These are key question to your strategy, but you didn’t manage to get all the data before you came to EXCO. By not having the figures handy you undermine an otherwise strong presentation. A BI Tool gives you access to dashboards that you can easily change to interrogate data real time.
  • Your CEO wants to understand how workforce efficiencies have improved over time, what the actual cost of different cost centres is and how variable pay elements (commissions/overtime) relate to actual company sales and performance. His/her hope is to quickly identify where cost creep has occurred and identify whether employment costs are aligned with actual company performance. Usually this analysis would take a few weeks and would include involving finance and operations with ongoing worries about leaking sensitive payroll data. A BI Tool allows you to interrogate more quickly the data from multiple systems to easily answer and stress test this type of analysis.
  • You are tasked with running your employment equity reporting and have no idea how good your existing data in your payroll system is. Instead of re-creating the report or running into troubles at the last minute when you have to change for missing data, a BI Tool allows you to easily analyse and track missing or incomplete data making the filing considerably easier.

Having worked on these platforms for clients, there is no doubt these tools are essential for top management as a way to easily get a response to critical questions, but also importantly to use actual data to make decisions as opposed to people’s viewpoints or speculation. Pooling data from different systems (finance, payroll, ERP) is relatively easy to do meaning more time gets spent on asking the right questions as opposed to gathering data.

Ghana Changes to Tax Rates

An additional Personal Income Tax band of 35% for monthly income in excess of GHS10 000 was introduced during the Mid-year Budget Statement and came into effect 1 August 2018.

Following feedback from the public after the implementation of the new tax band, Government concluded that some relief from this tax measure is justified. Accordingly, Government reviewed this band to impact monthly income above GHS20 000 at a rate of 30%. The Income Tax Amendment (No. 2) Act, 2018 (Act 979) has since been amended to revise the rates for the taxation of income of resident individuals.

The Income Tax Rates came into effect on 1 January 2019.

Namibia Budget Speech

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Calle Schlettwein, presented the 2019 Budget Speech to Parliament on 27 March 2019.

  • The budget deficit is estimated at N$8.2 billion or 4.1% of GDP and averaging 3.4% over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
  • Inflation remains stable at 4.4% in February this year, after averaging 4.3% over 2018.
  • Total revenue for 2019/2020 is estimated at N$58.4 billion, 3.0% better than the estimated outturn for 2018/19 and 29.7% of GDP.
  • Expenditure as a proportion of GDP reduced from 42% to 34.9% in FY 2018/19.
  • Old age pensions are increased by N$50 to a monthly grant of N$1300.

The main tax proposals include:

  • Phasing out the current tax incentive for manufacturers and exporters of manufactured goods, repealing the Export Processing Zone and introducing the Special Economic Zones, with a sunset clause for current operators with the EPZ status.
  • Introducing a 10 percent dividend tax for dividends paid to residents.
  • Subject income derived from commercial activities of charitable, religious, educational and other types of institutions under Section 16 of the Income Tax Act to normal corporate tax requirements.
  • Taxing all income earned from foreign sources. Namibian residents will have to declare such income in their annual tax returns.
  • Increase the tax deductibility of retirement fund contributions from the current N$40,000 per annum to 27.5% of income with a maximum of N$150,000 to encourage savings and provisions for retirement.
  • Disallow deductibility of fees and interest paid to non-residents for calculating taxable income until payment of withholding tax paid is proven.
  • Remove VAT zero-rating on sugar.
  • Disallow deductibility of royalties for non-diamond mining entities.
  • No changes in personal or corporate tax rates proposed.

Employee New PAYE Business Reporting Spec for Employer Filing Season

Effective September 2019

SARS published the tax certificate specification document on 26 March 2019.

The document specifies the requirements for the generation of an import tax file for the annual as well as the interim submission. The requirements in this version of the BRS will become effective from September 2019 PAYE interim reconciliation period. To access the new BRS, please click here.