Skills Development – how to claim

If you are an organisation that is liable for and registered to pay a Skills Development Levy to SARS (where an employer expects that the total salaries will be more than R500 000 over the next 12 months, that employer becomes liable to pay SDL), you need to submit your Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and Annual Training Report (ATR) to your specific SETA by 30th April yearly to qualify for money back in training grants.

These are the percentages that you can recover:

  • 15% of the levy your company pays when you appoint and register a skills development facilitator
  • 10% of the levy when you prepare, submit and get approval for a workplace skills plan for the appropriate SETA
  • 20% of the levy when you prepare an annual training report based on your approved workplace skills plan

You can claim the cost of training, facilitators, training venue costs, course fees and course material. There must be documentation to prove the above.

HRTorQue does offer this service so if you need assistance please contact us on [email protected].

Skills Development Levy Annual Training Report and Workplace Skills Plan Deadline

Payment towards the Skills Development Levy grant scheme is legislated in terms of the Skills Development Levies Act, 1999. Under this act every employer in South Africa who is registered with SARS (South African Revenue Services) for PAYE; and has an annual payroll in excess of R500,000 or more than 50 employees must register with SARS to pay the Skills Development Levy.

If an employer wishes to have access to recover either a mandatory or discretionary grant (to reclaim portion of their SDL levy to support their staff training), or they wish to claim BBEEE points by setting up an apprenticeship or learnership programme, they are required to register with their appropriate SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) and submit an Annual Training Report and Workplace Skills Plan by the 30 April each year.

If you need assistance preparing either of these reports please feel free to contact one of our consultants at [email protected].

Skills Development Levy – Q&A

In this article we explore some of the common questions we get around the Skills Development Levy and interacting with your SETA.

Who can be my company’s Skills Development Facilitator and what do they do?

Your company’s skills development facilitator (SDF) can be either:
One of your employees;
An external person who you have formally contracted to take on this position; or
A person who you, together with a number of other employers, employ to assess the group’s skills development needs.

Your SDF will act as a liaison between your company and your Seta.

Your SDF must:

  1. Liaise with your Seta;
  2. Develop quality-assurance systems in your company;
  3. Develop, submit and implement your company’s workplace skills plan;
  4. Draft an implementation report against a workplace skills plan; and
  5. Tell you what your Seta’s quality assurance requirements are.

Can in-house training be considered a pivotal program?

Pivotal Programs are defined as professional, vocational, technical and academic learning programmes that result in qualifications or part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) that address critical and scarce skills needs. Internal programs would need to be registered in terms of NQF to be classified as pivotal and allow you to claim accordingly.

Must out-house training be accredited with an ETQA (Education and Training Quality Assurance Bodies) or is a certificate of completion enough?

Any course that is not accredited can be claimed for under the mandatory grant whereas training that is accredited with an ETQA can be claimed for under Pivotal and Discretionary grants.

How do unit standards work and how do we find out which unit standards are needed and likely to be granted discretionary funding?

A unit standard is:
A registered statement of desired education and training outcomes and its associated assessment criteria, together with administrative and other information as specified in the regulations.

Each unit standard has a credit value which is equivalent to 10 hours of notional learning. Notional learning time is:

  • The learning time that it would take an average learner to meet the outcomes defined.
  • It includes concepts such as contact time, time spent in structured learning in the workplace and individual learning.

Each unit standard has to be registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) – at a particular level, with a prescribed number of credits.

In terms of finding out what discretionary funding you will be granted; the best thing to do is to find out what the scarce and critical skills are as listed by your Seta.

Can you claim back your SDL for training non-employees (eg. teaching matriculants basic computer skills)?

Yes, this would be listed under Non-Employees.

How can you increase your BBBEE score with SDL claims?

This is based on your percentage of spend on BLACK employees and non-employees training and provided the criteria are met, can be credited against various part of the your scorecard (including Skills and Socio Economic Development).

Skills Development Levy Claims

Claim a Refund of up to 50% of your Skills Levy

The deadline for the submission of Workplace Skills Plans and Annual Training Reports is 30 June 2013. Organisations that comply with the Skills Development Act are able to claim up to 50% of their Skills Development Levy.

Should you need assistance with the completion of your Annual Training Report and Workplace Skills Plan please contact Nicky Hardwick: [email protected].

Skills Development

Would you like an independent assessment at no cost?

Aside from the monetary aspects, one of the major purposes of submitting a Workplace Skills Plan is to reflect the training/workshops that you have planned for the ensuing period. Ideally, this training should be planned with the intention to develop your employees’ technical and other skills to enhance their individual performance and overall contribution to the organisation as a whole.

In our experience we discover that in many instances this process is not done objectively and employees are either given a list of training programmes/workshops to select from or the organisation makes a random assessment at what is required.

In an effort to assist you objectively for the 2013 Workplace Skills Plan and Annual Training Report submission we are offering you a free assessment of your existing HR practices around this topic.

If you would like our input please mail an example of the following documents that you are presently using to [email protected]:

  1. Job Profile / Description
  2. Appraisal Document
  3. Individual Development Plan (this may already be included in the Appraisal Document)
  4. Skills and self development analysis document

Services SETA Deadline Extension – End July 2012

The Services SETA has extended their deadline for the Skills Plan (WSP and ATR) submission until 31 July 2012 due to problems with their online system.

Please contact Nicky Hardwick urgently if you need assistance with your Skills Development submission. Services SETA has warned clients not to leave this submission to the last minute as the system might give problems again at the last minute due to the inability to handle the large volumes of visitors.

You are reminded that HRTorQue is able to assist you in the submission of your Workplace Skills Plan and Annual Training Reports on a retainer or once off basis.

Skills Development Registrations

The Skills Development Act No. 97 of 1998 has as its purpose:

  • To develop the skills of the South African workforce
  • To increase the levels of investment in education and training
  • To encourage employers to provide employees with the opportunity to learn new skills
  • To encourage workers to participate in training programmes
  • To improve employment prospects for previously disadvantaged persons
  • To ensure the quality of workplace education and training

Every employer as defined in Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act is liable for the levy, except for the following:

  • Any public service employer
  • Any employer for whom there are reasonable grounds for believing that the total amount of payroll (remuneration) payable to all its employees during the following 12 months will not exceed R 500 000
  • Any religious or charitable institution or fund of a public character whose income is exempt from income tax
  • Any national or provincial public entity, if 80% or more of its expenditure is defrayed from funds voted by Parliament

If you fell into any of the categories above at the time that you outsourced your payroll to HRTorQue, you will not be registered for, nor will your company be calculating SDL and if we are making payments to SARS on your behalf, we will not be making this payment on behalf of your company, because you fell outside the definition as above.

Possible Action from you:

If you anticipate at any time that your payroll remuneration will exceed R500 000 in the following 12 months, or one of the other conditions has changed within your organisation.

Please advise your payroll administrator with immediate effect. Our tax department will contact you and make arrangements to register you for SDL, the payroll will be amended to calculate this amount and our payroll administration department will invoice and pay over this amount for you.

We unfortunately cannot make this choice for you as we cannot anticipate your actual salary bill for the next 12 months.

Please contact us if you don’t understand what’s required, or if we can assist you in any way: 031 564 1155.

Workplace Skills Plans and Annual Training Reports

Provision of Customised Skills Development / Coaching with a Difference!

  • We can assist you to recoup up to 50% of money spent on training from your industry SETA or apply for a grant.
  • We can also appoint a facilitator in order for you to claim a refund up to 45% of levies paid.

We have an exciting and effective new offering in the area of Skills Development for our clients and have partnered with specialists in the Human Resources Development, Sales, Tax, Payroll and strategic business development areas to add real value to your overall business. Apart from assisting in the assessment and completion of your skills audit, WSP and ATR we are offering clients meaningful coaching sessions with managers who require skills in various critical areas, from managing employees who are not performing or addressing sick leave and effective conflict management, as well as up skilling on the value, formulation and use of business processes or assistance in formulating a business strategy.

These interventions can be done on site on a one on one basis or within a group setting. In addition, we would like to take you a little further with an approach that is focused not only on compliance for the sake of compliance, but also on an holistic solution which will see your EE and SD being structured so as to maximise your BEE points and, where this is not required, to ensure that your training is targeted to make the required changes in your Employment Equity plan possible.

Our approach is not to necessarily take employees out of their work place for days to attend generic training programmes but to rather develop and customise the development intervention that is required by your specific company and employees, with the aim of adding the most value to the employee in their respective environment and role and the business as a whole. In June of every year, thousands of companies miss out on recovering at least 50% of the skills levies paid during the previous year!

HRTorQue Outsourcing will assist you to benefit if you are one of the companies that do not submit a Workplace Skills Plan and Annual Training Report to your Industry SETA.

HRTorQue Outsourcing has a unique product offering to assist you to not only gain non-tangible benefits from skills development, but to receive money back for training programmes, workshops, conferences employees attend and in some instances, Company sponsored tertiary education of employees.

The product offering comprises a skills audit by a consultant at your premises, a Workplace Skills Plan and an Annual training Plan for submission to the relevant industry SETA. In addition to this, we are well placed to offer high quality in house programmes to meet the skills development needs of your Company and one on one coaching or in groups.

We look forward to partnering with you to ensure that you meet the strategic development needs of your Company and to recoup the maximum on your training spend or to claim a grant from your SETA. Please contact Melany on [email protected] for more information on this new and exciting product offering.