Make skills investment legislation work for you

South African businesses should be aware that the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)/Annual Training Report (ATR) submission deadline is 30 April and compliance means being able to benefit from a money-back guarantee from investment in employee skills.

Each business sector has its own SETA (Skills Education Training Authority) and the Skills Development Act requires employers to submit a WSP and ATR to their respective SETA at the end of April.

For some companies, it is an arduous and challenging undertaking to ensure compliance and the timely delivery of the SETA report. For most businesses, there is a genuine desire to invest in skills, but also secure the return on investment, says CRS Technologies, a specialist provider of HR and Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions.

The company says businesses have a clear opportunity to leverage this technology and build their capacity.

Nicol Myburgh, Head of HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says a core component of the legislation is that employers with a total salary of R500 000 or more over a twelve-month period are required to pay Skills Development Levies to SARS on a monthly basis. SARS contributes these fees to the respective SETAs (Skills Education Training Authority), which, in turn, is allocated to grants.

Myburgh says, “WSP/ATR legislation is designed to encourage employers to invest in skills and the advantage for businesses is that up to twenty percent of the invested monthly amount can be claimed back from your SETA for all training – including internal training expenditure.”

SETAs offer mandatory grants to employers investing in their employee development. Discretionary grants are also granted to develop scarce skills.

CRS Technologies has an established legislation division with the expertise and resources to advise clients on the best practice process to comply with legislation, and, specifically compile relevant skills reports.

“We can help optimise your BBBEE score and help to increase the financial benefits for your organisation. Clients can literally empower their workforce and build the business at the same time, both in terms of operations and finances,” adds Myburgh.