Skills development and the bee codes

Both skills development and employment equity are imperative for businesses to comply with statutory and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE or BEE) scorecard requirements.

Skills Development in South Africa has become a strategic priority for businesses that wish to attain or retain an acceptable BEE level and also meet the requirements of the Skills Development Act. The Skills Development Act provides businesses with a solid framework to implement learning strategies towards skills development that will improve the South African workforce’s skills. With the revised BEE scorecard, companies can earn maximum skills development points if they spend the required 3% or 6% of their annual payroll on skills development programmes such as SETA-accredited training initiatives (depending on the business category).

A prerequisite for recognising any points under Skills Development on your BEE scorecard is the submission of the following:

  • Workplace Skills Plan (WSP);
  • Pivotal Plan;
  • Annual Training Report (ATR) prior to the deadline in April each year.

Businesses will only receive points on their BEE scorecard once they prove that a Workplace Skills Plan had been submitted. The new amended BEE Codes further require that the WSP and Pivotal Plan be approved by the SETA prior to earning any points on the BEE scorecard.

Benefits of paying the skills development levy

The Skills Development Levy (SDL) is payable by employers in different sectors of the economy and serves to fund learning and skills development programmes for socially and economically marginalised groups in South Africa. If your company promotes learning and development in the workplace, you will reap the rewards in the form of a better skilled and more productive workforce.

By paying your SDLs monthly, you qualify for –

  1. Skills development grants (mandatory and discretionary);
  2. Substantial tax allowances when you implement learnerships in your company;
  3. Businesses can qualify for a tax rebate of up to 50% of all employees below the age of 29 (youth subsidy) under certain circumstances;
  4. A further R80 000 as an additional tax expense to be recouped on all registered learnership programmes;
  5. An increase in your B-BBEE compliance level.

Businesses that are unaware of these incentives and claiming processes will forfeit valuable revenue.

We will advise businesses in this regard and provide a Skills Development Facilitator service that assists businesses in claiming back portions of the Skills Development Levies already paid to SARS.

Skills Development Levy Payable

Existing legislation requires all businesses with an annual payroll in excess of R500 000 (including director fees) to pay 1% of their payroll to SARS, which will then distribute the money to the appropriate SETA with which the business is registered.

Failure to pay this levy constitutes an offence. 

Claiming of skills development levies already paid

Depending on the specific needs of your sector/industry and SETA-specific requirements, contributing employers may annually claim back between 20% - 69,5% of skills levies paid to SARS, provided that they:

  • register a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF);
  • submit a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) indicating training for the next reporting period;
  • submit a Pivotal Plan that gives account of all training provided to employees during the reporting period;
  • offer SETA-accredited training such as Mandatory training and Learnerships etc.
Employment equity non-compliance

The Employment Equity Act requires businesses that employ more than 50 people or exceed certain thresholds as set for the specific industry to submit Employment Equity Reports / Plans to the Department of Labour before January each year. 

Businesses that fail to comply could potentially–

  • face fines of up to R2,7 million or 10% of annual turnover. The Employment Equity Act creates various criminal offences and stipulates that no points may be awarded under the Employment Equity element for BEE purposes if an Employment Equity Report was not submitted.
  • The Employment Equity report directly impacts compliance with Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE or BEE) and therefor failure to comply as an employer the company will be unable to accumulate any points on the Management and Control element for such clients.

Need assistance with your employment equity reports?

Options for skills development facilitation services
Standard SDF Service
SDF service & Training combined
SDF extended with Training & Labour services
Standard SDF Service

Option 1: Standard Skills Development Facilitation (SDF) service

In order to create synergy between the Skills Development Act, the Employment Equity Act and the BEE Codes, this option includes the following services where SERR Synergy will, on behalf of the client–

  • appointment of and acting as a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) for your business;
  • ensure that your business is registered with the relevant SETA;
  • submit an annual Workplace Skills Plan (WSP), Pivotal Plan and Annual Training Reports to ensure eligibility for mandatory grants awarded by your SETA;
  • claim annually from your industry-specific SETA;
  • introduce accredited training for the business to be presented by accredited training providers *no training included;
  • apply for Discretionary Grant, such as Learnerships, Apprenticeships, Internships, Bursaries and Adult Basic Education; *no skills development programmes included;
  • apply for Workplace Approval;
  • registration of Mentors, Apprentices and Learnership learners;
  • compile and submit an Employment Equity Plan; 
  • compile and submit annual Employment Equity Reports;
  • assist in establishing Training and/or Employment Equity Committees.

Please note that no training or labour services are included in the above standard SDF service option.

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SDF service & Training combined

Option 2: Skills Development Facilitation service and Training combined

This SDF option includes all the SDF services as listed in our Standard SDF service option plus facilitation of specific training courses as per our Training Schedule - 'Vision 2030 Training'. This training option includes Mandatory courses, a variety of non-accredited and accredited courses. 

  • SERR SYNERGY has compiled a very unique training product that focuses on 4IR skills whereby businesses can benefit from skills development and SETA-accredited training within their organisation. 
  • The Coronavirus pandemic have forced many businesses to follow a working from home policy that will require a new skills set from workers. We have combined online and conventional classroom mandatory training, accredited and non-accredited training courses into one comprehensive product that is available on an affordable monthly retainer basis.
  • Clients will be eligible to elect any number of courses from any of the Groups (Group A to F) per year. There is no restriction on the number of staff who can enrol for the courses selected per year, provided that adequate space is available to accommodate a single client’s request for a large number of trainees to be trained at once; alternatively, large numbers of staff can be spread over the full spectrum of the annual training cycle.
  • The selected courses per year and the number or staff nominated per course should coincide with the annual training planned by the client and as provided for in the entity’s Workplace Skills Plan (WSP).
  • Upon registration for our Skills Development Facilitation (SDF) service and combined Training product, clients will receive a quarterly schedule which will indicate the Vision 2030 courses available for the specific period. 

Please refer to our Training Schedule as per the Quotation document - Vision 2030 Training (Group A to F) or download our Training and Skills Development programmes brochure below. 

Download our Training and Skills Development Programmes Brochure

Please note that this option excludes Labour Pro services.

For more information, please speak to one of our consultants.

SDF extended with Training & Labour services

Option 3: Extended Skills Development Facilitation with the inclusion of Training and Labour Services

This option offers an all-inclusive SDF service where we have combined all our SDF services as listed in option 1 plus access to Vision 2030 Training in option 2 plus our Labour Pro service.

Labour Pro is an integrated labour and industrial relations service for businesses. By including this option, we will guide and assist businesses in proactive and supportive ways with regard to the required processes and procedures to ensure compliance with labour legislation and to mitigate the risks to which businesses are exposed in relation to employment issues.

Legislation covered by Labour Pro consulting service:

  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA);
  • Labour Relations Act (LRA);
  • Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF);
  • Workmen’s Compensation legislation / Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA);
  • National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA).

For more information, please speak to one of our consultants.

Download our Training and Skills Development Programmes Brochure Download our Labour Pro brochure

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