By now, most business owners have seen many reminders on the internet about the deadline for Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and Annual Training Report (ATR) submissions that are due 30 April 2020. Skills Development legislation currently determines that any business with an annual payroll of over R500 000 are required to submit their WSPs and ATRs – if this is your business, then you may wonder where to even start preparing for these submissions and why you should comply at all. 

Why is WSP/ATR Submission beneficial to your business?

While this compliance may seem cumbersome at first, the truth is that there are tangible benefits for your business to submit a WSP and ATR. If you meet the requirements of these submissions, your business can claim back up to 20% of your Skills Development Levy (SDL) from the specific industry’s SETA. The WSP/ATR Submission is also a core component of the Skills Development priority element on your BEE Scorecard.

  • Mandatory & Discretionary Grants
    Your WSP/ATR Submission allows you to access mandatory grants, and you can apply for discretionary grants from your SETA, to help fund your training.
  • Learnership tax rebates
    When planning your training for the year, always keep in mind that any registered Learnership can award your company with Tax Rebates from SARS. You can claim a Tax Rebate of R80 000 for an able-bodied learner and R120 000 for a Disabled learner. These rebates are allocated per Learner and can give your company a good financial boost.
  • Better BEE Scores
    Skills Development is one of the key elements on the BEE scorecard, as well as the most beneficial when implemented correctly. Aligning your WSP/ATR to your BEE could be the key factor in gaining 1 to even 2 BEE levels.
  • Better employees for more productivity
    This is simple – better-trained employees’ equal better productivity and can promote your business with employees who feel empowered by their employer. If employee retention is a priority, training is an effective solution to benefit everyone.

Where to start with your WSP/ATR Submission

If this is your year for a WSP/ATR Submission, you might be worried about the administrative burden and the looming deadline on 30 April 2020. Don’t panic – you still have time. First, ensure that you have the following information available:

  • Employee Profile: a list of every employee who works for you, with their occupational level, gender, race, and other demographic information you have.
  • All training that has been completed in 2019: invoices and proof of training (certificates/attendance registers).

GET STARTED WITH THESE STEPS:

  1. Appoint a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF): An SDF is a person trained and qualified to complete your submissions with the SETA. They have the relevant knowledge to quickly assess and analyze your business environment and create and submit effective plans for you.
  2. Work with your SDF to identify the scarce and critical skills you have in your business. 
  3. Your SDF will help you determine what skills are a priority, scarce, and critical – then identify skills gaps that currently exist and how it can be addressed in the year to come.
  4. Now, your SDF will compile all of this information into a structured strategy to address gaps – which is the WSP and ATR. The ATR contains all the information about the training for 2019, while the WSP stipulates how you are moving forward using a combination of different training strategies. The WSP must also make provision for your Discretionary Grant applications that will follow, and its planning will already determine the benefits you can get from this WSP/ATR Submission.
  5. The hard part for you is now over – your SDF will now check that you are registered with the correct SETA, administrate any registration issues, and then complete and submit your submission.

Skills-Development_Infographic1

Infographic: 5 Steps to your first WSP and ATR Submission

When do you get your benefits?

  • Your SDF will help you to apply for Mandatory and Discretionary grants.
  • Your SDF will help you implement registered Learnerships in line with your strategy.
  • Your next Tax Return will provide you with the opportunity to claim tax incentives and rebates if you have implemented any registered Learnerships. 

What is the purpose of the Skills Development Act? How is it helping our country and my business?

The Skills Development Act was created to develop the skills of the South African workforce, which should lead to improving the quality of life of many South Africans and improve productivity for employers.

In addition, it also aims to promote self-employment and delivery of social services, increase investment in education and training, encourage employers to focus on employee development, and encourage workers to participate in learning programmes (among others). But, this Act can only work with buy-in from the private sector to bring real change to South Africa’s workforce. For this reason, there are incentives set in place to encourage the private sector’s buy-in.

SDF CORP WILL BE COMPLETELY OPERATIONAL DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN TO ASSIST ALL CLIENTS AND BUSINESS WITH THEIR SUBMISSIONS AND REQUIREMENTS DURING THIS TIME. OUR TEAM WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU VIA EMAIL, SKYPE, AND TELEPHONE TO ENSURE CONTINUOUS OPERATIONS.

Is your business COVID-ready?

Our COVID-19 Safety Files makes it easy - over 100 pages of every policy and template you need

Get #BEEready in 2021

A free BEE Guide for anyone starting out with BEE or responsible for BEE implementation in their company, compiled by our group of experts in strategic BEE.