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LabourNet March Newsletter

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How the first quarter of 2015 has flown by! We do trust that so far it has been a good one for you and your organisation.

By now the fun and festivities of the December holidays have faded into the distance and what lies ahead is tax year end procedures and recons, tax certificates, EMP501’s and the like – fun stuff !

Nevertheless all of this is part of our profession so we simply have to get on with it.

With the recent budget speech and all the very important changes that need to be implemented in our organisations to ensure compliance, it is not uncommon for Employers to feel a little overwhelmed at this time, particularly with the fact that some of us will have to pay in a bit more tax this year. We trust that this Newsletter will provide you with a quick reminder and checklist of all the items you need to take note of to kick start the new tax year.

Given the highly publicised shortfall in income VS expenditure anticipated by the National Treasury this year the spotlight has definitely shifted to further enforce compliance by individuals and Employers across the board. There will be greater emphasis on collecting outstanding taxes and penalties via the AA88’s process by pressuring Employers to ensure that these are dealt with accurately and timeously, so watch this space. The end goal being - the collection of more taxes!!

Finally, we would like to once again wish you all the best for the 2015 year and remind you that should you need us through this stressful time we are only a phone call (or email) away

The 2015 Payroll Managers’ Tax Year End seminar is just around the corner !!

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Join Rob Nowicki and LexisNexis for the 2015 Payroll Managers’ Tax Year End Seminar running from 9 - 20 March 2015. Will tax collections be a key priority for SARS in 2015, and if so are you ready?

The 2015 Payroll Managers Tax Year end seminar is designed to prepare you, in a quick and simple manner, for that dreaded tax year end, and most importantly, to get you ready for the new tax year.

Presenter Rob Nowicki has vast practical experience in the payroll industry and has been actively involved in developing and managing Payroll, HR and Tax Systems for over thirty years, both locally and internationally.

Newsflash : Labour Relations Act Amendments

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After much uncertainty and debate on whether the amendments to the Labour Relations Act will ever be effective, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, has finally published the effective date of the said Act.

New Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers

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On the 24th November 2014, the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, in terms of Section 56(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, amended Sectoral Determination 7: Domestic Worker Sector.
The new minimum wage, which will be effective as of the 1st December 2014, is as follows: 

Tax and Legislative Flash: Retirement Reform Changes

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It was recently announced that the proposed changes regarding how contributions to and how pay outs from RA’s, Provident Funds and Pension Funds will be standardised taxed in future, as well as the proposed increase in annual contribution limits, have been put on hold potentially until March 2017. This is a great pity as the proposed changes were certainly going to be of great benefit to everyone, especially to the lower income earners who want to put more away for their retirement. National Treasury recently put out a press release about this but it offered very little detail. Industry was taken by surprise on this “about turn”, but we must assume that National Treasury have valid reasons for this last minute change. This will most certainly be a topic we will cover in our March 2015 seminars.

Urgent Newsflash BCEA

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Whilst we were all waiting in anticipation for the effective date of the new Labour Relations Act, the amendments to the Basic Condition of Employment Act were sign into law with the effective date being 1 September 2014.

We are still awaiting the effective date of the LRA and we will inform you as soon as a date is declared. All companies will have a three month grace period in which to ensure that they comply with the new amendments.

Urgent Newsflash

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Over the past two years the proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act have been discussed in detail. This past Sunday, 17 August 2014, President Zuma signed the amendments into law.

The effective date must still be published and we will inform you as soon as a date is declared. All companies will have a three month grace period in which to ensure that they comply with the new amendments.

Employment Equity Amendment Act – How is your company affected?

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January 2014 has brought with it a number of significant amendments to the Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998 with the promulgation of the Employment Equity Amendment Act, 2013.

In this article I will seek to address the major changes in the various chapters and sections of the Act and how they will affect you business, particularly with regards to the enforcement process and the issuing of fines for non-compliance.

The Provative Value of Polygraph Testing

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There is uncertainty and confusion as to whether polygraph test results are admissible in our labour law or not, and if they are, whether or not they carry sufficient weight to dismiss an employee based on a negative outcome of the testing of an employee.

Perhaps to begin the discourse, it is important to define what polygraph testing is. Polygraph is a term which literally means “many writings”. The term refers to a device that simultaneously measures and records selected psychological activities or electro-physiological activity. The device captures the minimum of three types of psychological data, usually differential blood pressure, heart-rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance.

BCEA Earnings Threshold and Wage Increases

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Hospitality, MEIBC and the Furniture Bargaining Council

Herewith the latest updates regarding the BCEA Earnings Threshold for 2013 as well as the latest wage increases.

BCEA Earnings Threshold

As of 1 July 2013, the BCEA Earnings Threshold has been increased to R193 805.00 from the previous figure of R183 008.00. This amendment has the effect of extending rights in terms of the BCEA to employees earning below R193 805.00 per annum (R16 150.41 gross per month) which they have previously been denied whilst earning in excess of the previous figure of R183 008.00. Employees falling within this salary band (between R183 008 and R193 805) would henceforth be entitled to insist upon all rights conferred to them by the BCEA.

MEIBC Strikes And Notice Of A Lock-Out

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NUMSA has issued out their formal notice for their strike which will commence on the 1st July 2014, across all provinces. They demand a wage increase of 12% effective from 1st July 2014 until the 30th June 2015, with back pay in case of any delay. NUMSA declared a dispute after the parties could not reach an agreement with the offer by the employer of 7% being rejected by the union.