Alerts and InfoBytes

The recently adopted National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill has been sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for assent and once he signs it into law, South Africans who are found guilty of qualification misrepresentation on their CVs could face a harsh fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

According to the proposed legislation, public and private sector employers will be obligated to report people with fake qualifications to the South African Qualifications Authority, which will be responsible for publishing a national name and shame list of misrepresented and fraudulent credentials.

The bill also introduces measures to deal with organisations that issue invalid qualifications, as well as educational institutions that fraudulently claim to offer a qualification.

Until the new legislation is enacted, CV misrepresentation remains a form of misconduct under the Labour Relations Act, for which employees can be dismissed. CRS recommends that employers ask newly appointed employees to complete a comprehensive hand-written application form (in addition to the CV they provide), which includes a disclaimer stating that they will be dismissed if they are found to have misrepresented themselves.

Secretly recording a conversation to which you are party is not illegal, according to Section 4 of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA). This means that companies may be within their rights to secretly record conversations with employees and use that information against them in a court of law.

The argument that recording these conversations infringes on an employee’s (or employer’s) right to privacy is outweighed when it is in the interests of justice to use that recording. These conversations can be used as evidence in disciplinary hearings and other disputes even before they go to the CCMA or court.

When it comes to conversations involving three parties, however, you need informed consent from one of the other parties to legally record the conversation. It is often this consent that confuses people into thinking all parties must agree to have a discussion recorded.

CRS recommends always going the legal route to obtain recordings, as this is in the best interests of both parties. Employers must always follow fair process and give the employee an opportunity to respond to the evidence presented against him/her.

In the current economic climate, many cash-strapped businesses find themselves unable to pay their outstanding tax debt to SARS. Putting the problem on hold by not submitting a tax return will not only incur severe penalties and high interest for your business, but is also illegal.

CRS now offers a solution to its HR and payroll clients in the form of a tax advisory service from Tax Debt Compliance. The company’s range of tax relief mechanisms include:

  • Negotiation of affordable instalment agreements with SARS on behalf of your business;
  • Compromise applications to SARS which, if approved, will enable your business to settle tax debt at a reduced amount;
  • Tax due diligence to ensure compliance with South African tax legislation;

Formulation of tax opinions for businesses considering entering into complex transactions that could hold significant tax consequences.

Tax Debt Compliance boasts a 100 per cent success rate since its establishment and has helped numerous clients retain their assets and maintain their business operations. As a business owner and CRS client, this service means you can now focus on running your business with the peace of mind that your tax issues are in the capable hands of Tax Debt Compliance.

Contact our team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

Enhancing Payroll with the Cloud white paper

Not understanding the implications of moving important HR and payroll systems data to a cloud environment could have significant financial and reputational repercussions for your organisation.

CRS’s first published white paper defines the differences between the various cloud platforms available to organisations, examines the financial and regulatory impact of data breaches, and explores the strategic value provided by the more secure cloud solutions.

Click here to download our free White Paper ‘Enhancing Payroll with the Cloud

After declaring 8 May (the day of national and provincial elections) a public holiday, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged employers to encourage their staff to use the day to exercise their right to vote.

Employers who force their employees to work on 8 May without their consent and prevent them from voting are not only contravening the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, but are also violating their employees’ constitutional rights.

To prevent any misunderstandings and/or labour disputes, CRS recommends that employers enter into a written mutual agreement with their employees about working on public holidays. Ensure that they fully understand the requirements and implications of the agreement. Once signed, employees who then decide to vote rather than show up for work on Election Day will be guilty of unauthorised absence, which is a disciplinary offence.

Payroll audits – get ready before SARS comes knocking

During this year’s budget speech Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced a tax revenue shortfall of R43 billion. This means that most companies can expect a payroll audit from SARS as it strives to meet its collection targets.

Waiting for the knock at your door to get your payroll in order is too late. CRS can help you identify and address any existing errors or compliance issues before you receive that dreaded SARS notification and ensure that your company payroll receives a clean bill of health.