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fraudulent sick notes

Sick note controversy: Fraud or ill health

Employers and employees have rights when it comes to sick leave, but fraudulent sick notes are a rising problem

In the wake of Jacob Zuma’s alleged medical certificate presented to court in January 2020, there has been widening controversy around these documents and their validity in the South African workplace. For companies and employees, sick notes are essential when it comes to verifying ill health and non-attendance at work, but when these are modified or faked, the repercussions can lead to loss of earnings for companies and potentially loss of reputation and career for employees. Faked sick notes constitute an act of fraud and can lead to dismissal.

Everyone is entitled to 30 days’ sick leave

“Everyone is entitled to 30 days’ sick leave over a three-year cycle, but many people use up the last few days of sick leave they have left before the next three-year cycle begins,” explains Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HCM Business Unit at CRS Technologies. “Some even go so far as to plan their sick leave in advance.”

According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act employers may request a sick note from an employee who has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days, or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period.

The note must be issued by a medical practitioner or someone who is certified to diagnose and treat patients, and who is certified with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). In addition, the HSPCA has developed a fairly stringent list of rules that must be met when it comes to medical certificates. Some of the stand out points include:

  • Specific details around the practitioner, such as name, address and qualification;
  • The name of the patient;
  • The date and time of the examination;
  • A description of the illness in layman’s terms; and
  • The exact recommended sick leave period.

“A sick note may include the doctor’s diagnosis but only if the employee consents to this disclosure,” Myburgh points out. “Additionally, the actual dates on which the employee is unable to work, not the date of the visit to the doctor, must be stated. The doctor’s signature alongside the employee’s name and surname is also required to ensure the sick note’s legitimacy.”

Sick notes are not a joke

It’s important to note that the information around the medical condition affecting the patient is only released at their discretion. If the patient is uncomfortable with full disclosure, the practitioner can frame the diagnosis in a way that doesn’t give away too much information. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the note is forged, but only that the employer may want to further verify the note with the relevant practitioner.

“However, a sick note on which the dates have been changed, doesn’t have the practitioner’s name or practice number, and isn’t filled out correctly should be cause for concern,” Myburgh continues. “If a person says they are sick and hand in a fake note, they could ultimately face dismissal on the grounds of fraud. Following a disciplinary hearing, it’s very likely they will be asked to leave as the trust relationship between employer and employee has been broken.

Sick notes are not a joke or a clever way of using up sick leave on a fantastic holiday. If the note isn’t valid and the employee is discovered, they could lose their job and their reputation. For employers, it’s important to ensure that any note handed in meets the stringent criteria laid out by the HPCSA to avoid sick leave fraud and loss of earnings. Either way, sick notes are meant to be used by those who are genuinely unable to work so that both employer and employee are protected,” Myburgh concludes.

Nicol Myburgh Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies

Managing tech addiction in the workplace

On average, people touch their phones almost 3 000 times a day. This is hardly surprising given how we are exposed to technology in every facet of our lives. With this comes the risk of tech addiction, which can have a seriously negative impact on work performance, says Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HCM Business Unit at CRS Technologies.

“Some of the most common forms of tech addiction are gaming and social media. In fact, internet gaming disorder is featured in the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases. Studies show that males are generally more likely to become addicted to gaming, while females are more susceptible to social media. In many instances, the addiction does not revolve around the technology itself, but has more to do with the dopamine fix that comes with the instant gratification of moving up to the next level of a game, or receiving ‘likes’ for posts shared on social networking platforms,” he explains.

For their part, companies can formulate policies to put healthy guidelines in place around the usage of technology in the workplace and establish boundaries that will ensure a healthy working environment.

But, cautions Myburgh, they must make sure that employees adhere to these guidelines.

“Some companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, go so far as to eliminate cell phone usage during office hours, especially during meetings. This ‘forces’ employees to talk to their colleagues and interact meaningfully with one another.”

Looking beyond policy, businesses can also institute tech-free zones where cell phones and laptops are not allowed. This encourages employee interaction and reduces the time people spend looking at screens.

Consequences

“Like any other addiction, the impact of tech addiction on workforce performance is significant,” Myburgh continues. “For example, staying up all night to play games will see employees too tired to be productive at work. Similarly, spending long periods of time on social media platforms can lead to a drop in performance and even costly mistakes when people invariably become distracted.”

Another consequence of tech addiction is that more people are opting to send text messages rather than conduct a face-to-face conversation. “One has only to look at the younger generation’s lack of vital social skills because of their smartphones to see how this is impacting society’s ability to form relationships,” says Myburgh. “This is likely to worsen as children increasingly become exposed to technology at an extremely young age. Just imagine the long-term impact of replacing a baby’s rattle with a tablet or smartphone.”

Next steps

From a practical perspective, companies can consider setting up counselling sessions for affected employees and enforce stricter rules to limit technology usage when it does not form part of the core requirements of a job role.

“Even after putting all these mechanisms in place to assist employees, if the addictive behaviour continues, the company could have no choice but to charge the person with misconduct if they wilfully disobey a rule. All told, tech addiction is a very real concern in the digital world and if something is not done to curb its prevalence, it can quickly spiral out of control,” concludes Myburgh.

Article Source:  CHRO South Africa

How to manage non-conventional beliefs in the workplace

As world views change and people are exposed to different issues, opinions and insights, so too must organisations be willing to adapt their policies to incorporate non-religious beliefs. Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, notes that what was previously relegated to the fringes of society has become more prevalent in the modern workplace.

“Beside flat-earthers, there has been a rise in Pastafarians who promote a light-hearted view of religion while advocating the belief in the flying spaghetti monster as their deity,” he says. “The Employment Equity Act legislates against discrimination on beliefs and religious grounds. Perhaps most telling is the line that states ‘…or for any other arbitrary reason’. This would include non-conventional beliefs, even those some might consider to be illogical or uninformed,” he says.

Avoid conflict

When it comes to the protection of non-religious beliefs, Myburgh says it is always advisable for the company not to discuss religion and beliefs in the workplace. “This can lead to conflict and usually does not end well for the parties involved. Furthermore, this can result in the creation of unnecessary ‘factions’ inside the business that can negatively impact productivity and morale.

“These matters should be covered in the organisation’s Employment Equity policy. But regardless of what is defined in the policy, people should never impose their beliefs on others. While they might have a right to preach what they believe in, other parties also have the right to refuse to listen.”

However, unfair discrimination in any form is forbidden by the Employment Equity Act. For a business, it is simply a matter of putting this into practise.

Balanced environment

Myburgh notes that “even though companies do not have a responsibility to grant additional benefits when it comes to beliefs, they should try to accommodate employees in this regard, as much as it is operationally possible. Companies do have the right to refuse leave if it is felt that the leave will impact negatively on their operations.

Practically speaking, companies cannot draw a line when it comes to belief systems. The only area where some leeway exists is if those beliefs negatively impact people at work. For example, burning incense in the office could become a health and safety issue.

“Beliefs are a listed as a discriminatory ground in the Employment Equity Act and must be included in the company code of conduct. If the code of conduct is breached, the perpetrator must be disciplined accordingly. Furthermore, these non-traditional beliefs do not have to impact on morale. If anything, it shows the company’s willingness to embrace diversity in the workplace and openness to generate engaging discussions,” Myburgh concludes.

Managing staff leave

Managing staff leave

Employees face a two-fold risk if they do not take the leave they are legally entitled to. Firstly, they could forfeit their leave after a pre-determined period, depending on their company policy. Secondly, they could be diagnosed with burn out and be placed on extended sick leave. This places the organisation at significant financial risk, says Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies.

According to legislation, five-day week workers are entitled to 21 consecutive days annual leave on full pay in a leave cycle. This translates to 15 working days per annum if the employee works for five days a week, and 18 working days if they work a six-day week.

Leave pay should be paid before the leave starts or, if agreed, on the usual payday. If an employee resigns, they must be paid for any leave accrued but not taken, at a rate of one day’s pay for every 17 days worked, unless the policy allows for more leave. The law also stipulates that an employer must grant annual leave not later than six months after the annual leave cycle. This usually refers to a period of 12 months, commencing from the first day of employment or from the end of the previous leave cycle.

According to Myburgh, many leave policies do not cater for staff not taking their annual leave. “This could result in a huge liability of accumulated annual leave. For example, if an employee has accumulated 100 days of leave and resigns, this must be paid out on termination. Translating to the equivalent of several months’ salary, it is an expense which very few organisations can afford.”

Policy changes

Myburgh recommends that the company leave policy must therefore be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains in line with operational requirements. “One of the reasons policies include a leave forfeiture clause is to motivate staff to go on leave,” he says.

A trend has emerged where employees are paid in lieu of taking holiday. This is not in accordance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, says Myburgh. “According to legislation, a company cannot pay out leave except on termination of employment.”

Unpaid leave, however, is legal,” he points out. “This could see a company reduce an employee’s salary by the value of one day’s annual leave for every day’s unpaid leave. Essentially, the employee is purchasing a day’s annual leave.”

Encouragement

Companies should strive to create a culture of caring for their staff, and employee engagement, which includes encouraging them to take leave.

“Policies must be put in place to force staff to go on leave while being cognisant of workloads. An employee might have accumulated a considerable amount of leave but has so much work to complete that they would rather forfeit their leave than get behind in their work,” says Myburgh.

“Employers can, at the very least, be more accommodating regarding their employees’ expected work output and put measures in place that make it easier for employees to go on leave without having to stress about uncompleted work.

“Some businesses also implement an annual shutdown, which sees the company closing (typically between Christmas and New Year) completely so that no one is able to work. Consequently, staff are forced to take leave during this time.”

In such an instance, the employer is entitled to stipulate that annual leave must be taken to coincide with the shutdown period. Should an employee take their annual leave at another time during the year, then the shutdown period will be treated as unpaid leave.

“Irrespective of the strategy employed, companies must do everything in their power to encourage their employees to take their annual leave. Not only is it beneficial for the individual and limits the possibility of burnout, it also mitigates financial risk for the business,” Myburgh concludes.

As always, CRS Technologies is available to assist clients. For more information and advice, contact info@crs.co.za

Sexual harassment – A workplace problem not going away

Employment equity needs more than lip service

The evolving regulatory landscape in South Africa means companies must ensure they do everything possible to maintain an equal and fair working environment.

According to Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, recent changes to the Employment Equity (EEA4) document for annual reporting will force companies to report on the vertical remuneration gap within their organisation, i.e. the difference in salary between a company’s highest and lowest paid earners.

“Essentially, government is trying to identify the extent of the wage gap at each company and whether a policy is in place to address it,” he says.

Another proposed change, which was recently presented to Parliament, deals with the definition of ‘designated employer’. Currently, this is defined as a company consisting of more than 50 employees, or with an annual turnover threshold for its industry. The proposed new definition will exclude the turnover threshold.

“This will certainly make it easier for SMMEs to operate in as they no longer need to report on employment equity requirements (EE),” says Myburgh. “However, failure to report will prevent them from being issued with a compliance certificate, without which they will not be able to apply for government tenders. Consequently, SMMEs may choose to voluntarily comply with the new requirements, especially if their continued success relies on doing business with the public sector.”

Target practice

Government is also considering implementing sectoral EE targets for businesses to achieve.

“Previously, companies had to comply with the country’s demographics to achieve EE, but now every sector will have its own set of targets to achieve, which will be split between top management all the way down to unskilled workers,” Myburgh explains.

“It is not yet clear how government will determine these targets, but it will have to consider the specific skills set that exists within each sector, as some sectors require a higher set of skills than others.”

Common sense

Practically speaking, EE seeks to eliminate discrimination for any reason, whether it be race, gender, sexuality, language, religion, politics, or any other arbitrary reason such as hair colour.

“Ultimately, it comes down to businesses not putting on a front but complying with EE in accordance with legislation. Failure to have the correct policies, procedures, and practices in place is a barrier to EE. Additionally, it is critically important that employees are educated on what it means to discriminate unfairly and the various grounds thereof. The financial impact of non-compliance is too significant to risk,” Myburgh concludes.

As always, CRS Technologies is available to assist clients. For more information and advice, contact us

Managing a multi-generational workforce

Addressing the challenges associated with managing a multi-generational workforce

Each generation has different work expectations. How can organisations address this challenge effectively without compromising on its core values? Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, believes that while a standardised approach is ill advised, there are other opportunities to become more attentive to the requirements of a multi-generational workforce.

“Every generation has its own value system and way of working,” he explains. “Some of the millennial value drivers include receiving praise, being rewarded for participating, and the need to feel valued. Baby Boomers have a strong work ethic, are competitive, self-assured and independent, and unafraid of a hard day’s work.”

“Some might argue that one of the reasons behind these differences is that Baby Boomers had to work hard for everything they achieved and did not want their children to go through the same struggles they experienced. Consequently, they gave their children everything they wanted. Unfortunately, this cultivated a sense of entitlement.”

“Managing these differences can be extremely challenging. Baby Boomers sometimes view Millennials as being disrespectful even though the latter might not feel this is the case. Another example is that Baby Boomers were taught that it is essential to acknowledge mistakes made and as far as possible, correct them. Millennials, on the other hand, look for ways to hide their mistakes.”

Changing ways

Despite the criticism millennials face, one of the most often overlooked benefits of the new generation is that they can teach themselves.

Millennials rely heavily on sites such as YouTube to acquire skills they do not have when they need them. This can be something as simplistic as changing a flat tyre or more complex such as servicing a car. This negates the need for formal qualifications or having to rely on another expert to teach them.

“It’s simply a matter of doing a quick search online to find out how to do something,” says Myburgh. “Of course, there needs to be an understanding of how to effectively search for something online and which paths to follow to get the results in the shortest time possible.”

Separation anxiety

The evolution of technology has also resulted in the creation of a mobile workforce.

This means the various generations can be physically separated from one another. It is also an effective way of avoiding confrontations that could develop as a result of differing value systems, approaches to work, and so on.

Typically, older generations prefer their own office, while millennials enjoy working in an open plan environment.

“But even though splitting the generations might be an effective tactic, decision-makers should focus on teaching the different groups to respect one another’s differences and focus instead on their respective strengths,” Myburgh points out. “Creating a more collaborative work environment will bring its own benefits, especially as companies look to digitally transform themselves. Linking the generations together might just be the best way to do so.”

The impact of cannabis in the workplace

The impact of cannabis in the workplace

Even though the use of cannabis in the home is now legal, the potential exists for employees to arrive at work under the influence. Most company policies cater for the use of illegal substances while at work, but these need to be updated to reflect the new regulations, says Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies.

Studies have shown that cannabis can affect an employee’s occupational capacity in various ways. This includes performing tasks more slowly, performing poorly when handling routine, monotonous tasks, and difficulty in multi-tasking, taking instructions from superiors, making crucial decisions and operating machinery and/or motor vehicles.

“This means that, as with alcohol usage, companies can legally prohibit employees from taking cannabis in the workplace. After all, it’s their company and they control the rules. It is therefore important to include these restrictions in a policy, employment contracts, or even enforce it as a standard rule,” he says.

“Even if a business does not have a policy explicitly prohibiting this, action can still be taken against someone who smokes cannabis at the office, because common sense dictates it is not acceptable behaviour,” Myburgh adds.

Taking the test

What happens if an employee uses cannabis at their private residence and arrives at the office under the influence?

“From a policy perspective, there is no difference between taking cannabis and drinking at home. Consequently, the approach is the same as if the employee arrived at work under the influence. Of course, the challenge lies in proving that the employee is under the influence of cannabis while at work. Fortunately, there are various tests available that can detect the substance for months after use, and a saliva test can identify cannabis in the system for up to 24 hours.”

Myburgh points out, however, that even if a saliva test shows positive for cannabis, this does not necessarily mean that the employee is unable to work. “The test has merely proved that the employee used cannabis in the last 24 hours, which in itself is not an offence. The employee is only guilty if it can be proven that he or she is under the influence of cannabis.”

And while alcohol has a legal limit associated with its use, a saliva test for cannabis does not measure the extent to which the substance affects a person.

Legal route

“Criminal law dictates that a crime must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, but labour legislation relies on the balance of probabilities,” Myburgh continues.

For example, if an employee arrives at work showing clear symptoms of being under the influence of cannabis, and a saliva test proves usage over the last 24 hours, based on the balance of probabilities, the chain of events will in all likelihood lead to a guilty verdict and the employee could be dismissed.

Changing environment

Medical testing of employees remains regulated by Schedule 7 of the Employment Equity Act, which states: “Medical testing of employees is permitted if it is justifiable in light of medical facts, employment conditions, social policy, the fair distribution of employee benefits and inherent requirements of the job.”

It could be argued that it is an inherent job requirement to not be under the influence of any mind-altering substance, making the case for cannabis testing.

“A company could therefore legally require employees to undergo a test that could potentially strengthen its position in a disciplinary hearing, but this does not necessarily mean the company will be able to dismiss the employee, even if he or she tests positive. It all depends on the accompanying symptoms.”

Workplace policies should explicitly state the repercussions for arriving at the work under the influence, whether this is from alcohol usage, cannabis, or any other mind-altering substance.

“Considering that cannabis is no longer an illegal drug, company policies must be adapted to encompass employees being under the influence of mind-altering substances. Alternatively, the alcohol usage policy should be expanded to include cannabis,” Myburgh concludes.

Embracing workforce transformation in a digital world

Embracing workforce transformation in a digital world

Workforce transformation affects all aspects of business and companies must plan for the impact it is having and will continue to have on operations. Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says the evolving business landscape means companies must start thinking now about the skills they need for the future.

There are currently two major catalysts driving workforce transformation.

The first revolves around modern generations and their preferences for work. Generation X thrives on freedom and responsibility in the workplace. For generation Y, work-life balance is a top priority, along with work satisfaction and developing lasting relationships with people who matter. While Generation Z prefers individual tasks over team-based work activities, they also value physical connection and prefer independence rather than isolation.

Secondly, technology development is having a significant impact on workforce transformation. As automation becomes more prevalent in business and people’s lives, certain jobs are becoming redundant while new ones are being created. Additionally, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is pointing to a merger between technology and how people work and live their lives.

Tech landscape

“It must be remembered, however, that people do not drive technology. Instead, technology drives people. Technology is the only way companies can gain a competitive edge. New technology is being developed daily, but it is meaningless if it is not implemented,” says Myburgh.

Moreover, just as technology drives business, so are people driven by business. “Everyone wants to be paid at the ed of the month and if a company decides to implement new technology, the workforce has no choice but to accept it.”

On the other side of the coin, the argument could be made that people drive technology.

“An example of this is the CRS Technologies’ Engage resource management and reporting tool. This is driven by the employers and employees who use it and is geared to making users’ lives easier without making them redundant.”

According to a Deloitte study, to attract modern employees, companies must offer vigorous training and leadership development with a tangible focus on diversity.

“Organisations must change how they recruit, retain, and develop talent,” says Myburgh. “Besides hiring smart, talented people, this can be achieved through the establishment of internal apprenticeship programmes, multifaceted career paths, and by matching projects with the required skills sets.”

Embracing change

To this end, companies can take certain steps to help employees adapt to and embrace this continual change occurring.

“In today’s business environment no one can afford to be resistant to change because change is constant. Any opposers (it is usually those who have been working a certain way for many decades that find it difficult to adapt) must be excluded because they will become an obstruction to the business by actively working against the change management seeks to introduce.”

Throughout this, communication is key. Management should be completely transparent about any change they plan to introduce so that all employees know what to expect, including the implications and consequences of the change. Any uncertainty could lead to resistance and it is therefore important to ensure that everyone has clarity on what is taking place.

“Change happens extremely quickly. Technological innovation can change the face of an industry almost instantaneously. Companies need to see it coming and be ready for it when it happens. Hold strategy sessions to find out what developments and innovations are on the cards. Business leaders need to identify innovations in the space in which they operate, including who their competitors are and what they are doing. Equally important is to keep an eye on some of the more unique developments on the horizon. This will ensure competitors are constantly striving to catch up with you rather than the other way around,” Myburgh concludes.

Flexi-hours deliver efficiency improvements

Flexi-hours deliver efficiency improvements

With a flexible schedule allowing employees to work hours that differ from the conventional company start and stop time, Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says this approach has had a significant positive impact in the South African market.

“More organisations are adopting flexi-hours as they derive better performance from their employees. For example, flexi-hours are usually coupled with strict daily targets that need to be achieved. If these are not met, flexi-hours are removed,” he says.

Myburgh believes that apart from those who work in the service industry, office hours should not be regulated as flexi-hours contribute to staff happiness. “Not only do staff spend less time in traffic as they can commute when the traffic is lighter, but they also spend less time away from home. Consequently, staff are not as tired and do not burn out easily.”

The technology for implementation flexi-hours on payroll already exist

“Of course, flexi-hours are not a legal requirement. This means that if the system is abused, companies can take away the benefit. Employees therefore need to be responsible and held accountable if such a policy is implemented at the organisation,” he says.

Despite concerns around the implementation of flexi-hours on payroll, Myburgh says the technology already exists to accommodate such a system. For example, a time and attendance system feeds the relevant data into the appropriate database. The hours are logged and the relevant pay calculations made automatically and accurately. This applies even if everyone is working different hours.

From a practical perspective companies still need to ensure there is someone at the office during its core operating hours (usually between 09:00 and 15:00 or from 10:00 to 14:00). Of course, this depends on whether the staff are responsible and do not abuse the system.

“Similarly, if employees do not take advantage of the flexi-time and deliver on their job requirements, the company may consider doing away with core hours altogether eventually. It must be remembered that as long as flexi-hours improve productivity, the system should be embraced.”

The benefits to productivity and efficiency cannot be ignored

According to Myburgh, it really comes down to ensuring there are strict targets in place that must be achieved.

“With the labour law providing for the maximum number of working hours, there should be no impact on implementing flexi-hours. Of course, these flexi-hours must not exceed this maximum amount. There is so much potential for embracing this effectively at an organisation. The benefits to productivity and efficiency cannot be ignored and can be used as additional motivation for employees to complete their work on time and on spec,” he concludes.

The role of the stokvel in the organisation

Role of the stokvel in the organisation

South Africans are well-known for their participation in stokvel saving schemes where members contribute a fixed monthly amount that is paid out to a specific member on a specified date. Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, says employers can integrate these payments into existing processes to make it safer and more convenient for those members.

“With stokvels still an integral part of the lives of many South Africans, employers could offer this as a savings option to employees, as most payroll systems incorporate the functionality to do so. Contributions could be deducted monthly or at predetermined periods, the monies kept in a fund, and then paid out according to processes established,” he says.

Additionally, Myburgh believes that a company can further encourage savings by offering to contribute a small percentage to the fund.

If a business does decide to introduce a stokvel or transfer funds to an established one, it is important to establish a contract between all the parties involved. This should stipulate the amount being contributed, its frequency, how payments are made, when monies (including interest) are paid out, and so on.

“Putting this in place mitigates the risk of either non-contributions or someone running off with the money. However, despite the popularity of stokvels in the country, employees should ask themselves whether their money is not better placed in an investment fund with the interest and other returns directly payable to themselves, rather than sharing it with members of a stokvel.

Education

Even though part of the appeal of a stokvel is the social networking aspect, the employer can still play a key facilitating role.

“A company can initiate the discussion, put options on the table, and establish a structure for the stokvel,” says Myburgh. “Furthermore, it can prepare relevant agreements and advertise the stokvel to the staff. As mentioned, the business can also offer to contribute an amount as an additional incentive.”

The benefit of the employer managing the process means that any pay outs can be done via mobile money transfer, which is especially important for those individuals who do not have bank accounts. Unlike a traditional stokvel where cash is common, a company can find alternative (and safer) ways to distribute funds to members.

Alternative savings vehicles

Looking beyond a stokvel or investment fund, a company can provide its employees with a voluntary savings programme. A percentage of the employee’s salary can be deducted every month and received as a lump sum payment at the end of the year – almost like a 13th cheque or bonus.

Alternatively, if the company already pays a fixed year-end bonus, it can offer to tax employees on this amount in advance on a monthly basis. This enables them to receive a larger amount at the end of the year. However, it is essential that employees sign a form acknowledging that the company may do so. If the employee leaves the company before the bonus is paid out, the onus is on them to claim back the money from SARS.

“The most popular option is for employees to pay an additional voluntary contribution to a provident, pension, or retirement fund and receive a tax benefit on the contribution,” says Myburgh.

All these savings options can help to improve engagement with employees and position the business as a caring employer, a vital competitive advantage in today’s connected environment.

Inspired, engaged and rewarded employees
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