Rob Cooper, Tax expert and Director of Legislation at Sage, on correctly calculating your employee’s leave.
In 2003, the Minister of Labour issued a schedule to clarify the requirements of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) for the correct calculation of leave pay, notice pay and severance pay.
Some 13 years later, many employers have yet to catch up – with the result that they don’t make enough provision in their budgets for the cost of paying out an employee’s leave pay when he or she leaves the company or takes a long holiday.
In summary, the BCEA says the calculation of an employee’s leave pay must take into account irregular frequency payments such as performance bonuses, commission and overtime.
The guiding principle is that when employees exercise their right to take leave, they should not earn less than when they are at work. They should also not earn more when they are not working.
Specifically, section 21(1) of the Act states that:
“An employer must pay an employee leave pay at least equivalent to the remuneration that the employee would have received for working for a period equal to the period of annual leave, calculated—
(a) at the employee’s rate of remuneration immediately before the beginning of the period of annual leave; and
(b) in accordance with section 35.”
The Act contains similar provisions for notice pay and severance pay calculations.
Section 35(4) specifies that employers calculate leave, notice and severance pay as follows: “If an employee’s remuneration or wage is calculated, either wholly or in part, on a basis other than time or if an employee’s remuneration or wage fluctuates significantly from period to period, any payment to that employee in terms of this Act must be calculated by reference to the employee’s remuneration or wage during—
(a) the preceding 13 weeks; or
(b) if the employee has been in employment for a shorter period, that period.”
Though the Act specifies the averaging period as 13 weeks, employers can interpret this to be a minimum period. If a fairer overall result for the employer and the employee can be achieved by averaging the remuneration over the entire year, this is also acceptable. Note that the only deviation from the 13 week averaging period that is acceptable is that of a year.
Also note that this calculation of leave pay applies only to annual leave specified by the BCEA. Any leave the employer grants in excess of the Act’s minimum of 21 calendar days can be accumulated valued and paid at the discretion of the employer. A savvy employer will clarify this point in its terms of employment and HR policies.
How to calculate leave pay while still employed
The first scenario where an employer might need to calculate leave pay is when an employee takes annual leave. If the employee earns only fixed amounts such as a salary, there are no fluctuating payments to be averaged and included into the remuneration rate per day. The employee will simply be paid his or her usual remuneration.
If the employee earned overtime, commission or a performance bonus in the 13 weeks before taking leave, these fluctuating payments must be taken into account.
The employer would average them out over the 13 weeks prior to the leave and include this figure into the remuneration rate per day.
If the fluctuation is seasonal (for example, a bonus at the end of the financial year), it makes sense to calculate an average over the year.
How to calculate leave pay on termination
At first impression it would seem that there should be no difference between how the leave pay is calculated when the employee is terminated and the calculation used when he or she takes annual leave while still employed.
However, the calculation of leave pay, notice pay and severance pay upon termination must include the following categories of payments:
1. Payments in kind (employer contributions and benefits that are remuneration) that the employee no longer enjoys following termination. If the employee does not receive a payment in kind during the notice period, then the equivalent cash value must be paid as compensation. For example, if housing is normally provided, and a payment is made in lieu of notice, the housing must still be provided, or an equivalent cash payment made.
2. Any untaken annual leave days that must be paid for on termination must be paid for at a rate that includes both the normal remuneration value as well as the average of the variable remuneration value. The normal remuneration is an additional value included because the employee did not enjoy the benefit of ‘paid’ annual leave while still employed.
3. Non-discretionary bonuses must be pro-rated and included because the employee will no longer be employed at the time when the bonus would have been paid out.
In conclusion, remember the principles: Employees should not earn less while on annual leave than when at work otherwise they would be financially prejudiced by doing so, balanced by the fact that the employer is not expected to pay ‘twice’.
As the global market leader of integrated accounting, payroll & HR and payment systems, we have become an indispensable business partner to the country’s Small & Medium Businesses. For us, this isn’t just about providing use the smartest technology to reinvent and simplify business accounting and payroll, but also helping clients to navigate the tax and legal environment.
Bonang Matheba Announced As 2018 AWIEF Awards MC
AWIEF has announced multi –award winning radio host, TV presenter and style icon, Bonang Matheba as the 2018 AWIEF Awards MC and host.
Bonang Matheba, affectionately referred to by fans as Queen B, has firmly positioned herself as Africa’s most sought after entertainment personality and SA’s number one social media darling.
With just three weeks from recognising, honouring and celebrating women entrepreneurs and business-owners in Africa for their innovation, excellence and contribution towards economic growth and social development, AWIEF has also announced songstress, BUCIE as the music entertainer for the night.
40 Finalists out of more than 1350 nominations were revealed for the AWIEF Awards last month. Winners will be announced at The Westin Hotel in a five-star gala dinner on 9th November 2018.
Tickets to the awards evening are selling fast. To secure your seat, please click here.
Things Schools Need To Stop Doing To Grow Entrepreneurs
Here are 8 things that would make a significant impact on generating enterprising behaviour.
It is no secret that the current structure of the education system was designed in an entirely different age to achieve economic outcomes that are no longer viable due, in large, to the rapid innovation and adoption of technology.
But if we are to hope to help President Ramaphosa implement his vision for entrepreneurship as stated in the SONA 2018 address as, “The establishment through the CEOs Initiative of a small business fund – which currently stands at R1.5-billion – is an outstanding example of the role that the private sector can play. Government is finalising a small business and innovation fund targeted at start-ups,” we need to change how and what schools are teaching for this to be realised on a large scale.
Here are 8 things that would make a significant impact on generating enterprising behaviour:
1. Stop teaching kids using one or two teaching methods
Typically, teachers have defaulted to talking, reading and some visual aids to impact knowledge to learners and those children that don’t learn using these primary methods are at a disadvantaged and are often labelled as challenged. There are at least 6 different ways in which people learn, and entrepreneurs often fall into the lesser known ones. By blending methodologies that include interpersonal, kinaesthetic and intrapersonal with the more traditional ones, entrepreneurs will learn more effectively.
2. Stop Rewarding Conformity
Maybe it comes from a fear of anarchy or lawlessness, but the stringent rules that exist in schools punish children for exhibiting individualism and reward children for staying in line. Quite literally. This unwavering adherence to the rules without question, breeds thinkers of the same calibre and releases into the world children that cannot function without set structures that they must conform to when they actually need to be creatively problem solving in order to make a mark for themselves.
3. Stop Measuring Memory
How well a child can retain the dates, figures, theories or equations does not indicate the measure of a child’s intelligence. It only indicates how well their memory works and how adept the learner is at recalling what they have read or been taught. Remembering, according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, is a lower order thinking skill. Instead, let’s measure critical thinking, interrogation of ideas, application of thinking across contexts.
4. Stop Being a Teacher
When the world relied on a central person as the curator of knowledge, the world needed teachers. They were idolised and hailed as a custodian of growth and development due to the fact that they knew more about their subject than anyone else in society.
Today, the internet is the purveyor of information, a teacher if you will, and children no longer need to be taught the information but what to do with it. So long as children can read, the job of person at the front of the class is to educate not to teach.
5. Stop Running a Factory
From the uniforms to the desks to the bell that signals the start and end of lessons and the allotted amount of time dedicated to eating and going to the bathroom, schools are churning out citizens primed for factory work. The production line mentality has been conditioned into our children so much so that with the entry of technological automation and the removal of the human element in these mundane, routine tasks, we make them immediately redundant to the world.
6. Stop Labelling Every Disruptive Child as ADHD/ADD
As an educator myself and now an entrepreneur, I recognise the exhausting and relentless burden that our school-based teachers bare. They are weighed down with administration and parental expectations all whilst trying to navigate an education system that is increasingly deficient. Any child that does not learn in the usual manners and requires more attention or additional stimulation by non-traditional teaching methods.
If, as a country, we are dedicated to changing the current economic outlook not just for ourselves but for those that will inherit this legacy then the systems that shape our thinking must be changed too. Entrepreneurial thinking and action is discouraged and punished in our current education system and only once children leave behind the 12 years spent at school can they begin to unlearn this way of mental conditioning and become active citizens.
Chivas Venture Calling On South African Start-ups To Win A Share Of $1 million
South African applications for the Chivas Venture 2019 Now Open!
Today Chivas Regal announced the launch of the Chivas Venture 2019 – a global competition that gives away $1 million in no-strings funding every year to the hottest social start-ups from around the world.
The Chivas Venture provides a global platform for innovative enterprises that are using business to solve an array of social and environmental issues – and today marks the opening of the South African applications.
Since the competition’s launch in 2014, Chivas Venture-supported enterprises have enriched the lives of more than 1 million people in over 40 countries, across six continents.
Just as Chivas blends together whiskies to create award-winning Scotch, the Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs who blend profit and purpose. Chivas’ belief in blending ambition with generosity, and in using success to enrich the lives of others, was instilled in the 19th century by founding brothers James and John Chivas. Today that philosophy is kept alive not only through award-winning Scotch, but also through initiatives including the Chivas Venture.
Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas, said:
“At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life, business and Scotch – and the 100 finalists we have supported to date have proved this, finding the right blend of profit and purpose in their ventures. Since taking part, finalists have reported saving 8 million trees from deforestation, providing 24 million litres of safe drinking water to those in need, and funding 75,000 days of education for women and girls – and that’s just a few examples. The Chivas Venture is continuing to have a global impact and we are proud to be investing another $1 million for 2019.”
Applicants in each participating country will compete in local heats, with the South African winner flying to the United Kingdom to take part in an exclusive Accelerator Programme. Hosted by The Conduit – a new London establishment that serves as a home for a diverse community of people who are passionate about social change – the intensive training programme will give the global finalists the chance to hone their business and pitching skills.
Following the Accelerator Programme, the allocation of the first $100,000 of the fund will be put into the hands of the public with three weeks of online voting. The Chivas Venture 2019 will then culminate in a series of high-stake pitches at the Global Final in Europe, where the finalists will battle it out for the remainder of the $1 million fund.
Radley Connor, Marketing Manager for Chivas Regal SA says, “The Chivas Venture is an amazing platform for South African social entrepreneurs to attract investment and gain global exposure. The competition rewards and celebrates individuals whose purpose is to make a positive difference to society. If you have a great idea, that meets the requirements, we encourage you to enter.”
In 2017, innovative South African water company I-Drop water placed third in the global finals, walking away with close to R1 million in funding. Since winning, founder James Steere has received interest from investors globally.
Clement Mokoenene is the 2018 South African winner and the creator of the Vehicle Harvest Energy System (VEHS). His business is able to generate electricity at a much lower, affordable cost than coal-fired power stations which South Africa currently relies on. The system works by installing an overlay on the existing road to extract the pressure and transferring it to the side of the road, similar to a wind turbine. Mokoenene says a 1km highway stretch could generate enough energy to supply the entire South Africa.
To apply for the Chivas Venture 2019 and find out more about why blending profit and purpose is better, visit the Chivas Venture website.
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