The purpose of the Skills Development Act is to develop, enhance and improve the skills of people in the workplace. This is achieved by introducing learnerships and occupationally directed qualifications. This Act aims to develop a learning, and continuously evolving culture, in all organisations.
Training of employees comes in two forms:
The first is registered or accredited training, where employers send their employees for training with accredited service providers on various modules, such as first aid training, fire fighting or forklift training. Such service providers certify that the particular employee has completed the course successfully.
The second form of training is in-house training, meaning an employee will be trained on job related issues by a supervisor or a senior person with knowledge of the subject.
Employers must ensure that all training done between the 1st of April and the 31st of March each year is recorded for the ATR (Annual Training Report). In the case of in-house training, the employer must keep an attendance register reflecting the employee’s signature as well as the identity of the trainer and the nature of the training received. When in-house training is done by the employer, the employer must calculate the amount in Rand spent on such training by calculating the aggregate of the trainer’s hourly salary and the employee’s hourly salary which will represent the hourly cost of the training received.
In the case of accredited training at service providers, employers must retain all certificates obtained by the employee as well as the invoice tendered by the service provider for services rendered in respect of that trainee or group of trainees. This information must be kept in the event that the SETA asks for proof of training. Note that not all SETA’s ask for proof of training immediately.
If the WSP (Workplace Skills Plan) & ATR is not done before the end of June 2013, Employers will lose their right to claim back grants received by the relevant SETA. In addition, a company’s BBBEE status can be impacted if Skills Development is set as one of their verification criteria.
The Skills Development Levy Act (SDLA), accompanying the SDA, introduced a levy payment system by which employers fund skills development. Any employer with an annual payroll of R500 000 or more is obligated to pay 1% of the payroll as a Skills Development Levy. The levy is paid to SARS, who then distributes the payment to the National Skills Fund (NSF) who, in turn, pays the money to the various Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA’s). Employers who pay their Skills Levy are entitled to claim back 50% of their 1% Skills Levy paid. The payment is in the form of a Mandatory Grant and an employer needs to do the following to qualify for this grant: