The Department of Labour's Compensation Fund is expecting all employers to submit their annual return of earnings before the end of this month.
In terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COID), companies must contribute a percentage of every employee's earnings, as determined by the Commissioner, to the fund.
A statement of earnings form was sent to companies by the Compensation Fund in January and employers who did not receive the form by the end of February are urged to follow up with the fund as soon as possible to ensure they do not miss the 31 March 2009 deadline for payment.
"Last year the additional one-month extension granted by the Department of Labour demonstrated the difficulties some companies had in compiling these returns manually," says Grant Lloyd, MD of payroll software developer Softline Pastel Payroll.
Lloyd adds that employers who do not submit the COID return of earnings before the deadline will also be charged hefty penalties.
Automated payroll solutions provide employers with the applicable annual remuneration values required by the Department of Labour to be inserted on to the COID return of earnings, ensuring that the contributions are calculated in full accordance with the COID Act requirements.
"For SMEs and smaller businesses, conducting this return manually is a time-consuming, non-profitable task. However, it is a problem easily solved with software to calculate the applicable earnings up to the annual maximum amount payable," says Lloyd.'
The total amount of earnings paid to all employees must be submitted to the Compensation Fund's Assessment Division before the deadline. The annual return (COID Form W.As.8) should contain only earnings paid between 1 March 2008 and 28 February 2009 up to a maximum of R214 305.00.
From April this year, the Compensation Fund will start sending employers notices of assessment which are payable within 30 days of the notice date of issue.
Employers who are unsure about the submission process or who have not yet received their annual earnings statements can visit the Labour Department's web site, www.labour.gov.za, to make contact with the Compensation Fund.