Work Injury Compensation Act: Salary Threshold Change

The Working Injury Compensation Act 2019 or WICA was introduced by the Government to provide a more straightforward way for employees to claim compensation for work-related injuries. 

Under the Act, unless exempt, employers are required to take out insurance with a Government approved designated insurer. This insurance needs to cover things such as medical expenses, permanent incapacity and death due to work-related injuries. 

The minimum and maximum compensation limits as of 1 January 2020 are as follows:

Insurance typeMinimum thresholdMaximum threshold
Medical expensesN/A$45 000 (accrued within the year following the date of accident)
Total permanent incapacity$97 000$289 000
Death$76 000$225 000

Employee medical leave wages and light duties due to work-related injuries are calculated as a percentage of an employee’s average monthly earnings, with the percentage applied being dependent on the amount of time since the accident occurred. More information on this can be found here.

Non-Manual Worker Exclusion

Employees that are not employed to carry out manual labour can be excluded from WICA if their salary is over a certain threshold. From April 2021 the salary threshold for exclusion is being increased from $2 100 to $2 600 per month

Salary is defined by the Employment Act, relating to the remuneration of your employee. This excludes things such as overtime pay, bonuses, annual wage supplements, productivity incentives and allowances.

We would recommend that you check if you have employees previously excluded from WICA who you now need to take out insurance for.

We hope the above has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how this relates to SimplePay, you can contact our team at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.com.sg.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Bulk Leave Adjustments and Off-In-Lieu Leave

Our mission at SimplePay is two fold – to make payroll simply, while also keeping you compliant with local legislation. We therefore pride ourselves in giving you a payroll solution that is not generic, but rather tailored to the local market. So when you voiced your need for a better way to manage off-in-lieu leave, we jumped right on it.

We now have a bulk leave adjustments option that allows you to record leave adjustments for any leave type for multiple employees at once. This is particularly useful for off-in-lieu leave, which should only accrue once an employee works on a public holiday. We’ve also developed an option to make the leave day(s) in the leave adjustment expire after a specified period; this is a free-of charge opt-in-feature, which means that you’ll need to contact our support team to enable it for you.

For guidance on how to handle off-in-lieu leave, please see this help page. For more information on recording leave adjustments in bulk, see this page.

We hope this new functionality makes your lives easier. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need assistance or if you have further suggestions on improving this feature – we’re always listening!

Team SimplePay

Changes to CPF e-Submission Files

As always, SimplePay strives to keep you compliant with the legislative and regulatory requirements of statutory bodies. Even when the changes may not be visible to the user, you can rest assured that we’re keeping on top of any changes and are updating the system accordingly.

With that said, the CPF Board recently implemented two changes for the FTP files for CPF Returns as from 1 January 2022:

  • The character limit for the employee name field has been increased from 22 characters to 66 characters so that the full name of employees can be displayed. This change does not impact your actions or experience on the system, but simply the amount of characters that we extract from the Basic Info page. We’ve already made the necessary adjustments to ensure that all files generated before 1 January 2022 will still be limited to 22 characters, while all files after this date will allow up to 66 characters. This change does not impact your experience with the system.
  • It will be mandatory to show the ordinary wage (OW) and additional wage (AW) amounts for employees. SimplePay already meets this requirement by automatically generating these for you based on the system item chosen or the inputs that you enter when creating a custom item.

As you can see, being a SimplePay user means that you don’t have to worry about any of these amendments as we’ve already taken care of it for you well in advance.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Team SimplePay

Budget 2021

On 16 February, the Minister for Finance unveiled the Government’s 2021 budget. Amongst other plans, the budget announced extensions to some of the key schemes that are supporting businesses and workers through the pandemic. Our blog post today is aimed at highlighting some of the key extensions that will help support your business.

Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been extended up to September 2021 for certain businesses. The Scheme provides wage support from the Government to help pay a percentage of local and permanent resident employees’ wages. If you’re operating in a tier 1, 2 or 3A sector, you can benefit from this extension. The relief percentage contributed by the Government will be tapered at different rates depending on the sector in which you operate.

For more information on the payments for the extended period and the JSS itself, visit this IRAS web page.

Wage Credit Scheme

The Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) has been extended to include the whole of 2021.

Providing the qualification criteria are met, the WCS provides support to you and your employees by co-funding 15% of the qualifying employees’ wages, up to the wage ceiling of $5 000 per month.

You can find out more about the WCS, qualification criteria and how to apply here.

Jobs Growth Incentive

The Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) qualifying window has been extended by 7 months. This means that if you employ new local employees any time between now and 31 September 2021 the Government will provide you with the wage support shown in the table below:

Employee AgeGovernment ContributionWage ceilingDuration (from employment start date)
Less than 4025%$5 00012 months
40 and above50%$6 00018 months

You can find more information on the JGI here.

If you want to read the full budget or explore the other announcements, you can do so on the Ministry of Finance’s Budget 2021 page.

We hope the above has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how this relates to SimplePay, you can contact our team at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.com.sg.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Revamped Preview Page for Bulk Finalising Payslips

We understand the importance of capturing payroll correctly. Many clients spend countless hours downloading and reviewing the PDF draft payslips for employees before finalising them. We thought that there has to be a better way to review payslip information in bulk! Introducing our new and improved bulk finalisation page.

This newly improved page allows you to use various toggles to show or hide additional payslip information so that you can focus on the information and figures that you want to see, whether this is simply the nett pay for each employee or more detailed information like payslip inputs or payslip values. The recent activity for payslips is now more clearly laid out, which is particularly useful to review if your payroll is prepared by multiple users.

For more information on the various aspects of this page, please refer to our help page here.

Just another way that the SimplePay team is working to improve payroll for you! 

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that makes you more efficient? Sign up for our free 30-day trial here and see just how simple payroll can be.

Team SimplePay

PDPA (Amendment) Act 2020

If there’s one thing that the SimplePay team cares about as much as making your world of payroll a breeze, it’s giving you peace of mind about the data which you share with us. 

When the PDPA (Amendment) Bill 2020 was first released on 5 October, we got straight to work, reviewing and updating our pages and processes. The amendments gained presidential approval on 25 November and have since been published in the Government Gazette last Friday 11 December. Accordingly, we have updated our site’s PDPA webpage to reflect these changes.

Below we have provided a brief summary of the key changes and additions to the PDPA by the PDPA (Amendment) Act 2020 (the Amendment Act).

Data Breaches

The Amendment Act altered and expanded the definition of a data breach. Under the amended PDPA, a data breach is now defined as:

  1. The unauthorised access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal of personal data; or
  2. the loss of a storage medium or device, on which personal data is stored in circumstances where one or more of the unauthorised actions in point 1 is likely to occur.

If your company experiences a notifiable data breach, you are required to inform the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) of that breach.

A notifiable data breach is one that:

  1. Results, or is likely to result in Significant Harm to an affected individual; or 
  2. is, or is likely to be of a Significant Scale.

Significant Harm and Significant Scale are terms yet to be fully defined. In the explanatory statement to the Act, it states that there will be specified circumstances and requirements to be referenced in deciding if each is satisfied. At present, these have not been released, but there are suggestions of what may satisfy these requirements in the public consultation papers for the Amendment Act.

SimplePay acts as a data intermediary in providing you services. Data intermediaries also have data breach obligations. We will inform you of any external data breach, whether we deem it notifiable or not. We already have a strong grasp of the required steps to handle these situations and inform you through our operations in Europe. We continue to apply the rules and processes of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to all our business operations (including Singapore). GDPR imposes similar obligations, which means that we are well prepared in the unlikely event of a data breach.

Thankfully we have never had to put our data breach steps into practice. However, from this strong base of understanding, you can rest assured that we are ready to deal with the situation quickly, professionally and effectively.

Data Portability

Data portability allows individuals to request for their data to be ported from one organisation to another.

For this to be permitted:

  1. There must be an ongoing relationship between the individual and the organisation; and
  2. The individual must complete a data porting request in the prescribed format.

As a data intermediary, SimplePay is exempt from these obligations, but we will assist you in requests you may receive, as is reasonable.

More information on Data breaches and Data portability can be found on our PDPA webpage.

Protection of Personal Data

The original PDPA required companies to make reasonable security arrangements to protect information. The Amendment Act has expanded the definition to now also include the loss of any storage medium or device on which personal data is held. 

This is cast very broadly and could include both physical mediums, such as securing company laptops, and virtual mediums such as cloud-based resources and their connected servers. Although arguably implied by the original wording, this now expressly shows that these risks should be accounted for in any security arrangements made.

Financial Penalties

To enforce compliance with the PDPA, a number of penalties have been introduced for both individuals and employers. As an example, if your employee discloses personal data, or their conduct causes the disclosure of personal data under the control of your company, they could be liable to pay a fine of up to $5 000, or even face imprisonment for a term of up to two (2) years.

Equally, if your company is found to have breached certain provisions of the Act (Parts III-VI, VIA and VIB), it could face an order for specific performance and a fine of up to $1 million.

This really does show that compliance pays!

We hope this brief dive into the PDPA amendments has proved useful to you. If you have any questions relating to SimplePay’s PDPA compliance, you can contact our team at [email protected]

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, or if you’d like to know how we can take the effort out of filing and calculating payroll, get in contact with us or visit our website: www.simplepay.com.sg.

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Updated App: Version 2.0

As part of our vision to simplify and revolutionise payroll, we’ve focused on creating an enjoyable user experience and a payroll system that is easily accessible. The release of our mobile app in March this year meant that employees can now access their payroll from their phone at any time – they’re essentially carrying their payslips around with them wherever they go.

We’re happy to announce the release of Version 2.0 of the app, available to Android and iOS users. Version 2.0 includes more functionality which lets you:

  • Submit a leave request (employees)
  • View leave requests (employees and approvers)
  • Update leave requests with comments (employees and approvers)
  • Upload documents to leave requests (employees and approvers)
  • Approve or deny the request (approvers)
  • View leave balances (employees and approvers)

These updates to the app mean that processing leave is now even easier. Employees can log a sick leave request while in bed, or use their mobile phone to take photos of their medical certificate and upload it into the app. Approvers can then approve the request while sipping on their morning coffee.

Not a SimplePay user but want your employees to have access to their payslips and leave from their phones? Unfortunately our app is only available to SimplePay users, but we offer a free 30-day trial for you to examine just how easy payroll can be with SimplePay. You can sign up for our trial here.

Team SimplePay

UI Tweaks for Profile Pages

We take our mission of simplifying payroll seriously! It’s why we believe that the small details matter. With that in mind, you may have noticed some slight changes to our user interface for profile pages, such as Companies, Billing and User Profile. These are the pages that you can access when clicking on the profile icon. 

We’ve made these changes so that you can more easily identify when you are working on your profile as opposed to within a specific company, eliminating any confusion around whether your changes will apply at a company or profile level. 

When working in a specific company, you’ll see the usual interface that you have come to know. When working on one of the profile pages, you’ll now see the following changes:

  • In the top left corner, you’ll now see the G-ref number for your profile or the page name, depending on which page you are on. The top bar has also changed to a darker colour to make it clear that you are working on the profile as a whole and not on a specific company.
  • The sidebar menu for the company that you were working in no longer appears. To return to the company, click on the link that says “Go back to <company name>” that appears in the top left corner next to the G-reference number of page name.

We hope you enjoy this small, but useful change to your user experience.

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll software provider that cares about your experience? SimplePay offers a free 30-day trial that allows you to see just how easy your payroll experience can be. You can sign up here.

Team SimplePay

Ending Service on SimplePay

One of the demands that COVID-19 has placed on businesses is the need to be flexible in the number of staff under their employ at a certain period in time. We at SimplePay appreciate this and so the blog today is aimed at informing you on what you need to do to accommodate your situation through the system to ensure accurate submissions, enable employees to claim benefits and prevent unnecessary billing.

Employees Leaving your Company

Ending Employees’ Service

If for any reason, one or more of your employees are no longer able to work for your business and none of the measures laid out in the Resilience, Solidarity or Fortitude budgets are viable (Some of which are mentioned in this blog), it is important to end their service on SimplePay for the following reasons:

  1. Ending employees’ service correctly provides them access to alternative support measures, such as the COVID-19 Support Grant.
  2. SimplePay’s pricing model is based on the number of active employees on the system at the start of your monthly billing cycle. Therefore, if the employee has not had their service ended on the system when your invoice is generated, you will be charged for the employee even if no payslips have been processed for that employee. 

Information on ending an employee’s service is detailed in this help article, including the end service checklist and managing an employee’s end of service. You can also read more about our end service checklist in our blog from 25 June.

If you have several employees whose service you have to end, you can do this in bulk as detailed on this help page.

Actions to Take Upon Ending an Employee’s Service

The date which an ex-employee ceases to work for you needs to be recorded on SimplePay so to inform the relevant authorities. We recommend that you end the service of the employee, before finalising payslips and completing your monthly CPF return. This will mean it is reflected on the CPF Return. Some classes of employees may also require an IR21 form for tax clearance purposes, more information on this can be found on our help page.

If whilst still under your employ, an ex-employee was sent invoice emails from SimplePay, the billing email list needs to be amended. To do this, click on the Profile Icon > Billing > Update Billing Preferences and remove the relevant billing email(s). The same is true for any granted admin roles on SimplePay, where these access rights should be deactivated for ex-employees.

Shutdown of Business

If lockdown or other reasons mean you need to close your business on a temporary or permanent basis, your intention on whether to reopen your business or not determines the appropriate actions to take.

Closing for a Period of Time

If it becomes necessary to close your business, but you intend to reopen, you should end the service for all employees. 

As you are charged per active employee, ending the service for your workforce means that you will not be billed until they become active again.

Permanent Business Closure

In the unfortunate event that you need to close your business permanently, the following steps  need to be followed:

  1. End Service for Employees and Submit your CPF Return – as described under “Employees Leaving Your Company” (above), the employees’ service should be ended so this is reflected automatically on their CPF Return to inform IRAS.
  2. Deactivate Admin Users on your Account – if you have provided administrative privileges to your company to any ex-employees, we would recommend that these are deactivated upon ending their service. To do this, click on the profile icon in the top right corner > Manage Users > Delete. Should you wish for an ex-employee to retain access, you can leave their access rights unamended.
  3. (Optional) Remove the Company From SimplePay – If you wish you can delete your company from SimplePay. We strongly recommend against this as it will mean you no longer have access to information assimilated on SimplePay, which might come in useful e.g. should you have any documents requested by IRAS. If you wish to delete your company, details of how to can be found here.

Closing Your Account on SimplePay

It may be the case that you have come to the decision to close your account on SimplePay. If you are sure that this is the right decision for you and there is nothing we can do to change your mind you will need to do the following:

  1. Get in touch with SimplePay at [email protected] and request they close your account. It would be greatly appreciated if in this email you include:
    1. The reason(s) for ending your SimplePay membership
    2. Method of payment used (direct debit / EFT etc.)

N.B.  SimplePay provides you with the option of freezing your account, meaning you can still access SimplePay for three months. This provides you with ample opportunity to ensure that there is not any information that you need which is still on SimplePay.  If though, you are certain that you have all the information you need, you can also opt to close your account with immediate effect.

  1. If there are any outstanding sums, these must be paid. If you are not in a position to do so, please advise us of this so that our billing team can engage with you to determine the best course of action.

We appreciate that this must be an extremely stressful and turbulent situation for you, with many hard decisions to make. If this is the end of your use of SimplePay, thank you for the support. We wish you well and hope that we will get the opportunity to work symbiotically with you again in the not-so-distant future. Should you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Employee Filtering Revamp

SimplePay has always taken a user-orientated approach to payroll. It’s why we focus on two things – building an outstanding product and providing quality customer support. In a nutshell, SimplePay is all about you – our clients! So when the requests came streaming in for an easier way to filter employers, we jumped right on it. Introducing our newly revamped employee filters.

Our new employee filters functionality gives you more options for filtering employees. Depending on what page you’re on, you can filter employees according to pay point, pay frequency or active / inactive status. All pages with filters also let you select employees individually or use the convenient search bar to find specific employees by searching for their name or employee number.

Filters have been added or revamped for the following:

  • Employee list (Under Employees)
  • Employee users (Under Employees > Self-Service)
  • The leave overview calendar (Under Employees > Leave Overview)
  • All bulk action options (Under Employees > Bulk Actions)
  • Bulk finalising payslips (under Pay Runs)
  • All reports (Under Reports)

Finding an employee or selecting only the employees that you need has never been easier! Go check it out and let us know what you think.

Not a SimplePay client but want a payroll system that is all about you, the user? The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial that allows you to explore our system and see just how easy and stress-free payroll can be. Sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here.

Team SimplePay