Emerging from Lockdown – Support for Businesses

At SimplePay, there is nothing that we love more than being able to make your payroll a breeze, so you can grow and build your business. Although this is our main goal, when we see opportunities that will benefit you, we don’t turn a blind eye. Therefore, our blog today is about updating you on some of the new and extended support measures provided by the Government, as well as an exciting prospect for the future.

Extension of the Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) was launched to help employers pay their employee’s wages during the circuit breaker period and was due to conclude at the end of last month. In August, the Government announced that it is extending the JSS for up to 7 months to March 2021. 

The value of the support given is dependent on the sector in which you operate, with the hardest hit sectors receiving more support. 

For more information on the extension and the JSS you can read this IRAS web page.

Job Growth Incentive

To help sectors that are doing well and have the means and opportunity to increase their workforce, the Government has announced the new Job Growth Incentive (JGI). Under the incentive, the Government will pay 25% of new local worker’s salaries for the first year of employment. Even better, if the new employee is aged 40 and above, the co-payment could be up to 50%!

The way that JGI works is that if you increase your overall local workforce between 1 September 2020 and 28 February 2021, in comparison to their numbers in August 2020, you will qualify for Government support. An additional requirement is that you need to increase the number of your employees earning $1, 400 or more per month.

The support consists of payment of 25% for those under 40, or 50% for those 40 and above for the first $5, 000 per month paid to these additional employees. The support will continue for one year from the date of appointment, provided that you continue to meet the requirements.

Payments will be automatically received in 5 separate payouts, based on your mandatory CPF contributions, with the first payout being in March 2021. There may be some cases where you will need to provide further evidence upon IRAS’s request, after which you will then receive your payout. 

For more information on the JGI, please visit IRAS’s dedicated page.

An Exciting Prospect

SMEs Go Digital is a scheme being run by the Government to encourage the uptake of technology by SMEs for certain business functions. Companies which meet the criteria can receive a payout of up to 80% of the cost of the solutions from the Productivity Solutions Grant. 

We are looking into registering SimplePay under the scheme and part of this process includes receiving satisfaction surveys from yourselves. If you joined us between 6 and 18 months ago, we need your help! If you’d like to assist us by completing the short survey, please get in contact with us at [email protected].

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information above relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us 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

Self-Service Hours Worked Input

Last week we introduced a new opt-in feature for self-service – employees can submit expense claims or submit inputs for certain custom items (Read more in the blog post we released). We have now expanded this feature to allow employees who are paid an hourly rate to submit the number of hours worked for the period.

As with expense claims, this saves the payroll administrator processing time, since the payroll administrator only needs to capture the employee’s hourly rate once and then the monthly inputting of hours is done by the employee. It also allows a direct line manager who may have more knowledge on the employee’s hours to be set up as the approver for these hours.

Remember: As this is an opt-in feature (for now), you need to request it from our support team, at no additional charge. More information on how this feature works can be found on our help page here.

Not a SimplePay client but you want to use our self-service feature? Unfortunately this feature is only available to SimplePay clients. The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here. Come and experience the joy of stress-free payroll.

Team SimplePay

Self-Service Employee Claim Requests

Update (13 August 2020): We’ve expanded this feature to include an input for hours worked by employees who are hourly paid.

We love innovating to make payroll simpler and our new self-service employee claims feature does just that.

Our employee self-service option was built to ease the administration burden that comes with payroll:

  • Employees can access historic payslips and tax certificates at any time without having to ask the payroll administrator to send it to them. 
  • Leave requests allow employees to request leave and upload supporting documentation (such as medical certificates), saving you the hassle of having to remember to record leave or follow up with employees for their supporting documentation.
  • Info update requests allow employees to request changes to their basic information, ensuring that you have up-to-date and accurate information for employees.

Our new feature expands self-service to allow employees to submit inputs for the following payslip items:

  • Expense claims
  • Custom items, with the Input Type as “Once-off for specified payslips”, “Different on every payslip”, “Hourly rate * factor * hours” and “Custom rate * quantity”

Employees can enter the amounts that they wish to claim and upload supporting documentation. An approver simply needs to approve the request. It will then be added to the employee’s next draft payslip without the payroll administrator needing to capture any of these payslip amounts. In addition to saving the payroll administrator processing time, it also takes the hassle out of verifying claims, since a separate approver (such as a direct line manager) can be set up for this purpose.

Note: As this is an opt-in feature (for now), you need to request it from our support team, at no additional charge. More information on how this feature works can be found on our help page here.

Not a SimplePay client but you want to use our self-service feature? Unfortunately this feature is only available to SimplePay clients. The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here. Come and experience the joy of stress-free payroll.

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

New Process for Company Transfers

At SimplePay, the protection of your data and privacy is of utmost importance to us. With that in mind, we’re changing the way that we do company transfers. Our new 4-step process makes company transfers even more secure and gives you greater control over the process. 

Company transfers involve moving a company from one SimplePay profile to another. Transferring the company will change which profile owns the company on SimplePay and consequently which profile gets billed for the company.

It is important to note the following, which often causes confusion:

  • Ownership of a company on SimplePay is not necessarily related to the actual ownership of a business. When a new company is added to SimplePay, it belongs to the profile that the user was logged into when creating it. For example, a small business may be owned by an entrepreneur, but the company’s payroll is managed by an accounting firm. If the company was added to the accounting firm’s profile, the accounting firm is the owner of the company on SimplePay, even though they are not the owners of the registered business.
  • The need for company transfers must not be confused with the need for different users. If you need to give or revoke an individual’s access to a company, this can be done by adding or removing the individuals as users. (The exception being that you cannot remove the account owner i.e. the user with the email address used to create the profile that owns the company).

The following examples illustrate when company transfers are necessary:

  • A business’s payroll is managed by an accounting firm and the business now wishes to process their own payroll. The company on SimplePay would be transferred from the accounting firm’s profile to the business’s profile.
  • A business is sold. The previous owners should no longer have ownership of the company on SimplePay. The company on SimplePay would need to be transferred from the prior owner’s profile to the new owner’s profile.

If you have determined that a company transfer is necessary, you will need to follow our 4-step process for company transfers, which is outlined in the following help article:

Can I transfer a company to a different profile?

Not a SimplePay client but want to enjoy the benefits of secure payroll? Unfortunately our payroll system is only available to clients. The good news is that we offer a 30 day free trial and sign up is a breeze! You can find out more and sign up for a trial here. Come and experience the joy of stress-free payroll.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: End Service Checklist

You asked us for a way to help you remember to capture the necessary payslip items associated with employee terminations, and we’ve been listening. Introducing our newest feature: the End Service Checklist.

When ending an employee’s service on the system, there will now be a pop up if the employee:

  • has a positive leave balance that you need to pay out
  • has a savings balance that you need to pay out 
  • has a loan balance that still needs to be paid
  • has a foreigner legal status and form IR21 may need to be submitted

If you are capturing the termination and the employee only has the last payslip as a draft (i.e. prior payslips have been finalised), you can click on each item in the checklist to open the system item where action is needed.

More information on these topics can be found in the following help articles:

Please note: Expansion of this feature is in our pipeline. At this stage, this new checklist only works for:

  • employees terminated individually, not in bulk.
  • positive balances (i.e. if an employee’s leave balance is a negative, then it will not appear on the checklist).

We hope this new feature is everything that you imagined it would be, and more!

If you need assistance with any of these payslip items, please contact us.

Team SimplePay

Improved Functionality for Deleting Leave Requests

At SimplePay, we believe in continuous improvement and are therefore committed to refining and enhancing the system to better suit your needs. With that in mind, we have made tweaks to our leave functionality to improve the deleting of leave requests. We’d like to highlight some of these changes:

  • In addition to payroll administrators and leave admins, previously approved leave requests can now also be deleted by any leave approver that is part of the employee’s approval group.
  • Where the payslip for the period when the leave dates occurred is unfinalised, the leave request will immediately be deleted in its entirety when clicking on Delete
  • Leave requests with leave dates that fall during a pay period with finalised payslips will result in the opening of a new screen when clicking on Delete. From this screen, you can
    • see which of the leave days cannot be deleted as they impact the pay on a finalised payslip, and which of them can be deleted;
    • directly open the payslip where the nett pay is impacted by the leave, if you have administrator rights in addition to being a leave approver; 
    • opt to delete leave in its entirety (the default) or superficially*.

*The Retain these leave dates? checkbox is used to indicate whether leave should be deleted in its entirety or superficially. If you leave the option unchecked, the leave request will be deleted in its entirety (the leave request will be deleted, the leave days will be removed from the calendar and the leave days will be added back to the employee’s leave balance). If you select the checkbox, the leave request will be deleted superficially (only the actual request will be deleted, but the leave will remain recorded in the leave calendar and the leave balance will still take into account the leave days recorded).

You can read more about deleting leave on our help page here.

We hope these improvements provide more useful information and a more enjoyable user experience. 

If you require any assistance, please reach out to our Support team here.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: Show More Payslip Info

When capturing payroll from an employee’s profile, our approach has always been to display only the payslip items that impact nett pay directly. This makes it easier to view exactly what impact (if any) the payslip item has on the salary or wage that the employee actually receives.

To view other payslip items, like statutory employer contributions or fringe benefits, you can click on the Preview link to view the employee’s payslip. We are now delighted to introduce a new feature that allows you view these other payslip items without opening the payslip. Clicking on More next to the Preview link will display all the payslip items from the payslip on the screen.

On the left hand side of the screen, you will see all the items that appear in the payslip section that are used to calculate nett pay. On the right hand side, you will see the other payslip items that do not impact nett pay directly (i.e. they are not directly added or subtracted to get the nett pay – however, they could impact the calculation of another payslip item that impacts nett pay).

We hope this new feature for viewing payslips faster makes payroll even simpler.

Team SimplePay

Alternative Options to Retrenchment for Employers

In our last blog on 23 April, found here, we provided you with information about the various schemes and options available to employers, to help during these challenging economic times. In this blog we shall be writing from a slightly different perspective, looking at what the options are for you, the employer, to avoid having to lay off your employees.

When reading this blog to help inform decisions on possible actions to take for your employees, it is worth bearing the Job Support Scheme (JSS) in mind (covered in our previous blog). The JSS provides a wage subsidy of varying percentages, dependent on the sector in which you operate. This in turn helps to pay employees. The JSS will be revisited below under “Leave Options”.

Remote Working

SME Support

For many businesses based in an office environment, although working from home leads to some complications, these hurdles can often be overcome. This will in turn allow you to keep employees working from the safety of their homes.

In an effort to support Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who might not otherwise have the required infrastructure, the Government has enhanced its Go Digital Programme. 

Information on digital resources, grants and training courses can be found on the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IDMA) website. These are pitched at a range of levels, from plans to start using digital solutions, to Industry Digital plans aimed at helping boost growth and productivity. There is also cost free support provided by the SME Digital Tech hub, which more information can be found on the IDMA website.

More SME specific information can be found on the dedicated IDMA SMEs Go Digital page.

Productivity Solutions Grant

A further source of support for SMEs to keep on employees is the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), mentioned in the Resilience Budget. The PSG covers both sector-specific solutions in areas such as retail, food and construction, as well as solutions that are useful to all industries, such as customer management, data analytics and inventory tracking. These digital solutions could in turn further bridge the gap between working from home and in the office.

A grant of up to 80% will be available to businesses between April and December 2020.

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Registered and operating in Singapore
  • Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding (for selected solutions only)

More information on the PSG and solutions which are available can be found on the Enterprise Singapore website here.

General Business support

Enterprise Development Grant

The aim of the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) is to help Singapore companies transform and grow. This grant supports projects falling under 3 key pillars, those being:

  • Core Capabilities
  • Innovation and Productivity
  • Market Access

The grant funds qualifying project costs, such as consultancy fees, software and equipment and internal manpower. It therefore can provide further relief on employee wages. The maximum support level for the grant is up to 80%, or 90% for the most severely impacted companies, which is to be reviewed on a case by case basis. The scheme will run between April and December 2020. 

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Be registered and operating in Singapore
  • Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding
  • Be in a financially viable position to start and complete the project

You can find out more information on the EDG and how to apply here.

Leave Options

As mentioned in our previous blog, in some cases the options mentioned above are of little use for certain industries and vocations. This therefore means that for the period which the lockdown is in force, they will need to be put on leave or even laid off.

Where employees are able to work, but are prevented from doing so due to the lockdown, employers and employees can agree that annual leave be used to cover some or all of the lockdown period on full pay. You are also always able to extend extra paid leave days to all employees should you so wish.

With the help of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) mentioned in our previous blog, employers automatically receive contributions towards the employees which they keep on. Therefore even if employees are put on leave, employers will still be able to pay employees in some capacity. This hopefully provides a strong incentive to deter retrenchment.

If none of the above is feasible and it is decided that employees need to be laid off, it is advisable to point your employees towards the COVID19 Support Grant, if they are eligible. Applications are open from May 2020 and more information on eligibility can be found here. Alternatively, employees can enquire by calling 1800-222-0000 or emailing [email protected].

Employee Upskilling

Workfare Training Support Scheme

Under the Workfare Training Support (WTS) scheme, a number of higher course fee subsidies and Training grants covering 95% of Absentee payroll have been introduced. This provides an opportunity for the time spent away from the office, to be a great way to upskill your employees.

Training accommodated under the scheme includes Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQs), Part-time ITE skills certificates offered by the Institute of Technical Education, SSG certifiable skills training courses, as well as standalone skills based modular training.

For an employee to be eligible, they must be:

  • a Singapore citizen;
  • aged 35 years and above on 31 December 2020 (aged 13 years and above for persons with disabilities);
  • earning an average gross monthly income of not more than $2,000 for the months worked; and
  • signed up for any WTS qualifying courses prior to making an application for funding.

For more information on the grants and courses available, as well as how to apply, please follow this link to the Singapore Workfare website.

We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay