Newsletter - April 2024

The latest Employer specific news and information.

Skyline

Welcome to New Employers

A very warm welcome to all new employers who have registered since our last newsletter on 12 December 2023.

Newsletters are sent out periodically to the industry to share important changes in employee benefit processes and client services, and information relating to the BIBC mandate.

Older newsletters are archived and can be accessed under the ‘News’ tab.

A separate Newsletter dealing with Pension Fund matters will be published by the Principal Officer of the Fund during the next few weeks. 

 

Senior Responsible Person/Director(s)

If you are a payroll administrator or consultant receiving this communication, it is important that you immediately share all communications and messaging from the BIBC with the appropriate senior staff member and business director(s).

2023 Employee Benefit Administration

All technical issues leading up to the payout in December were resolved and all correct returns and matching deposits received by the due date of 07 November 2023, were processed in time for the start of the holiday period on 14 December 2023. A huge Thank You to employers who responded quickly to requests for outstanding information. For the first time ever, there was not a massive backlog of unprocessed (late and incorrect) returns waiting for us in January 2024. In previous years, we have had to literally scramble to get these paid out to desperate employees who had received no leave and holiday pay in December. While we still see mostly the same employers submitting late or incorrect returns and deposits that do not match the return, the 2023 payout was the most successful payout processed to date. We look forward to an even smoother process in 2024.  

2023 eesi© 2.0 System Update

If you are not receiving tax invoices, this may be because your email address is not updated in our system. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to assist you with updating your contact details.  

Pro-forma invoices were introduced as a new feature in the system when we launched eesi©. This feature was then disabled pending some further development. We hope to eventually reintroduce it.  

Requisition templates have been added back to the BIBC website as a temporary replacement for pro-forma invoices and as a response to requests from several employers to make this tool available once again.  

The Operations Team report that the volume of queries and challenges with eesi© have reduced significantly. While we will still have the occasional bugs as all systems do from time to time, most employers are now comfortable with submitting their returns.  

Continuous Improvement Projects Implemented

Automated processing 

In line with our continuous improvement value, we have developed a programme that allows us to automatically process benefits where:  

  1. There are no errors on the return, and
  2. The deposit is the exact amount of the return, and
  3. The deposit is received in our bank account on the same day as the return. The due date for both returns and receipt of payment in our bank is the 7th of the month following the period for which the benefits are due.
  4. This means that your correct submissions will be processed in ‘real-time’, leaving us with access to resources that can work on other projects that improve our service to you.  

Bank Deposit Reference Validation

Currently only 30% of employers use the correct bank reference on their deposits. A correct reference includes ONLY the BIBC Employer Number with no text, for normal returns. Bank references should be as follows:  

  1. Normal Returns:
    • 5 digits only
    • No text e.g. ‘EMP’
    • If your employer number is less than 5 digits, fill the reference with zeroes (0) in the front. 
    • Example of deposit reference for employer number 12345: 12345
    •  Example of deposit reference for employer number 123: 00123
  2. Payment on Acknowledgement of Debt (AOD):
    • Add ‘AOD’ after your BIBC Employer Number with no spaces.
    • Example of deposit reference: 12345AOD
  3. Payment for arrear wages claims:
    • Add 'Claim' + Claim number after your BIBC Employer Number with no spaces;
    • Example of deposit reference: 12345Claim2
  4. Payment for interest payments:
    • Add ‘INT’ after your BIBC Employer Number with no spaces. 
  5. If there are any other deposits you need to make that are not in the above categories do contact us for an approved/unique reference.

Deposits with no returns

  1. Employers who deposit funds into the BIBC account and do not provide us with the returns, create backlogs in our system that then prevent us from addressing queries and meeting our commitment to improve in all service areas. These employers have been sent an email correspondence, informing them that this will no longer be possible. Do ensure that both your return and your payment reach us by the 7th of the month following the period for which the benefits are due.

Public Holiday 29 May 2024 (Election Day)

In accordance with the Public Holidays Act 36 of 1994, 29 May 2024 has been declared a public holiday. Do consult the Main Collective Agreement, as it aligns to this legislation in clause 24 and will provide guidance on how to determine the rate of pay for your employees on this paid public holiday.   

WhatsApp Benefit Statements amended/added

Do encourage your employees to sign onto our WhatsApp platform so that they can download their own benefit statements on the 01st of each month for a record of benefits purchased on their behalf. Benefit statements reflect the balance of benefits collected for the previous month i.e., one month in arrears.

Record of Benefits purchased (previously called the Long-list)

This employer report is sent to you on the 01st of each month for the previous month’s benefits purchased. If you are not receiving this record, this may be because your email address is not updated in our system.

Dispute Prevention and Resolution Services

There are still significant volumes of matters heard by the independent CCMA Commissioners where the employer does not appear on the arbitration date. The entire dispute resolution system is reliant on all parties having a fair opportunity to be heard. Where the case is heard in absentia with the employer not appearing, the employer has sadly forfeited this fundamental right to be heard. Even prior to the scheduled arbitration date, we encourage you to work with us during a pre-arbitration period to settle a matter. Where employers do respond, most cases are settled and as a positive result, the case is taken off the CCMA roll.
Employers are also encouraged to approach us to settle their arrears. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange to speak with a Client Service Agent.  

Employment Categories 

The Main Collective Agreement is published on our website and can be accessed via this link. In terms of clause 15, employers are required to confirm the category of employment of a registered employee before contracting them. Our system will not allow you to purchase benefits for an employee linked to a lower employee category than the category for which he/she is registered.  

Abscondment 

The BIBC has a process in place that is reliant on receiving evidence from the employer that the employees’ absence has been investigated and that a fair disciplinary procedure was concluded. Where this evidence is not submitted by the employer within 30 days after the employee is terminated in terms of clause 39 (absent for 5 days without employer’s consent), the employer’s claim against that employee’s holiday and bonus fund can unfortunately not be processed. In this case, the employee will have a claim against his holiday and bonus fund.  

EPWP Projects 

Applications for exemption from any of the terms and conditions of the Main Collective Agreement must be received by the BIBC prior to the commencement of a project and preferably at the awarding of the tender. These applications are particularly complex, and the Exemptions Committee needs to be scheduled to work through that application. If you are submitting the application retrospectively and the outcome is then not in your favour, this will naturally have serious implications for your business.  

Our Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Team have been working with the City of Cape Town in recent months, to find ways to support contractors.  Subsequently, we have agreed that the contract is confirmed as an EPWP project by the assigned CoCT Project Manager.  

A complete exemption application must satisfy the requirements as set out in clause 57 of the Main Collective Agreement. In addition to these requirements, the assigned Project Manager must issue a formal letter (template provided here).  

 

BIBC Departments’ Email Addresses

The following email addresses must be used for specific queries. If you are unsure where your query must be sent to, send only one email and address it only to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will route it to the appropriate department.

 Log-in and return queries                                          :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Employer registrations                                                :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Employee registrations                                               :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sick Fund claims                                                         :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Medical Aid claims                                                      :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pension Fund queries                                                 :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Collections                                                                  :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Labour disputes; Collective Agreement queries         :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Exemption applications                                              :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Acknowledgement of Debt                                         :                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

____________________________

Pearl Pugin - CEO

Building Industry Bargaining Council