Although the electronic deadline has not yet been confirmed by the Department, companies intending to submit electronic returns will have more time, with the deadline likely to be mid-January 2012. The additional time allowed is to encourage companies to convert to electronic submissions.
Grant Lloyd, managing director of payroll and HR software specialist Softline Pastel Payroll, points out that companies with less than 150 employees but more than 50, who are required to submit only every second year, must send in their reports this year. Companies with more than 150 employees submit every year. This year it is companies with more than 50 employees that have to submit their returns by 1 October.
In July 2009 amendments were made to simplify the information required for the Employment Equity reporting process. The EEA2 and EEA4 reports have been reduced from 23 pages to 12 pages and from 12 pages to 4 pages respectively. The EEA1 form remains unchanged at one page.
“This makes reporting easier and employers with payroll software that accommodates the amended reporting templates will find all of the information necessary to accurately complete the return resides conveniently in their payroll system,” says Lloyd. “This data can be automatically extracted and pre-populated into the required report formats.”
Companies using spreadsheets to compile reports must first ensure that the changes in reporting layouts applied last year have been accommodated so that their spreadsheet submissions are fully compliant and penalties are avoided.