“The handover of the sub-class 1300 to Rand Mutual Association (RMA) will, with a small exception, not really impact or change the standard procedure for submitting the Return of Earnings,” says MAKROSAFE CEO, Leon van der Walt ahead of the one-month window for the submissions with RMA. MAKROSAFE has been inundated with calls from concerned clients and companies as RMA used to have a different deadline from the Worksmen Compensation Authority.
Return of Earnings 2015; opening on the 1st April
Sub-class 1300 (the Iron & Steel industry) was handed over by the Department of Labour to RMA in July 2014. As sub-class 1300 is the largest sub-class of South African industries, the Department of Labour could no longer cope with the volume of submissions it received. Handing it over to RMA is should speed up handling cases.
“The actual earnings from the March 2014 to February 2015 still have to be submitted to WCA. But the estimates for the March 2015 to February 2016 have to be submitted to RMA,” Leon Van der Walt of MAKROSAFE explains.
Adjusting the year - end of return of earning to fall in line with WCA
“Rand Mutual Authority used to work on a calendar that would run from January to December, whereas the Workmen’s Compensation Authority had a calendar that ran from March to February,” he continues. MAKROSAFE is one of the biggest Occupational Health and Safety service providers in South Africa and assists hundreds of companies in submitting their claims for occupational injuries or diseases. “When it was decided to hand-over the portfolio to RMA, RMA agreed to adjust their year-end to the year-end the WCA was using. This was meant to prevent employers pockets from being hurt as the adjustments in their payroll administration would have come with additional costs.”
The provisional estimate that the WCA handed to RMA to work on, were the provisional from last year. “These are, therefore, more of a guesstimate. The employers in the 1300 sub-class now have to submit, what they estimate to be their provisional for the coming year, to RMA.”
Following the hand-over, many companies received additional invoices earlier this year. “The initial invoice from RMA to the employer was worked out on the January - December year basis. They took the first year to be as from March – December 2015, and charged the employer 50% to cover only five months, instead of six. When the second invoice is issued, companies will then have to pay for a further 7 months,” Van der Walt explains. The second invoice is expected to be issued before the 30th of June 2015.
The RMA premium is based on the 2014 estimated earnings submitted to the Compensation Fund for the 2014 financial year. The premium will be adjusted once the 2015 earnings declarations have been received by RMA.
Like last year, deadline for the submission has been extended. “Companies only have to submit their information by the end of May, latest. However, the issuing of Letters of Good Standing will not be extended. Companies that rely on such letter should make sure they submit their information as quick as possible.”
Van der Walt urges companies not to take the extension lightly. “Despite the extension, we still urge companies to collect data immediately so it can be submitted timeously. Leaving the submission of information to the last minute will create congestion and unnecessary delays. Documents and data also have to be double-checked and forms have to be completed. MARKOSAFE always returns the information to clients for their final approval. If information is submitted late, MAKROSAFE can only check figures against last year’s submissions.”
Van der Walt is confident that the hand-over will work out in the advantage of the industry. “Rand Mutual Association has a well-established track record in the management of claims for occupational injuries and diseases in the mining industry. It has a history of administering claims that dates back to 1894 and, over the years, has managed to develop a solid framework. Thanks to this framework, RMA can assure that claims for total temporary disablement and permanent disability can be finalised within 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. I am confident that workers in the Iron & Steel industry will soon reap the same benefits with RMA as workers in the mining industry have been doing for many years already.”
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