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Learning under Lockdown

Article written by Juane Zeelie (BEE Legal Advisor Cape Town office SEESA)

All business owners have pondered the effect of COVID-19 on the various elements of their business.

The effect of the lockdown on B-BBEE compliance is no exception. Many have queried whether the deadlines for B-BBEE expenditure was or will be extended.

B-BBEE expenditure, as always, will still need to take place within the applicable financial period. Accordingly, no extensions can be granted.

So, what if you spent your Skills Development targets within your financial year but the employees are not able to attend the training due to the current restrictions?

There must be a distinction between shorter courses and medium/longer courses such as bursaries and learnerships.

In the case of shorter courses, the course or training would have had to be completed by the date of verification.

In the case of medium to long courses, if the training was paid for during the financial period and the employees have commenced with training at the date of your BEE Verification then you will be able to claim your BEE points for Skills Development.

You will of course also have had to submit your Work Place Skills plan as a prerequisite to claiming Skills Development points for B-BBEE. (Kindly contact your Skills Development Facilitator at SEESA in this regard).

Accordingly, as long as the trainee on a medium to the long course has attended at least one day of training by the date of your verification you will be able to claim the points. The reverse is, of course, applicable in that you will have to wait until the trainee has attended at least one day of training before the verification can commence in the case of medium/long courses or completed the training in the case of short courses.

Distance and online learnerships are a very popular option at the moment as this addresses the problem of attendance and completion as well as keeping an eye on the budget.

With learnerships, there are tax rebates applicable and the salaries of employees can contribute to your Skills Expenditure targets. The number of salaries that can be taken into account will depend on the date of registration of the learnership as well as your financial yearend.

Kindly consult with your BEE Legal advisor regarding your B-BBEE compliance targets.

Contact your nearest SEESA office today.
For more information on distance and online learnerships you can visit:

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