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How you can benefit from the Skills Development Levy

Do you, as an employer, understand why you are paying a Skills Development Levy (SDL)? Do you know that this gives you access to funds for training? Many business owners just see it as a compulsory payment of 1%  from their monthly payroll, and that’s it.

“Many employers don’t realise that they are able to claim a portion of this money back from their Sector Education Training Authority (SETA). There is a pool of funds available through Skills Development that they have access to, that is rightfully theirs, but that they probably don’t know about, or don’t fully utilise,” says Stephanie Engelbrecht, Skills Development Consultant of Moonstone Information Refinery.

Engelbrecht clarifies that employers with a total salary bill of R500 000 + over a 12-month period are required to pay SDL levies to SARS every month, according to the Skills Development Levy Act (1999), However, any employer whose total remuneration to all its employees over the next 12 month period don’t exceed R500 000, can also make use of this benefit to submit and claim.

The levies are then paid over to the particular SETA to encourage employers to train and upskill their employees. By complying with certain legal and procedural requirements, employers may claim up to 70% of the SDL back from their SETA.

The benefits of paying Skills Development Levy include:

  • 20% of your levy can be claimed back in a Mandatory Grant
  • 50% of your levy can be claimed in Discretionary Grants (Learnerships, Skills Programmes, Apprenticeships, Workplace Experience Placements, Internship and Bursaries)
  • Tax rebates on registered learnership programmes

Requirements to claim Skills Development Levies:

  • Register as a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF)
  • Submit a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP), indicating training planned for the next reporting period
  • Submit an Annual Training Report (ATR) as proof of the training conducted during the previous reporting period

To some employers, the skills development procedural requirements may seem like a mammoth task. “By assisting businesses with Skills Development, which looks like an impossible task to HR, we can give them access to these grants,” Engelbrecht explains. “With the 30 April deadline of the annual Workplace Skills Plan & Annual Training Reports  fast approaching, Moonstone is ideally positioned to help companies with the successful submission of their reports.”

By ensuring successful report submission, companies can also optimise their BEE score.

Moonstone is ready to work with companies to align their WSP to their BEE and Employment Equity targets, ultimately, allowing the organisation to identify areas where skills are needed and plan interventions to answer the needs. “Our consultants have the expert skills and knowledge of more than 18 years in their field to advise them on the best practice process to compliance,” Engelbrecht concludes.

For more information, contact the Moonstone team at

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