You can claim back some of your Skills Development Levy contributions

You can claim back up to 20% of your Skills Development Levy (SDL) simply by submitting an Annual Training Report (ATR) and Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) to the Seta with which your business is registered by 30 April each year. These payments, which are called mandatory grants, are paid by the Seta every quarter.

If your business isn’t claiming mandatory and discretionary grants, it means other businesses that are claiming are benefiting from the levies you pay. In addition, by upskilling their staff, they are giving themselves a competitive edge.

In fact, even companies that do not have to pay an SDL can still access these grants as long as they submit their ATR and WSP.

In addition, you can claim back more of your contribution in the form a discretionary grant. This grant is allocated at the sole discretion of the Seta and depends on the availability of funds, adherence to specific criteria, and approval from the Seta’s accounting authority.

The SA Revenue Service allocates your business’s SDL to the Seta with which you are registered. The Seta disperses the levy to mandatory grants, discretionary grants, the National Skills Fund, as well as the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations and the Seta’s administration costs.

At this point, you might be thinking, “Getting back some of my SDL contributions sounds good, but I’m too busy trying to run my business to set up training programmes and obtain bursaries, or deal with the admin involved in claiming back contributions.”

This is why you need an external skills development facilitator such as Workforce Solutions, which will take care of all the administration necessary to ensure your business complies with the legislation and can claim back some of your SDL contributions.

Here are two examples of how companies benefited financially from Workforce Solutions’ expertise:

  • Company A, which has 17 employees and an annual payroll of R3 684 938 million paid an annual SDL of R36 849. It received a mandatory grant of R5 895 after Workforce Solutions submitted an WSP/ATR on its behalf. Plus, because the company granted an employee a bursary, it was able to claim a discretionary grant of R25 920. So, in total, Workforce Solutions enabled Company A to get back R31 815 of the R36 849 it paid as an SDL.
  • Company B, which has 15 employees and an annual payroll of R5 644 789, paid an SDL of R56 448. Workforce Solutions’ submission of an WSP/ATR resulted in a mandatory grant of R9 032. Granting bursaries to two employees enabled Workforce Solutions to claim a discretionary grant of R35 840 on the company’s behalf. This means Company B got back a total of R44 872.

Range of services

Much more is required to claim these benefits than submitting an WSP and an ATR, as important as these are. Workforce Solutions provides a comprehensive range of services that are essential for fulfilling the requirements to claim mandatory and discretionary grants.

Workforce Solutions will:

  • Develop and review your organisation’s skills development policy.
  • Liaise between your organisation and the sector Seta.
  • Provide advice on the quality assurance requirements set by the sector Seta.
  • Establish, train and consult with your organisation’s skills development committee.
  • Conduct skills audits, to identify the skills and knowledge that your employees have and those which they lack.
  • Facilitate a training needs analysis, which will identify priorities for employee training and development. This will help to determine not only what skills are missing or underdeveloped, but also which employees need training first.
  • Align your organisation’s skills development activities with the Sector Skills Plan, and the employment equity and broad-based black economic empowerment requirements.
  • Implement your organisation’s training plan by identifying suitable training courses and providers, booking training, and managing payment to trainers.
  • Set up and manage discretionary grant programmes.
  • Where necessary, arrange and manage transfers from one Seta to another.

More information

To find out more about how Workforce Solutions can benefit your organisation, contact Stephanie Engelbrecht at or 021 883 8000.

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