Why is this year different? The COIDA system automatically triggers an audit if the earnings figures declared are significantly lower than the previous year.
As expected a vast amount of submissions sent in by employers declares earnings for the year (i.e. Mar 2020 to Feb 2021) as being less than the previous year – it was expected due to the reduction of salaries, retrenchments during the COVID-19 and Lockdown period.
The COIDA system automatically triggers an audit if the figures are significantly lower – in many cases the figures are 50% of the previous years’ earnings. There are now a huge number of employers receiving audit notices (vastly higher than in the past!), which the Department of Labour may not have anticipated and is likely not able to handle, as they won’t have the capacity.
Employers won’t get a clearance certificate from COIDA whilst they are “under audit” so the result will be that many companies won’t be able to respond to tenders and/or trade without this certificate.
The COIDA call centre and employers are going to be in for a chaotic time over the next few weeks (maybe even months!). Some audit notification letters have already been spotted and it wasn’t even the 31st of May!
Employers, please take note of the expected delays – if you receive the notice you must respond/provide the information requested as soon as possible as the longer this is left, the higher chances are of falling into the ever-growing bottleneck that is looming.
COIDA may in haste react by putting in a new procedure or process to speed up the audit, they may even switch off the COIDA “system check” that flags a company for audit. It’s anyone’s guess what could happen. We simply wanted to notify everyone of the situation.