Amendments to the general codes of good practice will become effective on 1 December 2019. It is important to understand that this is effective on that date, regardless of the financial period being verified.

The biggest changes are under the skills development scorecard, where the target for skills spend (equivalent to 6% of salaries bill) is now split into two subcategories – 3.5% to be spent on learning programmes and 2.5% to be spent on Bursaries for students at Higher Education Institutions.

Many hold the view that this is in response to the Fees Must Call movement.

The other change under the skills element is to the much-abused definition of “absorbed”. The amended definitions of a “long-term” saw three-month temporary contracts being passed as absorption, definitely not in the spirit of the Act. It now prevents this type of abuse, by removing the mechanism which allowed companies to simply roll learners over onto a new learnership and by clarifying long-term contract of employment.