PayrollHero Certification: Hands on Experience with the App

badge-payroll-certificationLast week, Kieran our Head of Client Success, conducted training sessions for the new PayrollHero team members in Singapore as well as a few clients. We got some hands on experience with the app, which helped us gain a deeper understanding of how the product works. As an intern who has been here for a few weeks, my knowledge about the product came from speaking with team members, listening to sales pitches and reading about the product online. So it was an interesting experience to use the product on a demo account and view it from the perspective of a payroll administrator. All new PayrollHero team members get certified on the platform so that they know exactly what the platform can do.

Kieran took us through every aspect of the product. My first thought when I was told about the training was, “Wow, a two and a half day training session? But I already know everything about it!” Which, as you may have guessed, turned out to be highly overstated. Within the first two hours of training, I came to the conclusion that the product was far more powerful than I had expected.

The first day was about Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS). The next day was spent on generating payroll and the final day was dedicated to understanding time, attendance and scheduling using the app.

The interesting part about the app is its customization capabilities. A human resources (HR) administrator can record the company’s organizational chart. The hierarchy allows you to identify employee types and positions. Thresholds allow you to set rules on what kinds of notifications you get based on the activities of employees under you in the hierarchy. The thresholds have multiple permutations and combinations that, once customized, help you prioritize information that you need instantly versus information that can wait till a more suitable time.

badge-tas-certificationIt didn’t stop there. Customization extended to how you segment payroll: employer contributions (CPF, SDL, FWL), bonuses, vacation payments, advance payments, claims that need to be redeemed. Any kind of payment outside of the basic calculation of an employee’s hourly wages can be segmented and customized so that all a payroll administrator has to do, is enter which segment the payment should go into. The app can take care of debiting/crediting the amount to the required account. It will notify you when the account is hitting a pre-recorded limit. The flexibility of the app went as far as allowing you to import data from a spreadsheet, allowing the app to automatically fill in employee details.

While all of this might seem like a rather dry topic to train on for nearly three days, Kieran managed to make the whole session more interesting by throwing in quizzes and having interactive sessions. Every demo account had characters from Kieran’s favourite fiction series. Homer Simpson got a bonus for his outstanding work (let’s pretend like that is EVER going to happen), Sherlock Holmes got promoted to the next level on the org chart, Buffy Summers asked for a change in her schedule for the next 3 weeks and Harry Potter recorded coming in early to work consistently. All these characters were a part of the certification exercises, which made the entire process not only informative but also engaging.

The time, attendance and scheduling part of the course was done through an online training portal on the PayrollHero website. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by how detailed the app was and how customizable the entire process of scheduling was. It was impressive that the app was user friendly and flexible with creating, adjusting or removing schedules based on timing, location and type of work: whether it was a routine desk job or a part time job that required changing schedules often. The app, as was intended, was perfectly designed for retailers and restaurant owners who deal with employees who have erratic schedules which require constant adjustments.

The exercises and quizzes were effective in understanding how much we grasped from the lessons. It was clear that working with app required you to be consistent and methodological with the processes for entering data, giving system permissions, organizing the company’s hierarchy and setting customized options especially since the data that the system works with is sensitive. Finally, the certification undoubtedly served its purpose: it gave us a complete picture of how the app works and how a payroll administrator can benefit by using all its features for time, attendance, scheduling and payroll.

Learn more about PayrollHero Certification in the Philippines and Singapore.

Special Employment Credits in Singapore

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The Special Employment Credit was introduced in 2011 in order to provide tax credits for employers who employ low-wage Singaporean senior citizens. The time period in which the SEC is implemented is between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The last SEC payout will be on March 2017.

There are three main criteria in order to apply for the SEC. The employee must be:

  1. a Singaporean citizen
  2. aged over 50
  3. earning less that $4000 a month

In the year 2015, the Government decided to increase credit rates in order for companies to cope with the increase in CPF contributions. Credit offered by the government is 8.5% of the employee’s monthly wages for employees aged between 50 and 65. For employees over 65 years of age, the credit is 11.5% of monthly wages. These rates apply till December 31, 2015. The schedule for credit is given below:

SEC for the month ($) for employers who hire Singaporeans
Income of employee/month ($) between ages 50 and 65 over age 65
500.00 42.50 57.50
1000.00 85.00 115.00
1500.00 127.50 172.50
2000.00 170.00 230.00
2500.00 212.50 287.50
3000.00 255.00 345.00
3250.00 191.25 258.75
3500.00 127.50 172.50
3750.00 63.75 86.25
>= 4000 0.00 0.00

The rates for 2016 have not been announced. The Singapore government has not specified whether these rates will remain or be reverted back to the old credit rates.

SEC Payments

SEC payments are made on a retrospective basis. For the months between January and June, SEC payments will be made in September. For months between July and December, SEC payments are made the following March. A company will qualify for SEC payments only after the necessary CPF contributions have been made. To check the contribution schedule for CPF and for more details on CPF payments, check out our blog post. Payments are made via GIRO. For companies without GIRO, a cheque will be sent. An important point to note that SEC is taxable.

To find out the absolute value of credit that your company will receive, you can click on the SEC calculator here. For more details on SEC, you can find FAQs here.

Payroll in APAC: Singapore


Employer contributions in Singapore are collected by the Central Provident Fund (CPF). The deductions and levies contribute towards savings for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) for retirement, insurance and building their homes. There are also certain levies that go towards different ethnic funds. We will go through all these deductions and levies.


CPF contributions are done by the employee and employer. The contributions arsingapore cpfe restricted to Singaporeans and PRs only. There are 4 major accounts that CPF contributions go into: Ordinary Account (for retirement, housing finance, investment, education), Special Account (for old age and special contingencies), Medisave Account (for hospital bills) and Retirement Account (this account is opened once the employee turns 55). Check out these links to find out contributions rates and deadlines.

Foreign Workers Levy

The levy is imposed on employers who employ foreign workers with Work Permits or S Passes. Levies do not need to be paid for employees with Employment Passes. The levy is calculated based on the ratio of Singaporeans to foreign employees that your business employs. Here is a link on how the foreign levy is calculated. The levy is paid on the first of every month. More details on the FWL here.

Skills Development Levy

The SDL goes to the Skills Development Fund, which provides grants for training programmes and workforce upgrading programmes. The levy must be paid for Singpaorean, PR and foreign workers. The rates are linked here.

Ethnic Fund

There are 4 Self Help Group (SGH) Funds that collect levies based on the ethnicity of your employees. The four funds are:

  1. Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) Fund, administered byCDAC
  2. Eurasian Community Fund (ECF), administered by the Eurasian Association(EA)
  3. Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF), administered by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS)
  4. Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) Fund, administered by SINDA

The levy is paid out of employees’ salaries. Employees may choose to opt out of the levy by signing the relevant forms. The levy must be paid every month. Here are the rates.

If you are looking for a Singapore cloud based payroll platform – look no further. PayrollHero’s end to end solution includes time, attendance, scheduling, HRIS and Singapore payroll. Plus, amazing business intelligence. Let us know if you want a one on one demo.

For more information on CPF contributions, make sure to read this link. If you want to know more about employer contribution in the Philippine, check out Payroll in APAC: the Philippines.. Hope this helps!

Disclaimer: As always, consult your lawyer or accountant for advice! We are here to help, but your specific situation should be reviewed by a professional with complete knowledge of your situation.

Payroll in APAC: The Philippines

The Payroll in APAC blog posts are (as you might have guessed), a series of blog posts on tax and employer contribution laws in APAC nations. This gives payroll and human resource administrators a high level understanding on what you should know in these countries. Our first post is on the Philippines.

Creditable and Final Withholding Taxes:

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is the Philippine equivalent of the IRS in the United States. Companies are required to withhold taxes from employees who are subject to income tax. They are then required to remit these taxes to the BIR.

There are two broad classifications of withholding taxes: Creditable withholding taxes and final withholding taxes. Creditable withholding taxes apply for certain income payments and are creditable against income tax. On the other hand, Final Withholding Taxes are not creditable against withholding taxes. Unlike the former, final withholding taxes are prescribed on royalties and interest incomes.

Social Security Service (SSS)

The SSS is the social security net for Filipinos. It covers a list of contingencies: from disabilities to maternity. All private companies are required to register with the SSS and deduct contributions for their employees. Around 70% of the contribution comes from the employer and 30% from the employee.

Deductions are made from the employee’s salary and remitted to the SSS. Payments are done monthly or quarterly, based on the type of employee. The summary on benefits and schedule on payments is posted here.


The health insurance institution in the Philippines is called PhilHealth. All private and government institutions are required to register and deduct contributions from their employees’ salaries. PhilHealth covers a number of benefits. The share of the contribution is split between the employer and the employee. The payment dates and contribution schedule are available here.

Pag-IBIG – Home Development Mutual Fund

The final contribution that employers need to be aware of is Pag-IBIG. This institution provides housing finance for Filipinos. Contributions by the employer are equal to 2% of the employee’s salary. The dates for payment are in this link.

These are the 4 major tax and employer contribution laws that Payroll and Human Resource administrators should be aware of. At PayrollHero, we deduct the required contributions and generate payroll for our clients. Here are examples of how we compute BIR taxes, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG contributions.

For more information on BIR, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG with respect to what forms need to be filled and filing deadlines, make sure to click on the links!

Disclaimer: As always, consult your lawyer or accountant for advice! We are here to help, but your specific situation should be reviewed by a professional with complete knowledge of your situation.

If you are in need of a payroll provider in the Philippines that can provide an end to end solution, then let us know. PayrollHero’s Philippine cloud based payroll platform incorporates, time, attendance, scheduling, HRIS, business intelligence and Philippine payroll in one, easy to use solution.
Cloud Payroll Software for Philippines

Part III: Employer Contributions in the Philippines: Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG)

This is the final iteration of the ‘Employer Contributions in the Philippines’ set of blog posts. So far, we have given you an overview of the BIR, the SSS and PhilHealth. We will now talk about the Home Development Mutual Fund – popularly known as Pag-IBIG Fund. The fund is the biggest source of housing finance in the Philippines. Along with the SSS and PhilHealth, employers also need to register to Pag-IBIG.

Requirements: Before you register your business with Pag-IBIG, you will need the following:

  1. Employer’s Data Form (make sure you have a TIN and your SSS employer number to fill the form)
  2. Specimen Signature Form (SSF [HQP-PFF-003])
  3. SSS certification
  4. Proof of business existence (Business permit/ Mayor permit)

You need to fill these forms and take them to the nearest Pag-IBIG service center. After the documents are processed, you will receive the Pag-IBIG Employer ID.

The following is the contribution that is required by the employer and employee

The Pag-IBIG registration process can be done online as well. After deductions, payment to the fund can be done online or through one of the accredited banks.

Employee Share Employer Share
PHP 1,500.00 and below 1% 2%
Over PHP 1,500.00 2% 2%

Finally, here we have an example on how PayrollHero calculates Pag-IBIG deductions.

This marks the end of our 3 part blogpost on Employer Contributions in the Philippines. For details on BIR, SSS and PhilHealth, click on the links. To see how PayrollHero calculates deductions on BIR, SSS and PhilHealth, make sure to click on the links.

Here is a helpful video from our friends at about Pag-IBIG

Disclaimer: As always, consult your lawyer or accountant for advice! We are here to help, but your specific situation should be reviewed by a professional with complete knowledge of your situation.

If you are interested in learning more about PayrollHero for your Philippine business, check out our website at We would be pleased to chat further about your needs.

Part I: Employee Contributions in the Philippines: BIR and SSS

As an HR admin or payroll admin, it is important to understand how employee contributions work for the social security nets that are in place for Filipinos. There are 4 institutions that you should know about for employee contributions:

  1. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
  2. Social Security System (SSS)
  3. Philhealth
  4. Home Development Mutual Fund

We will be talking about each of these over the next few blog posts. Let’s start with the first:

Bureau of Internal Revenue

When you are employing someone in the Philippines, the first requirement is to have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) that is registered in the same Revenue District Office (RDO) as your business. The TIN is essential in order to process employee contributions.

  • If the employee does not have a TIN, she must file form 1902 at the RDO where your business is registered.
  • If the employee does have a TIN but is not registered in the same RDO as your business, then she must fill form 1905 and file it at the RDO where her previous employee was registered in order to cancel it.
  • If the employee has a TIN registered at the same RDO as your company’s, then you will have to file form 2305 at the same RDO to update your employee’s information.

Here are all the BIR forms for your convenience.

Social Security Service

All employees in private companies across the country are required to be SSS members. The social security net covers a range of contingencies such as disability, sickness, retirement. Here is a summary of contingencies that the SSS covers. Around 70% of the contribution towards the SSS is made by the employer while 30% is made by the employee. Here is a schedule of contributions based on monthly salary.

First, you need to register your company as an employer in the nearest SSS office by filing Form R1. Along with this, you need to submit a list of employees with their SSS numbers. Note that private companies can only hire employees with SSS numbers. The form that needs to be files is Form R1A. The last form that needs to be submitted is the Specimen Signature Card SS Form L501. With these 3 forms, you will have to submit a sketch of your business address.

You will also have to pay a fee of PHP 160 for an Employer Registration Plate at the SSS or any SSS accredited bank. The list of accredited banks are here (at the bottom of the document). Along with the payment, you need to submit validated Miscellaneous Payment Return – SS Form R6 along with a Special Bank Receipt with this form.

You need to submit Form R1A – the Employment Report – every time a new employee joins. It must be filed within thirty days of the employee receiving the benefits of the coverage. The form must be submitted with the Specimen Signature Card and the 13 digit ER number and business address.

If there are changes to business operations, you need to file an Employer Data Change Request. This way, you will be billed correctly by the SSS.Singapore Payroll

Now that you know what these institutions are and what forms need to be filled, here is our example on how SSS contributions are calculated using PayrollHero software. As a bonus, we also have an example on how BIR taxes are computed.

That’s it for now! Check out our next few posts on Philhealth and Home Development Mutual Fund to find out everything you need to know about employer contributions.

Disclaimer: As always, consult your lawyer or accountant for advice! We are here to help, but your specific situation should be reviewed by a professional with complete knowledge of your situation. 

If you are interested in learning more about PayrollHero for your Philippine business, check out our website at We would be pleased to chat further about your needs.
Cloud Payroll Software for Philippines