Following a recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has announced that it will start processing the latest and last round of Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme Benefits (Covid-19 TERS) applications from Monday, the 23rd of November 2020 until the end of December.
During his address last week, Ramaphosa announced that the Covid-19 TERS benefits would be extended by another month. He said the extension has been subject to robust discussions with social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). UIF said that applications for the Covid-19 TERS for the period between the 16th of September to the 15th of October 2020 will close on the 31st of December, and that no further applications will be accepted after that.
According to the UIF, this period is for employees whose employers are:
- Not permitted to commence operations under the Disaster Management Regulations,
- Unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers, such as working from home or taking special measures under the OHS Direction to protect them, and
- Unable to make use of their services because of operational requirements caused by compliance with the Regulations and Directions such as rostering, staggering working hours, short time and the introduction of shift systems.
The UIF explained that the application process remains the same for the extension period and all claims must be lodged via the online portal https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19// .
“As with previous claim processes, to apply in the new period, employers are required to upload similar documentation that include: signed approval or acceptance letter, bank confirmation letter, proof of payment to employees and refund to the UIF – if applicable. In keeping with strict governance principles, we will still subject payments to bank verification before releasing the funds into the applicant’s accounts. The immediate past has taught us that even under the pandemic, criminals are at large and looking to benefit through their nefarious means. We have an obligation to do everything in our power to ensure that funds are not paid into the incorrect accounts,” said Acting UIF Commissioner, Marsha Bronkhorst.
The Covid-19 TERS Relief Scheme was established to assist employees who lost income due to the Coronavirus and the regulations limiting economic activity during the various levels of the lockdown. Since March 2020, just over R52 billion has been disbursed in 11.5 million payments through 1 million-plus employers.