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COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme Developed

April 1, 2020

Department of Employment and Labour

The COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID-19 TERS) has been developed to contribute to the containment of the pandemic.

The employment and labour department confirmed this in a statement on the COVID-19 TERS during the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

According to the department, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, after consultation with UIF’s executive and the board, has developed the scheme.

In order to mitigate the impact of the 21-day national lockdown on workers, business and the economy, the UIF will be electronically processing applications for the Covid-19 TERS Benefit.

“Caring and responsible employers that are unable to pay the full salaries of the workers they send home for their health and safety due to the lockdown are encouraged to apply for the Covid-19 TERS Benefit from the UIF by sending an email to covid19ters@labour.gov.za from midnight tonight when the lockdown starts.”

Applicants will receive an automated reply outlining all the steps and details, including the requirements to claim benefits.

No manual claims will be accepted during the lockdown to reduce contact between people and limit the spread of the pandemic.

The department pointed out that the Covid-19 TERS Benefit is de-linked from other UIF Benefits and processes.

Applications are subjected to normal verification and validation processes of the Fund.

In another statement, the department has called on employers not to instruct their employees to take annual leave during the lockdown.

“In as much as employers are within their rights to insist that employees take annual leave during the lockdown, as the Department, we encourage employers not to request employees to utilise their annual leave credits for the lockdown, but to rather utilise the financial assistance that the department has placed at their disposal through the COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) in cases where companies cannot afford to pay employees”, said Department of Employment and Labour, Chief Director of Labour Relations Thembinkosi Mkalipi.