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COVID-19 TERS Benefits Under the Spotlight

August 17, 2020

Department of Employment and Labour

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will open and begin processing the July/August COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits applications from Monday, 17 August 2020.

The employment and labour department confirmed this in a statement on the COVID-19 TERS benefits.

According to the department, the processing as from Monday follows the recent signing of the new Direction on extended period of benefits by the minister of employment and labour, Thulas Nxesi, on 11 August 2020.

The new Direction stipulates that an employer, or employee, may claim Covid-19 TERS benefits for the extension period starting from 1 July 2020 until 15 August 2020.

The new directives cover the following categories of 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 department emphasized that the new Direction and the extension underwent robust discussion with social partners at Nedlac.

It was agreed that the cut-off date for the application window for April and May will be 15 September 2020.

“All new applications for these periods must be uploaded on or before this date to qualify for processing and payment.”

In another statement, the department announced that the target of R40 billion in COVID-19 TERS disbursements has been achieved.

The R40 billion has covered 9 087 133 payments to millions of workers through 779 429 companies that put in claims on behalf of workers.

For April, so far, a total of R20 billion has been paid to a total of 4 041 839 workers through 389 233 employers.

The payments for May stand at just under R11 billion (R10.9 billion) for the benefit of 2 704 763 workers through 168 089 employers.

In June, the UIF has so far disbursed just under R9 billion (R8.6 billion) into the hands of 2 340 531 workers represented by 168 089 employers.