Department of Employment and Labour
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will continue to provide financial relief through the already existing Short Term/Reduced Work Time Benefit.
The employment and labour department confirmed this in a statement on helping workers in vulnerable sectors via the UIF’s normal benefits.
The last payment period for the Covid-19 TERS Relief Scheme from 16 September until 15 October closed on 31 December 2020.
According to the department, “since the announcement of the Covid TERS relief scheme on 26 March 2020, the Fund has made six payment iterations of the benefit covering 13 923 701 payments to millions of workers from 1.1 million employer applications with R57, 3 billion disbursed to date”.
The Reduced Work Time covers employees whose working hours have been reduced or forced to stay at home due to work stoppage.
The department points out that the system has been enhanced to “enable employers to submit bulk applications on behalf of employees and a spreadsheet has been designed to make this easy for employers”.
The Acting UIF Commissioner, Marsha Bronkhorst, indicated that employers can also be assisted through the normal TERS that has been operating since 2008.
“We also encourage employers to apply for the normal TERS that assists companies in distress.
The main aim of the scheme is to retain employment and avoid retrenchments by providing training to workers who are facing retrenchment.
“Workers remain employed during the training layoff period but forego their normal wage for a training allowance, and employers pay full contributions to a basic social security package,” explained Bronkhorst.
In another statement, the department announced the launch of the UIF E-Compliance Certificate System.
The System, in place from 1 February 2021, allows “employers, small businesses and entrepreneurs to apply for a UIF compliance certificate (tender letter) without leaving the comfort of their homes or having to queue for manual issuance”.
Small businesses, companies and entrepreneurs are invited to register on the System using their UIF reference number and apply for the UIF compliance certificate (tender letter).