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Minimum Assessment for Compensation Fund Adjusted

April 9, 2021

Department of Employment and Labour

The minimum assessment in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act has been adjusted.

The employment and labour department announced the increase in Government Gazette 44422.

The revenue of the Compensation Fund consists mainly of annual assessments paid by registered employers on a basis of a percentage or fixed rate of the annual earnings of their employees.

The minimum assessment ensures that the assessment is not less than the administration costs.

The department also announced the withdrawal of the implementation of Section 85(1) on reductions with effect 1 March 2021 until further notice.

Section 85(1) allowed for a variation in the tariff of assessment based on an employer taking steps to prevent accidents as compared to employers in like businesses.

Section 78 on medical aid provided by employers has been withdrawn with effect 1 March 2021 until further notice.

The increase was first announced in Gazette 44331 published in March 2021.

However, the notice was not signed requiring the republication of the signed version.

In a separate matter, the department has welcomed the recently announced investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits.

The justice and constitutional development department announced the investigation in Proclamation 8 in Gazette 44384 in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act on 1 April 2021.

The terms of reference of the SIU are to investigate any alleged serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the UIF; improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees of the UIF; unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property; unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property and intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property.

The investigation will focus on the period 1 March 2020 to the date of publication.

It will also look at relevant and connected allegations that took place prior to 1 March 2020 or after the date of publication.

Maladministration in the affairs of the UIF in relation to the payment of Covid-19 TERS benefits to persons who were not entitled to receive such payments or submitted false, irregular, invalid or defective applications to the UIF will come under the microscope.

According to the department, the SIU has already been involved in an investigation of TERS payments under a secondment agreement with the department that has expired.

“The investigation uncovered a number of irregularities in the TERS payments, which prompted SIU to apply for a proclamation.”