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UIF Processing New COVID-19 TERS Claims

March 8, 2021

Department of Employment and Labour

The employment and labour department has announced that new Coronavirus Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) claims are being processed.

A Covid-19 TERS Direction was published in Government Gazette 44222 on 3 March 2021 paving the way for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to process claims for the new Covid-19 TERS extension.

The Direction flows from Disaster Management Act Regulations.

It focuses on the payment of benefits to qualifying employees who are contributors to the UIF and whose employers have declared and paid for them with the UIF.

Qualifying employees are those whose employers are not able to commence operations and whose operations fall within the sectors listed in Annexure A; unable to make arrangements for employees to work from home; need to limit the number of employees at the workplace and place employees in isolation or quarantine.

The benefit is set at a minimum of R3 500.

Reduced work time benefits are also available for UIF contributors whose employers do not operate in the specified sectors and who are unable to work due to compliance with Regulations and Directions.

The Direction came into effect on 16 October 2020 and remains in force until 15 March 2021.

In a statement, the department pointed out that, after much deliberation between the UIF and Nedlac social partners, it was agreed that the “extension should cover businesses or establishments in sectors hardest hit by lockdown such as tourism, liquor, hospitality, conferencing events and other business activities still affected in related value chains”.

The department added that the “Nedlac social partners considered the list that the UIF proposed and ensured that it covers all business activities that cannot fully operate due to lockdown regulations”.

Two payment iterations are planned for the extension period with the first being from 16 October to 31 December 2020 and the second from 1 January to 15 March 2021.