Applications for the latest round of Unemployment Insurance Fund’s employer/employee relief scheme (UIF TERS) will open on Monday, 23 November, 2020 following a one-month extension.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension during his address to the nation last week.
Applications to close on 31 December
UIF initially planned to end the benefits on 15 September, 2020. The extension will now cover the period from 16 September until 15 October, 2020.
In a statement on Tuesday, UIF said applications will remain open until 31 December, 2020. The period covers 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.
- 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 application process remains the same for the extension period and all claims must be lodged via the online portal https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/,” UIF said.
Acting UIF Commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst said the required documents remain the same during the UIF TERS extension period.
These include signed approval or acceptance letter, bank confirmation letter, proof of payment to employees and refund to the UIF, if applicable.
“In keeping with strict governance principles, we will still subject payments to bank verification before releasing the funds into the applicant’s accounts,” Bronkhorst said.
The government initiated the scheme in March to assist workers and businesses that were in distress during the lockdown.
It has paid more than R52 billion in 11.5 million payments so far. The payments have been processed through over one million employers, UIF said.
Business for South Africa (B4SA) and labour federation initially demanded an extension until the end of December 2020.
However, Bronkhorst and Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi have both raised concerns about the Fund’s sustainability. COSATU has since welcomed the one-month extension.