The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner has indicated that the fund will continue to accept and process Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) claims submitted for April, May and June as per the directive issued by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on March 26.
This directive established the Covid-19 TERS benefits to last for a period of three months, which means claims submitted for a period within the three months will be processed and paid.
“Although June was the last month for the Covid-19 TERS benefits as per the directive, the UIF will continue to process and pay claims submitted for this period until the cut-off date is determined. However, we will not accept claims submitted for July onwards as that falls outside of the time period stipulated in the directive for the Covid-19 TERS benefits,” said UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping.
He also indicated that, while the fund will accept the claims for the determined period, the UIF was experiencing some technical glitches with the opening of the system for June submissions.
The main problem is with the swapping of employer profiles when users try to submit claims, which causes a potential security breach.
“We initially opened the system for June applications on June 23 and our aim was to start making the first payments on the twenty-fifth of June to ensure employees do not wait too long for their salaries. Unfortunately, we experienced problems with the swapping of user profiles and we immediately shut it down for June and rolled back to May to fix the problem.
“We deployed the system again on the twenty-fourth of June but the problem persisted and our information technology engineers have ultimately increased the capacity of the system to be able to simultaneously process claims for April, May and June. The good thing is that the data is safe and we will ultimately be able to finalise the claims and pay monies due to employees once we have resolved the current issues,” said Maruping.
To quickly deal with the problems, Maruping said the fund had roped in external resources to help. However, the UIF would ensure the system was completely stable before re-opening for June applications.
“I wish to apologise to employers and employees for further delays. We are however working around the clock to fix the problem. We anticipate complete testing by Friday so that we can open the system again over the weekend if everything goes according to plan,” said Maruping.