The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will start accepting applications for the Workers Affected by Unrest (WABU): Temporary Financial Relief Scheme from August 25.
The financial relief scheme has been established to assist workers whose workplaces have been closed owing to the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulting in workers receiving partial renumeration or no pay.
According to a recently published directive, employers will be required to apply on behalf of affected workers and they will have to meet several qualifying conditions.
These are that the employer will have to register or be registered with the UIF and that the employer’s closure must be directly linked to the destruction, damage or looting of the workplace.
Moreover, the employer must provide details of the destruction, closure or damage to, or looting of, the workplace and submit documentary proof of a report to the South African Police Services, with proof that a case has been opened by providing a case number, and, if insured, proof of submission and acknowledgement of receipt of the insurance claim.
Also, the employer must confirm, in writing or electronically, that he/she accepts the terms of the scheme herein and any procedure document issued by UIF; and lastly, must submit any other information that the Minister or UIF Commissioner may require to assess eligibility of claim.
Payment of the WABU: Temporary Financial Relief will be directly into the worker’s bank account unless the UIF Commissioner specifies the conditions under which payments can be made into the employer’s account.
“Therefore, as the UIF, we urge employers to ensure the banking details of employees are correct and that they are also declared on our database to avoid delays with payments,” emphasised acting UIF Commissioner Advocate Mzie Yawa.
The relief will be paid at a flat rate of R3 500 to ensure the UIF envelope is stretched to cover all affected workers.
The benefit is not linked to the UIF’s normal benefits and, therefore, the normal rule that for every four days worked, the employee accumulates a one-day credit, and the maximum credit days’ payable is 365 for every four years, does not apply.
This will enable workers who have no credits to receive financial support while their workplaces are in the process of being rebuilt or reopened.
Employers will be required to submit claims via the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme Online portal once the system goes live.