Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has recently announced measures that the Department will put in place under the current special circumstance relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on UIF contributors.
Therefore, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Commissioner Teboho Maruping, after consultation with UIF’s executive and the board, developed the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Covid-19 TERS Benefit) to contribute to the containment of the pandemic.
To mitigate the impact of the 21-day national lockdown on workers, business and the economy, the UIF will be electronically processing applications for the Covid-19 TERS Benefit.
Caring and responsible employers that are unable to pay the full salaries of the workers they send home for their health and safety due to the lockdown are encouraged to apply for the Covid-19 TERS Benefit from the UIF by sending an email to email@example.com from midnight tonight when the lockdown starts.
Upon sending the email, applicants will receive an automated reply which outlines all the steps and details, including the requirements to claim benefits. During the lockdown period, manual claims will not be accepted to reduce contact between people to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
Maruping says the UIF is ready to assist affected workers and companies. “First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone who has contracted the virus a speedy recovery and urge people to continue adhering to the health and safety measures from the Department of Health to limit the spread of the virus.
Maruping also conveyed his gratitude to the employers who are caring and recognise the relationship and contribution of their employees for topping up the UIF contribution. He also thanks employers who are paying a full salary during the lockdown.
“As a caring organisation, we will continue monitoring the situation and assist workers and companies to limit the negative financial impact of the Covid -19 on workers, business and our economy. I would also like to caution workers and companies that submitting a fraudulent claim is a criminal act that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Maruping.
The Covid-19 TERS Benefit is de-linked from the other UIF benefits and other processes, however applications are subjected to normal verification and validation processes of the Fund.
UIF has developed a hotline number: 012 337 1997 for Covid–19 TERS Benefit enquiries during the lockdown period.
Workers, companies and stakeholders are urged to follow @DeptofLabour and @UIFbenefits on Twitter and visit www.labour.gov.za for regular updates.