UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND (UIF) AND COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 virus has increased the financial concerns of South Africans. This pandemic and the lockdown measures instituted by our government to minimise the spread of the virus, has also led to unemployment and loss of income for many people in the country.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) established a relief fund to assist employers to pay salaries to their employees.

What is the Unemployment Insurance Fund?

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) gives short-term relief to workers when they become unemployed or are unable to work because of maternity, adoption leave, or illness. It also provides relief to the dependents of a deceased contributor.

The UIF has established the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID-19 TERS) which provides the guidelines on how to receive financial assistance from the fund. It is intended to assist affected workers through existing benefits including illness, reduced work time, unemployment and temporary employer/employee relief scheme benefits.

The normal procedure that is used to lodge UIF claims (which are not related to COVID-19 TERS) can be found on the Department of Employment and Labour u-filing website at https://www.ufiling.co.za/uif/unemployment-benefits.  The process for applying for COVID-19 relief is set out below.

Why is the COVID-19 TERS benefit implemented if u-filing already exists?

As some employers are unable to provide their employees with their full salaries due to the lockdown, the UIF encourages them to mitigate this with the COVID-19 TERS benefit.

Who can apply for COVID-19 TERS?

Although companies are encouraged to apply on behalf of their employees, both employers and employees can apply for the COVID-19 TERS

How do I apply?
EMPLOYER EMPLOYEE
Employers apply by: Visiting https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/Registering and following the application processSending an email to the COVID-19 TERS mailbox at Covid19UIFclaims@labour.gov.za for the National Disaster Staff template should a CSV file be required.   After following this process an email will be sent to your mailbox to indicate whether the transmission was successful or not.     Employees apply by: Getting the following key documents. Letter of Authority on an official company letterhead granting permission to an individual specified to lodge a claim on behalf of the companyMemorandum of Agreement (MOA) between UIF, Bargaining Council and EmployerPrescribed template that will require critical information from the employerEvidence/payroll as proof of last three months employee(s) salary(ies)Confirmation of bank account details in the form of certified latest bank statement.   All documents submitted will be subject to verification.
Note: All businesses with employees, from spaza shops to hair salons, including employers of domestic workers, that are facing distress due to COVID-19, and is registered with and contributes to the UIF, can apply for this relief. Note: Payment is only effective after a MOA is signed-off between the UIF and the Employer/Bargaining Council.  
Businesses can apply at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/   Submit all documents as required in above to UIF via the dedicated mailbox: Covid19UIFclaims@labour.gov.za
Companies that were not registered with the UIF by 15 March 2020 may not apply as they would not qualify.  

For more information on COVID-19 TERS visit

http://www.labour.gov.za/easy-guide-for-employers-on-covid19.

Money Smart Week (MSWSA), an initiative of the FSCA along with other key stakeholders, was due to be held at the end of March but has been postponed until March 2021. Look out for more details about this national campaign and more financial literacy education at aimed at motivating and empowering South Africans to become more educated about their finances. Go to www.mswsa.co.za for more details.

Stay safe and abide by lockdown regulations

If you have any queries and for more information on consumer education messaging and activities, you can contact the FSCA at the following details:

Contact Centre:          0800 20 (FSCA) 3722

Email:                          CED.Consumer@fsca.co.za

info@fsca.co.za

Website:                      https://www.fscamymoney.co.za/

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