EVEN though the Covid-19 TERS Relief Scheme which has provided much needed relief to workers during lockdown has ceased, the Department of Employment and Labour, through its entity the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will continue to provide financial relief through the already existing Short Term/Reduced Work Time Benefit.
Since the announcement of the Covid TERS relief scheme on 26 March 2020, the Fund has made six payment iterations of the benefit covering 13 923 701 payments to millions of workers from 1.1 million employer applications with R57, 3 billion disbursed to date.
The last payment period from 16 September until 15 October closed on 31 December 2020.
The Reduced Work Time covers employees whose working hours have been reduced or are forced to stay at home due to work stoppage.
Normally, a claim for this benefit is submitted by an employee with the assistance of the employer. However, the system has been enhanced to enable employers to submit bulk applications on behalf of employees and a spreadsheet has been designed to make this easy for employers.
"We expect the processing of these claims to be efficient as we use a tried and tested system. A huge relief for us is that monies will be paid directly into the employee’s account and payments will be paid to legitimate people as calculations of benefits will be based on, among others, credit days accumulated in the last four years which greatly reduces opportunities for fraud," said Marsha Bronkhorst, Acting UIF Commissioner.
An Easy Aid Guide and other relevant documents to assist employers with the claim process have been placed on the Departmental website: http://www.labour.gov.za/reduced-work-time-benefit
Bronkhorst added that employers can also be assisted through the normal TERS that has been operating since 2008.
"We also encourage employers to apply for the normal TERS that assists companies in distress. The main aim of the scheme is to retain employment and avoid retrenchments by providing training to workers who are facing retrenchment.
"Workers remain employed during the training layoff period but forego their normal wage for a training allowance, and employers pay full contributions to a basic social security package," explained Bronkhorst.
The scheme is accessed via CCMA which facilitates the application process and the conclusion of a Training Layoff Agreement. Participation in the scheme is by agreement between employers and employees and subject to approval by a Department of Employment and Labour Committee.
More information can be obtained from: https://www.ccma.org.za/Services/Unions-Employees-Employers-Employer-Organisations/Temporary-Employer-Employee-Relief-Scheme.
Director: UIF Communication & Marketing
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Acting Departmental Spokesperson
"Please continue adhering to the lockdown regulations. Wash hands or sanitise your hands regularly and wear your mask at all times."
Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour
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