EXPLAINER | No more cash for UIF Covid-19 Ters fund

2 July 2020 by CEBELIHLE BHENGU

Employees who get salary cuts can still apply for Reduced Work Time Benefit.

The department of employment and labour has no alternative funding measures for companies and employees who require funding under level 3 lockdown.

This comes as payouts and applications for the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) have closed.

The grant was introduced at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown on March 26 to assist employees and companies who lost income due to the halting of most economic activities.

Employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi said as of June 24, the scheme had paid R8.4bn to 149,120 employers on behalf of over 2 million employees.

This is what you need to know:

Relief measures for employees with pay cuts

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi told TimesLIVE that there are no alternative measures to assist companies that will remain closed under level 3 lockdown as Ters was only meant to provide relief during the hard lockdown. From fraud allegations to faulty systems – how the UIF Covid-19 relief fund made headlinesLabour and employment minister Thulas Nxesi said some companies would be investigated for allegedly pocketing payouts meant for employeesNEWS6 days ago

Employees will only be eligible to apply for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) should their employment contracts be terminated or if companies close down.

“The scheme was intended as a stopgap measure for three months until lockdown restrictions were eased and the economy slowly reopened, which has now occurred under advanced level 3,” he said.

Employees and salary cuts

Buthelezi said employees who get salary cuts beyond the Ters period can apply for the Reduced Work Time Benefit. This fund is for employees who get pay cuts due to reduced hours or employees who are temporarily laid off without pay.

“Benefits payable is the difference between what employer pays and normal UIF benefits payable should an employee lose employment,” he said.

Employees applying for this benefit must have a letter from an employer confirming the reduced work time and also submit the UI19 and UI2.7 forms, which must be completed by the employer.

A UI2.8 form must be completed by the employee’s bank and the UI2.1 form must be completed by the employee.

Review of declined applications

Buthelezi said companies whose Ters applications were declined due to non-compliance will be reviewed. However, this will only be applicable to companies that applied within the three-month period.

Extension to update missing documentation

He said companies that submitted applications between April and June can update outstanding or missing documentation and declare their employees before a cut-off date, which will be announced “soon.”

Employees who have not received funding since April

“For companies that applied, we urge them to submit the outstanding information that prohibits us from paying. As soon as we are happy with the information received, we will process the payment,” said Buthelezi.

Source: Times Live at https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-07-02-explainer–no-more-cash-for-uif-covid-19-ters-fund/