21 September 2020 by SIMONE LIEDTKE
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is set to resume its Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefit payments on September 21.
UIF acting commissioning Marsha Bronkhorst said a payment plan would be run for all outstanding payments for April, May and June over September 21 and 22, after which payments from July 1 to August 15 will be run across September 23 through to September 26.
“We are aware that many workers around the country have been placed on a back foot as a result of the need to ensure that our systems stand up to scrutiny and we close the gaps identified by the Auditor-General (AG),” she said.
A two-week halt of payments had been instituted as the fund responded to observations from the AG, which highlighted lax controls. The AG’s report also guided the UIF on steps to take to ensure that those who are deserving are recipients of the cash disbursements.
While the fund will start processing payments, payments will only apply to competent claims, meaning that incomplete claims or claims with outstanding information from employers will not be automatically processed.
“We still have claims that are yet to be processed in the system because of outstanding information,” Bronkhorst lamented as she urged employers to submit this information.
Employers can find out what information is still outstanding through the ‘Discrepancy Tab’ in the system, and they can also make use of the frequently asked questions tab on the Department of Employment and Labour website.
In announcing the new developments, the UIF reiterated application closing dates. Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for March to end May will close on September 25, while applications for June will close on October 15, and benefit applications for July 1 to 15 September will close on October 30.
No further applications will be accepted beyond the closing dates for the relevant periods. The closing dates will also not affect claims that have already been submitted, as they will be settled once all the outstanding information is finally submitted to the fund, the UIF confirmed.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement on September 21, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) expressed concern about workers in the aviation sector, which the union said “have not been paid their money” from the UIF’s TERS benefit for July and August.
“Our members and their families have been suffering without any kind of income since June,” the union lamented, noting this was owing to alleged corruption by UIF officials, resulting in payment delays.
Numsa has since urged government to “correct the flaws in the system” without prejudice to workers.
The TERS benefit will continue to pay out until the Disaster Management Act expires at the end of October.
Source: Engineering News at https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/uif-ters-payments-to-resume-2020-09-21