On 11 July 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the UIF embarked on negotiations to address the difficulties faced by employees under level 4 restrictions. on 15 July, the Minister of Employment and Labour signed a new directive providing for another extension of the COVID-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (hereafter “TERS”).
According to this directive, employers will be allowed to claim TERS benefits on behalf of their employees for the period between 16 March 2021 to 25 July 2021, only in the following circumstances:
- Employees who have not been able to work from 16 March 2021, due to the restriction of gatherings. These employees are those working in the sectors listed in Annexure A of the directive and include hosting auctions, professional sports, venues where social events are held and venues hosting concerts and live performance;
- Employees who are impacted by the level 4 restrictions which commenced on 28 June 2021. These employees are those working in the sectors listed in Annexure B of the direction and include restaurants, the liquor industry, hospitality, and tourism as well as any industries and business establishments that form part of these value chains; and
- Employees who have not been able to work due to being are over the age of 60 or having co-morbidities, as well as those employees who had to isolate or quarantine.
The application process and documents required are like previous extensions, however, a slight change is brought by this new TERS period: payment will be made directly into the bank account of employees.
According to the UIF, this change was brought on to bypass “unscrupulous employers” who in the past, did not advance the funds to their employees. The UIF indicated that it is mindful of instances where this may be difficult, and in those instances and upon provision of sufficient proof by the employer, funds may be paid into the account of the employer at the discretion of the UIF.
Applications for this new TERS period opened on 19 July 2021 and payments will commence from 26 July 2021.
To ascertain whether you are eligible either as an employer or an employee to claim from this Temporary Relief Scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic and for assistance in doing so, please contact our offices.
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