On 17 June 2020, Business for South Africa (“B4SA”) hosted a briefing on the UIF COVID-19 TERS Benefit. The COVID-19 TERS Benefit was designed amongst social partners at NEDLAC to provide some income protection to employees impacted by the national lockdown. It was designed to cover the period from April 2020 to June 2020 and pays a benefit of between R3 500 and R6 700 per month.
Overall, for April, the scheme was relatively successful – paying approximately R18.2 billion to approximately 3.5 million employees (bearing in mind that 11.9 million people are registered for unemployment insurance). There are still a significant number of unresolved claims for April. Claims for May 2020 have proved to be problematic, compared to April 2020.
The system opened late and there have been persistent problems with securing payments out of the system. However, the UIF has confirmed that claims for May and June 2020 will be met. As at 15 June 2020, an amount of R3.2 billion remains unpaid in respect of 782 000 employees.
It is important for Business to note that no provision has been made for the payment of benefits beyond the end of June 2020, which is a challenge for industries that remain closed and for employees over the age of 60 or with co‑morbidities. This issue is tabled for discussion at NEDLAC.
B4SA also noted that there have been significant technical issues for employers in dealing with the UIF in lodging claims, dealing with queries and extracting payments.
These logistical issues are mainly due to the fact that 1) this benefit was created in a very short amount of time in response to the impact of COVID-19 and the national lockdown; and 2) the UIF’s system was not designed to cope with a large volume of claims at a time. B4SA has been working closely with various partners to alleviate these blockages.
COVID-19 Related Documents
All the documents that have been circulated by the BLSA Policy and Legislation Department, for information, during the national lockdown may be accessed at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jzb49q0dtgia599/AAAcxjEHDPR7tZlSUfV1TOKLa?dl=0