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Department of Labour and Employment updates Explanatory Note on COVID-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme

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The Department of Employment and Labour confirms that employees who experience a temporary pay cut due operational or economic requirements qualify for COVID-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme during the extension period.

Please see updated (highlighted) notes below:

(a) not permitted to commence operations under the Disaster Management Regulations;
(b) unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers such as working from home or taking special measures under the OHS Direction to protect them; or
(c) unable to make use of their services because of operational requirements caused by compliance with the National Disaster Regulations and Directions such as rostering, staggering working hours, short time, the introduction of shift systems and the temporary reduction in the employee’s ordinary remuneration.

It should be noted that all applications are subject to the MOA signed with the UIF which requires Employers to ensure accurate record-keeping, including supporting documentation that may be required by auditors to assess eligibility to apply for – and receive – TERS benefits.

Further, the Explanatory Note has been expanded to provide greater clarity on the determination of “remuneration” for the purposes of submission to UIF for calculation of benefits.

  • It is important to recognise that the wording proposed in respect of employer payments refers only to remuneration for work performed. In this regard, remuneration is defined in the Direction with reference to the definition of the term in the BCEA. The relevant provisions of the BCEA are attached. Remuneration does not include any other payments whether a gratuitous ‘topping up’ or leave or a loan.

An updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will be uploaded to the website and TERS portal to guide Employers,

Users and Employees to address any queries to enable processing and payment of claims.

Queries can also be addressed by contacting the Call Centre on 0800 030 007.

Please do not direct your enquiries to any other service other than what is stated.

To read the full statement issued by the Department, click here.

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