What are the requirements to qualify for COVID-19 TERS?

The company must:

  • be registered with the UIF
  • comply with the application procedure, and
  • have temporarily closed business operations, or part of its operations directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 TERS Directive has been amended several times since its first publication. The latest consolidated directives can be accessed here. The main amendments made are as follows:

  • Employees who were required by their employers to take annual leave during the period their employer was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are allowed to apply for the TERS COVID-19 benefit. Essentially, the days of annual leave which the employee was required to take will be treated as ‘no income’ days for the purposes of their TERS COVID-19 application. The employer must apply on behalf of the employee. Once the employer has received the TERS COVID-19 benefit payment on behalf of that employee, they must then credit the employee concerned with the proportionate entitlement to annual leave.
  • Employers must apply for TERS COVID-19 benefits on behalf of their affected employees in situations where the employer has closed all or part of its operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees cannot apply in their individual capacity.
  • Employers are urged to pay employees their TERS COVID-19 benefit in advance, and then to offset the advance payment against the payments under the TERS COVID-19 scheme.
  • Keep in mind that the COVID-19 TERS application and other UIF claims take some time to be processed and paid out. You should consider extending employees temporary loans that they can repay when they receive UIF payments. You should consult your HR consultant and accountant about the best option for you and your employees.

 

A concern has been raised, is that where employees have already been paid by the employer at the time when the TERS COVID-19 benefits were received, such TERS payment will not be reflected on the payslip or payroll. This is especially problematic as there is a requirement to pay these benefits over to employees within 48 hours and to provide proof to the Department of Employment and Labour. The suggestion is that the employer should then provide the UIF with an affidavit setting out the process followed and confirming that the leave credits will be processed with the next pay run.

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