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All travellers from the African continent and from other international countries with a low rate of COVID-19 infection and transmission will be permitted to enter South Africa. Travel may be restricted to and from certain countries that have high infection and transmission rates. International business travel from those countries deemed 'high-risk' may be allowed with approval from Home Affairs. ASATA is awaiting a list of
The list of permitted and prohibited countries will be based on the latest scientific data and consultation from the Departments of Home Affairs, Health and Transport. According to the Minister of Tourism, this will be based on WHO guidelines and the list will be updated every two weeks.
All arrivals to South Africa will be required to present a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) before the date of travel. Failure to present proof of a negative test will require the traveller to quarantine at their own cost. All travellers will be screened on arrival and anyone presenting symptoms will be required to remain
Johannesburg's OR Tambo, Durban's King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports are the only airports that will allow international air travel to arrive or depart. The 18 land borders which were partially operational during the previous lockdown levels will be fully operational (i.e. allow passage of South Africans and permitted foreign nationals). The 35 land borders that were closed during the previous lockdown levels will
Should a South African or foreign national require assistance abroad (e.g. returning home, visa purposes, etc.), a list of all South African representation abroad is available on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's website <http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm>. South African missions abroad are listed alphabetically by the country in which they are located. The individual websites for these embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad are also listed
Our legislation does not prescribe time periods within which temporary layoffs must be applied. The prevailing circumstances and any agreement achieved with the impacted employees will dictate these time periods. Should the temporary layoffs become indefinite or endure for an unreasonably long period of time, the employer may elect to (permanently) retrench employees, after following the provisions of s189 or s189A of The LRA (as amended).
It is never advisable to force employees to take annual leave. It is our opinion that employees should be afforded the right to preserve their accumulated annual leave or elect to only take part of their Annual Leave should they wish to and exercise their right to access the UIF benefits available to employees during this period.
During a period of Reduced Work Hours, an employee will only be able to take paid sick leave for those days or hours an employee has agreed to work during the short time period (assuming the employee has sick leave left). An employee cannot take sick leave for the days or hours the employee would have worked normally before the implementation of short time. (Entitlement:
Employees on reduced work time accrue annual leave at a rate of 1 day/hour for every 17 days/hours worked.
No they are not.
They could lodge a dispute citing unilateral amendments to their conditions of employment hence issue memos/correspondence to this effect soonest. However, we are living in unprecedented times, and hence we expect future case law will dictate how the courts will process such disputes
Yes, please see example letter for temporary layoff and reduced work time. You can amend as required.
The employer has the right to inform employees on a Temporary Layoff or on Reduced Work Time (RWT) that leave will only accrue on the basis of 1 day for every 17 days worked in any correspondence (for temporary layoff and reduced work time) issued in such time but afford such employees the opportunity to make representation. Their acceptance of the conditions in such correspondence serves as a
No, but employers may have to defend this stance. If the employment contract states that employees accrue 1 day/hour for every 17 days/hours worked, their leave will not accumulate during temporary layoff. However, if the employment contract states that the employees are entitled to 15 working days per annum, it may be more difficult to argue. The intention of the legislation is that employees accumulate
Rather place employees on a temporary lay off or on Reduced Work Time until such time as the business can afford to retrench. However, remember that employers are obliged to offer retrenched employees “first right of refusal” (for a period of 12 months after they have been made redundant), in the event that a suitable vacancy arises and hence take such into account before considering
As an employer, if you are anticipating that you will not recover from the impact to your business due to COVID-19, and cannot feasibly consider alternatives (e.g. layoffs, short time or reduced salaries), then you’re entitled to initiate a retrenchment process now. However, remember that retrenchment should be your last resort and if there is a possibility that your business might still recover, we advise
Yes, based on the information we received, they should be able to under the Reduced Work Time benefit – code 17 on the UI19 form.
This may prove to be challenging for the following reasons: UIF benefits are paid directly into the employee’s bank account. It is difficult to estimate what the UIF will pay as it is dependent on the available credits, and employers are not privy to this information. It is difficult to anticipate when payments will be received. An employer can consider advancing the estimated UIF benefit
The UIF income replacement rate sliding scale of 38-60% of an Employee’s salary will be applied but to a capped maximum salary amount of R17 712. This means that even if an Employee earns R 30 000 per month, their benefit will be calculated based on a salary amount of R 17 712. The claim is subject to the employee having enough credits. The employees’ period of contributions
The normal UIF credit is based on one day of UIF for every four days contributed. An employee would need to have contributed for four years to be eligible for a full 12-month benefit. However, an employee’s available credits will depend on claims for UIF benefits in the preceding recent years.
The Department of Employment and Labour has resorted to providing contact details of specific officials allocated to their nearest labour centre office. Please find all numbers for different provinces here: https://www.gov.za/speeches/employment-and-labour-provides-uif-contact-details-ordinary-unemployment-benefits-1-may You can also phone the TERS helpline and select the first option to be referred to someone who can assist with normal UIF queries: 080 003 0007.
Yes, this is the feedback we are receiving from UIF; or it is more likely that the system will not accept your UIF application because the TERS application is pending.
Yes, if the “pension payment” is not a Government pension.
We are uncertain, but we believe you should be able to. However, it will depend on the number of credits you have accumulated.
No, unfortunately not, as is the case with TERS as well.
Yes, based on the information we have now, the Reduced Work Time benefit should cover not only reduced working hours but also temporary layoffs and reduced pay.
Employees who are registered with the UIF and who have been paying contributions to the fund can claim if they lose their jobs or cannot work. Read more...
No, the TERS benefit will not affect any credits because it’s a special benefit.
In terms of section 13(3) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended, 1 day of credit is accrued for every 4 days worked and contributed, in a 4-year cycle from the date of unemployment up to a maximum of 365 days.
The calculations will be based on what you would normally earn prior to Lockdown.
First claim TERS until 15 August as this will not affect her credits when she applies for maternity benefits later.
They should be able too but must do so as soon as possible. You can phone the TERS helpline and select the first option to be referred to someone who can assist with normal UIF queries: 080 003 0007.
Unfortunately, we have not received any solution for this yet. Hopefully, UIF will correct this error, but currently, the system picks up on an employee’s ID number and will not allow an employee to have more than one application in progress at the same time.
See UIF Easy Guide for Electronic Claims. Both employees and employers are experiencing problems with ufiling applications. Hopefully, UIF will streamline and improve this process soon. We will keep you posted once we receive any more information. Read more...
No, employees apply themselves, and the benefit is paid into their own bank account. However, employers may assist with applications, especially when employees who want to apply via uFiling are not tech-savvy or do not have access to the internet.
The ‘Reduced Work Time’ benefit is intended for employees who were placed on short time. This scheme is also available to employees who are on temporary layoff without pay, or who are receiving a reduced salary (even if they are working full time) during the COVID-19 crisis. The following documents need to be submitted either at a Labour Centre or via uFiling. See UIF Easy Guide
Send the following information to email@example.com for Foreign Nationals that have been declared previously: Proof of declarations submitted (3 months) UI19 declaration Payroll records/proof of payment of salaries (3 months) Passport document Cover letter There are big delays in email processing, so it is advisable to capture foreign nationals on ufiling in addition to sending the email above. Read more...
Very often, when employers use a CSV file to submit their application, the system initially says “employees not found.” We have found that the employees reflect after a while and assume this happens once TERS starts processing the application. We have also experienced that this message can remain as the status for quite a long time as there is a backlog in applications, but the
This error message initially a common occurrence. However, it should not happen anymore. Unless the income declared in the “income received” column is indeed equal to or more than salary indicated in the monthly income column.
It does sometimes happen that declarations are up to date, but for some reason, employees are still declined with the code “employee(s) not declared by employer”. This may be due to UIF being behind with updating declarations. We advise that employers send both proof of previous submissions and the actual submissions (at least three months) to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Read more...
This means that the employee is not declared at the Department of Labour. In addition to paying UIF contributions over to SARS, employers must also send monthly UI19 declarations to UIF. If employers failed to do so, the initial application will be declined. We advise that employers: Register and declare their employees on ufiling; or Email the UI19 declarations and payroll data to firstname.lastname@example.org. uFiling is,
This will depend on the reasons for not yet receiving payment. If your employees were declined, check the reason codes on the breakdown report for declined employees. Read more...
You only deduct PAYE and UIF from the short time payment as this is income.
Yes, it should be, but we have not received any confirmation with regards to how the August application will work.
Yes, Employers may offset any salary advances against the TERS benefits received. Since we are able to more accurately estimate TERS benefit amounts, it is advisable that employers only advance the estimated TERS benefit and not the entire income for the specific month. Read more...
If you advance the estimated TERS portion of your employees’ salary, you are advised not to indicate this advance in the “income received” column of the TERS application – rather indicate such as an advance on the payslip. Read more...
Yes, as long as the TERS benefit plus “top-up” amount is not more than what the employee would normally earn.
The calculation is affected by the number of actual calendar days in a month. For example, June payments will be less than May payments, and April payment would have been the highest if submission was for 27 March – 30 April (35 days). The income received during the period will also have an effect as the benefit payout plus income received should not be more
Yes, some employers are still waiting for April and May payments. It will depend on when the applications were submitted, whether there was additional information required, such as updated declarations, or it may be due to delays on the Department of UIF’s side.
The salary to be taken into account in calculating the benefits will be capped at a maximum amount of R17 712.00 per month, per employee, and an employee will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38% – 60%) as provided in the UI Act. The maximum benefit for a high earner will, therefore, be 38% of R17712 a month, which
They should be able too but must do so as soon as possible. The Department of Employment and Labour has resorted to providing contact details of specific officials allocated to their nearest labour centre office. Read more...
UIF has been silent on this issue. We suggest that employers upload a letter instead of proof of payment explaining that they are unable to upload proof of payment due to their application still being in progress.
Technically no, the TERS platform only allows employers to continue to the next month’s submission after they have uploaded proof of payment of the TERS benefit to Employees for the previous month’s benefits received.
According to Employment and Labour Ministry’s announcement on 21 July 2020, all valid applications already received will be processed. In the same announcement, the minister stated that the department is considering closing the April, May and June applications at the end of July 2020. This has not yet been confirmed, but we urge employers to submit their applications for April, May and June (if not
We have unfortunately not received communication from Government indicating this but will definitely let you know as soon as we hear anything.
This will depend on the rules of the particular grant/fund and whether it is intended to pay salaries. The UIF rule is that an employee’s income plus the TERS benefit amount may not exceed that which the employee would normally earn. Employees may, therefore, not “profiteer” from UIF.
Yes, the employee can apply directly at a Labour Centre or create a profile on uFiling. The employer must supply the employee with a UI19 form.
Yes, in the event that an employee is on Reduced Work Time or on a Temporary Layoff during the restructuring consultations. Employees who are made redundant are still entitled to receive their statutory entitlements, i.e. notice pay or payment in lieu of notice, accrued annual leave and severance pay calculated on the basis of one week for every and continuous completed years of service.
You can apply for TERS if the staff member is still in your employ, even if it is during their notice period. Consider rather extending the notice period in order for your staff member to still benefit from TERS (i.e. until mid-August 2020), especially since TERS is delinked from UIF credits and will therefore not have an effect on the credits available to claim for
No, unfortunately not. The same is true for a director who has not previously registered with UIF and where UIF is not being paid over on their behalf.
No. It is important to remember that UIF is an insurer. So just like any other insurance, employees are not eligible to claim TERS or UIF benefits if UIF has not been paid on their behalf.
If the employee is not declared at the UIF, the application will be declined with the reason code “employee not declared by employer”. In addition to paying UIF contributions over to SARS, employers must also send monthly UI19 declarations to UIF. Read more...
No, unfortunately not. Even if you pay UIF contributions over to SARS, you still need to be registered with the UIF in order to apply. Also notes that Companies who have registered with UIF after 15 March 2020 may not be eligible for the TERS benefit.
To submit your application, you will need your UIF reference number issued to you by the Department of Labour. This should be found in your company CIPRO registration documents – from when you initially registered with UIF. This is the same number you would use to fill in a UI19 form when an employee is claiming retrenchment or maternity UIF benefits. The UIF reference number
The Covid-19 TERS benefit fund has been created to assist employers who may be unable to pay employees, in full or partially, for economic reasons as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers can, therefore, apply on behalf of employees who are on temporary layoff, who work reduced working hours, or who are earning a reduced salary.
The TERS helpline number is 0800 030 007. There are more consultants operating the phones now, and it is, therefore, easier to get through, but the consultants are unfortunately not allowed to access employers’ accounts and will, therefore, escalate your query or provide you with the applicable email address where you can send your query. Read more...
This section refers to the income received by the employee during the period of application. This will, for example, be the value of any short time hours worked or the reduced income for that month. It does NOT refer to payment for leave taken. Do NOT include the value of any annual leave granted or any advances given in this column.
Employers cannot claim under both systems at the same time. TERS has been extended to include the period of July as well as August up to 15 August. We advise that employers apply for TERS as long as it is available and only thereafter apply for Reduced Work Time benefits from UIF. Read more...
ASATA has received several queries from travel agents outlining the following situation. Customers whose flights have been cancelled due to COVID-19 have received a voucher for future travel from the relevant airline. However, the customer in question has disputed this and wanted a refund instead. The customer has gone and lodged a dispute with their bank saying they want the transaction reversed because the services
On 6 December 2019, SAA was placed under business rescue because it did not have the working capital to fund operations. SA Airlink, an SAA codeshare and franchise partner, indicated that for unflown tickets issued before 6 December, customers should receive refunds from SAA. However, SAA has not yet released refunds to all of these customers. If a customer is still owed money from SAA
A customer who has a voucher for service from a supplier that goes into liquidation becomes a creditor. As a creditor, they can lodge a complaint with the liquidator but are advised to do so under that condition that they cannot be made to pay in, e.g. should the liquidator try to recoup the amount of the voucher. It is possible that this situation may
If a customer cancels their trip or scheduled flight because they feel disinclined to travel or because they expect that it will eventually be cancelled, they are not entitled to a refund. Customers are entitled to a refund only where travel bans/restrictions are in place, or a flight is cancelled by the airline. Even if the flight is eventually cancelled by the airline, the policy
This is occurring as credit card companies reverse transactions for flights that have been cancelled. In response, airlines are sending the travel agents involved agency debit memos (ADM) requiring them to pay the transaction amount back to the airline. Whether this is legal or right depends on whose credit card was used to make the booking, i.e. who the contract is between. If the booking
Unless the original T&Cs state otherwise, then any commission earned on a booking that is cancelled must also be refunded to the consumer – along with the full amount received from the supplier. If the travel agent no longer has the commission amount, because it has already been paid out and spent, as may be the case, the travel agent can propose mediation to try
This depends on what the Terms & Conditions say in the contract between the travel agent and consumer. If the T&Cs state that the travel agent can levy a separate administration service fee – given that it is fair and reasonable – and the consumer agreed upfront when the booking was made, then a separate fee may apply for the work incurred to cancel the
No, you cannot. The CGSO is very firm on this even if your T&Cs provide for a cancellation penalty. The CPA overrides any T&Cs, and the CPA’s position is clear. All consumers who are unable to travel due to travel bans or a cancelled flight by the airline are entitled to a full refund from the supplier if they do not receive the goods or
In principle, the CPA states that consumers must be offered the option to choose either a voucher or a refund. Of course, in many cases, travel agents themselves have not received the refund from the supplier and thus simply do not hold the funds to pass onto their client. However, the CPA was not developed with a situation like Covid-19 in mind, and the legal
It depends on where the contract was concluded and what the T&Cs state. It does not necessarily matter where the consumer is located. Therefore, the CPA can apply to an international individual if they entered into a contract with a South African travel service provider. If, for instance, an airline originates overseas, and its service is purchased by either a South African or an international
If the intermediary is an individual or a juristic person with a turnover and asset value of under R2 million (at the time of the transaction), then they are fully protected by the CPA and can demand whatever has been paid out to the end supplier. If the intermediary sits above the R2 million threshold, they would need to negotiate with the end supplier. Ideally,
The CSGO says that an intermediary such as a travel agent must pass any refunds they receive from suppliers onto their clients. But where they cannot recover refunds from suppliers, as seen with airlines, a reasonable offer to the consumer for postponement is considered fair. A voucher valid for two to three years is viewed as a reasonable offer for postponement, and the CSGO encourages
The Consumer Services & Goods Ombud (CSGO) handles consumer complaints free of charge and investigates alleged contraventions to uphold the industry code of conduct. When and where possible, they will pass complaints on to the relevant suppliers. And in some cases, the CSGO will refer complaints to the relevant trade or industry associations, such as ASATA. Read more...
In summary, no matter which sections are relied upon, the end result remains the same. The CPA's overall position is that consumers who are unable to travel due to travel bans or a cancelled flight by the airline, are entitled to a full refund from the supplier if they do not receive the goods or services for which they paid. You can view the Consumer
A travel agent's business model affects how the law applies to their situation. This has to do with the contracts in place. For instance, you may just act as a go-between for your client and the supplier where the contract is actually between those parties, and thus the booking is subject to the supplier's terms and conditions. The other scenario is when travel agents act
The current situation in which travel agents, travellers, and suppliers find themselves is truly unprecedented. Our laws and regulatory bodies, including the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CSGO), were not developed with a pandemic of this magnitude in mind and are, therefore, unclear in some instances. As ASATA, we will continue to seek clarity and answer all of your
If you are not sure what you should have received and suspect it is the incorrect amount, double-check the amount you declared. If you under or over declared, you can resubmit the information and the payment amount will be corrected. In some cases, employers have been paid in two batches as the first calculation was incorrect and TERS made an additional payment to rectify it.
The Government has issued the COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces COVID-19 (C19 OHS) Directive, which set out the measures that businesses must take when re-opening to ensure the safety of employees and customers. ASATA has also conducted a webinar to answer all your questions, which can be found here with a FAQ and various resources.
Please see the official TERS Guide for a detailed formula explanation. The pay-out works on the IRR (Income Replacement Rate) calculated at a pay-out running between 38%-60% of the employee’s salary up to a ceiling of R17 712. The maximum amount that could be paid by the UIF is R6 638.40 and the minimum amount is R3 500. Please see a detailed explanation of how this formula
The Department of Small Business Development has established Business growth/Resilience Facilities. This facility will fund the following: Production/supply of health care and related products that will be utilised to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Local production/manufacturing/supply of various products that will be required by the country emanating from a shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic Priority will be given to businesses owned by
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
10. What is the application process for coronavirus Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Covid-19 TERS)? Employers must follow these steps to apply for COVID-19 TERS benefits: Step 1: Apply Employers must apply at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/covid19. Step 2: Submit Employers must submit documents required including: · Letter of authority on an official company letterhead granting permission to an individual specified to lodge a claim on behalf of the
Employers must complete the required forms. The employer or employee should then submit the completed forms through the following methods: A claim for illness can be lodged online at: ufiling.co.za. (Illness benefits) Email the application to the nearest UIF processing Centre. (Illness/ Reduced Work Time/Death benefits) Fax the application to the nearest UIF processing Centre. (Illness/ Reduced Work Time/Death benefits) Application forms can be downloaded from
You should immediately classify your workforce in the following categories: Staff who are critical to your business and who can work remotely. Staff who can work reduced hours and can work remotely. Staff whose services are not needed right now (whether they could work remotely or not). Staff who cannot work remotely. You can take different approaches to these different categories of employees. This will
When you retrench, you have to pay any accrued annual leave, notice periods and severance (one week for every completed year of service). And you cannot arrange for payment plans. So, it won’t solve your cashflow problems. Retrenchment processes take a lot of time – and you have to continue paying your employees while you do it. So, it won’t solve your immediate problems. Here
This depends on how much cash you have on hand and how long you think it will take before bookings pick up again. You need to calculate something called your cash burn rate to figure out how much time you can trade for. If you don’t think things are going to pick up before you run out of cash, you should consider starting the retrenchment
You can ask your employees to work for less hours or less days per week than they would normally. This means that you will also pay them less. They will be able to claim from the UIF for the difference between what they used to earn and what they will earn now. The UIF formula of 38-60% of the UIF cap of R17 712 will be applied,
When employees do not work at all for a certain period. This period can be days, weeks or months depending on the circumstances. In such circumstances, the employees would not be paid, but would still be the company's employees. They will be able to claim from the UIF during a temporary lay-off. The UIF formula of 38-60% of the UIF cap of R17 712 will be applied,
You can’t just unilaterally change your employees’ conditions of employment, so you are going to have to consult, but it is not as onerous as the retrenchment period. Here are the steps you have to take: Issue staff with the “notice of intention to introduce short time/temporary lay-off” document you will find here. During lock-down it will be considered reasonable to cut the consultation process
What is the benefit called and what is it for? When should you claim? How does it work? What application forms are required? Reduced work time benefit This benefit applies if a company shuts down for a certain period, employees are laid off temporarily, or short time is implemented. Employees can claim for this benefit during and after the lockdown. Employees can