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UIF to open and process COVID-19 TERS benefits for the extended period from next week

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will open and begin processing the latest and last round of COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme Benefits (COVID-19 TERS) applications from Monday, 23 November 2020 and will close at the end of December.

This follows the announcement last week by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the COVID-19 TERS benefits would be extended by another month, to 15 October 2020.

The extension has been subject to robust discussions with social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). The receipt of COVID-19 TERS applications for the 16 September 2020 to 15 October 2020 period will close on 31 December, and no further applications shall be accepted beyond that date.

This period covers the following categories of employees whose employers are:

  • Not permitted to commence operations under the Disaster Management Regulations;
  • Unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers, such as working from home or taking special measures under the OHS Direction to protect them; and
  • Unable to make use of their services because of operational requirements caused by compliance with the Regulations and Directions such as rostering, staggering working hours, short time and the introduction of shift systems.

The application process remains the same for the extension period and all claims must be lodged via the online portal .  

“As with previous claim processes, to apply in the new period, employers are required to upload similar documentation that includes: signed approval or acceptance letter, bank confirmation letter, proof of payment to employees and refund to the UIF – if applicable. In keeping with strict governance principles, we will still subject payments to bank verification before releasing the funds into the applicant’s accounts. The immediate past has taught us that even under the pandemic, criminals are at large and looking to benefit through their nefarious means. We have an obligation to do everything in our power to ensure that funds are not paid into the incorrect accounts,” said Acting UIF Commissioner, Marsha Bronkhorst.

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