Covid Business Support: UIF
During the last couple days there has been a significant volume of content relating to Covid-19 support to SMEs.
When one is anxious and stressed it can be very overwhelming, intimidating and it may be difficult to see the wood from the trees. We have therefore thought it appropriate to provide some clarity on what we see as the most pressing matter – the treatment of our employees and UIF benefits.
To combat the impact of the Covid pandemic contributors, the UIF will assist effected workers through existing benefits. These benefits include:
Reduced work time benefit
This benefit is applicable when a Company shuts down for a period of time or the work time is reduced. The benefit payable this the difference between the amount paid by the employer and the normal UIF benefits should to employee lose their employment.
The benefit is applicable in the event that an employee becomes ill and has to be quarantined for 14 days. The benefit payable is calculated in terms on the existing UIF regulations.
The benefit is applicable should and employee pass away as a result of contracting the Covid-19 virus. The benefit payable is calculated in terms on the existing UIF regulations.
In addition to the above a National Disaster Benefit was established. If an employer decides, as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, to close its business for a period and send their employees home, these employees are deemed to be temporarily laid-off. In the event that the employer cannot pay the employees during this time, the Employer may apply for the National Disaster Benefit from the UIF. The value of the benefit amounts to a minimum wage of R3,500 per employee.
Below please find a link to a youtube video from the Tax Faculty explaining the Covid-19 UIF specific benefits which we have found to be very informative and helpful.
Covid -19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS)
The existing TERS was expanded by the Minister of Labour on 25 March 2020 to include a Covid-19 TERS. In terms of Covid-19 TERS should an Employer as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic close its operations for a 3 months or lesser period and suffer financial distress, the Company may be eligible for a Covid-19 Temporary Relief Benefit.
The key documents to submit or complete are the following:
- Letter of authority, on an official company letterhead granting permission to an individual specified to lodge a claim on behalf of the company.
- MOA (completion of the agreement between UIF, Bargaining Council and Employer).
- Prescribed template that will require critical information from the employer.
- Confirmation of bank account details in the form of certified latest bank statement.
- Evidence / payroll as proof of the last three months employee(s) salary(ies).
The document should be sent to Covid19UIFclaims@labour.gov.za for assessment and evaluation.
It should be noted that it is unclear how the applications for benefits in terms of the Covid-19 TERS will be evaluated. We expect further clarity in the coming days.
Please find the following:
- A Q&A listing received from our of our suppliers that we found useful (please feel free to contact Suzaan at email@example.com if you require specific HR related support and advice).
Should you require assistance or have any questions regarding the above please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Keep Calm. Keep Focused. Stay Safe!