During this time of uncertainty, those whose jobs have been shelved or terminated are battling to access the R30 billion put aside in the National Disaster Benefit Fund. As a result, TERS was put in place by government in order to provide cash-strapped employees with Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits for up to three months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the purpose of TERS-funding applications, the lockdown period is considered to end on 16 April 2020. In the event that the lockdown period is extended, the funding application period will likely be extended as well,” explains the National Employers’ Association of SA (NEASA).
As early as 10 days ago, News24 was already reporting long lines at UIF offices. Many people were uncertain of what procedures to follow.
“The Cape Town Labour Centre was inundated, as hundreds stood queuing to hear whether they’d get some relief from the UIF after being told their places of work would shut down and they wouldn’t be paid,” says the association.
NEASA admits that there’s “a lot of uncertainty surrounding the application process and the actual benefits payable by the UIF from the TERS-funding”.
In order to streamline the process, the Department of Labour urged employers to be the ones applying for their employees. The following definitions have been clarified by the department (in relation to completing application), according to NEASA:
Only the basic salary should be used in the calculation of monthly salary. Overtime and allowances should be excluded. Monthly salary is calculated by multiplying the weekly salary by 4,333.
This is defined as the remuneration the employee will receive for the lockdown period, including the value of “paid leave”.
Employment end date
This column should remain blank, unless the employee’s service ends during the lockdown period for any reason.
The minimum wage for the following three sectors should be used for the TERS-funding application:
- Domestic: R124,56 per day
- Agricultural: R149,44 per day
- Expanded Public Works Programme: R91,36 per day
For all other sectors, the amount of R166,08 per day should be used, regardless of minimums prescribed by bargaining councils.
Bank account confirmation
The opening of a special bank account for the TERS-funding application is only required for bargaining councils. Employers can use their pay roll or business account.
Employers should also note that bank account confirmation is required by employers and should be submitted with their application.
Additional reporting: News24Wire, NEASA