Financial aid during the COVID-19 crisis – Unemployment Insurance Fund

Section 8 of The National Disaster Regulation 10 empowers the Minister of Employment and Labour with the authority to issue and vary directions, within mandate, to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19, from time to time, including:

  • Disseminating information required for dealing with the national state of disaster,
  • Implementing emergency procurement procedures,
  • Taking any other steps that may be necessary to prevent an escalation of the national state of disaster, or to alleviate, contain and minimize the effects of the national state of disaster, or
  • Taking steps to facilitate international assistance.

In line with the above regulation, the Minister has announced measures that the Department has implemented relating to the Corona virus (COVID-19) and its impact on UIF contributors.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund will assist affected workers through existing benefits including Illness, Reduced Work Time, Unemployment and Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Commissioner, after consultation with Unemployment Insurance Executive, has developed a Corona Virus Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme(COVID19TERS) to contribute to the containment of the Corona
Virus and its impact.

Employer/s that have to enforce lock down as regulated and who might require financial assistance from the UIF should access information regarding available funding through a dedicated mailbox: covid19ters@labour.gov.za.

During this pandemic lockdown phase the following procedure for financial support applies:

Key Documents required

  • 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). A draft example of a MOA has been attached to this article for use by employers/bargaining councils.
  • Prescribed template that will require critical information from the employer
  • Evidence/payroll as proof of last three months employee(s) salary(ies)
  • Confirmation of bank account details in the form of certified latest bank statement.

Key info to be tabulated (attached to this article):

Spreadsheet of Company Information (employers account information)
Spreadsheet of Company Shutdown Information (payment info template)
Memorandum of Understanding between UIF, Bargaining Council and Employer

All documents submitted will be subject to verification.

Submission Process

Submit/transmit all documents as required in Step 1 to UIF via mailbox: Covid19UIFclaims@labour.gov.za

NB: If the spreadsheet is complete; valid and accurate, it will added to an automated calculator to produce the benefit amount due to the beneficiaries and the total amount to be transferred to the employer or bargaining council or whichever method agreed. This spreadsheet contains basic company information and must be completed and be emailed too. The example spreadsheet is attached to this article too.

In addition to the company info sheet referred to above, the employer must also complete a spreadsheet containing business shutdown related info including relevant dates and the affected employee’s remuneration info. This example spreadsheet is also attached.

Conclusion of process

Conclusion of the MOA between parties. Payment will only be effected after MOA sign off between the Fund and the Employer/Bargaining Council.

The UIF has provided a dedicated line that will assist all employer/employees/Bargaining Councils on COVID19TERS. The contact number is 012 337 1997.

All relevant/key information or any urgent changes will be placed on the Department’s web site, www.labour.gov.za

Author Craig Tonkin

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