The UIF TERS Benefit was introduced as a relief mechanism for businesses which temporarily laid off their employees, placed them on unpaid leave, or can only afford to pay a portion of their salaries due to the lockdown.
The TERS fund is separate from the traditional UIF reserves from which employees would normally claim. Businesses, however, had to already be registered with the UIF before the lockdown crisis began.
This however all changed on 28 May when the Department of Employment and Labour faced an urgent court application which they opted for a settlement and made amendments to the TERS directive were made. It has broadened the definition of an eligible worker from being a UIF contributor to every worker affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, irrespective of whether or not their employer had complied with the laws regulating the fund.
The new regulations mean that employees who have never been registered by their employers - and stand to lose out from TERS benefits as a result – can now apply for the TERS payments, says Makhosonke Buthelezi, director of communication and marketing at the UIF.
Previously, only workers who were registered with the UIF could apply for the TERS payouts. But the
TERS payouts do however still exclude many self-employed and freelance workers - you have to work for a single employer for more than 24 hours a month to qualify.
The new enhanced system which kicked into gear last week will make it easier to resubmit applications because in cases where the information has not changed, the claim will be processed immediately on confirmation by the employer.
If the information has changed, employers will still be required to capture employee’ details directly on the system or attach the CSV file.
Features of the updated system:
Retrieval of submitted applications for April to make necessary corrections on the rejected application, and re-submit for April payments
Enables faster processing of applications where there is no change of information submitted for the April application; and
Where information has changed, employers will be required to capture employee’s details directly on the system or attach the CSV file.
Documents to be attached for the May submissions:
Proof of TERS payment to employees for April example - electronic bank statements, a letter of acknowledgement of payment between employer and employee
Re-upload employer bank confirmation letter or latest bank statement
Signed approval or acceptance letter for April payments between employer and employee
Proof of refund for overpayment, where applicable.
Should you require any assistance with your TERS applications please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Article by Tiffany Reed