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The influence of the novel corona virus is being felt by every industry in the nation in one way or another. Most businesses have had to cope with shifting their entire staff to remote working and many have had to close their doors altogether.

To this end, Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the TERS extension until the 15 March 2021 was warmly received during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The stated intention at NEDLAC is an effort to ensure that all businesses that are still affected by COVID-19 restrictions are covered by the extension.

The direction was gazetted on 3 March. Its contents were later confirmed in a Department of Employment and Labour media statement.

The direction:

  • is retrospectively applicable from 16 October 2020.

  • will remain in place until 15 March 2021.

  • makes benefits payable only to persons contributing towards unemployment insurance.

  • delinks payments from ‘normal benefits and provisions.

  • prescribes the eligibility criteria to be met.

  • list sectors to which the directive is likely to be applicable.

  • confirms that, subject to the fund’s discretion, employees in ‘any industries’ forming part of the value chain of each sector identified may also qualify for benefits under the scheme.

  • states that, depending on the availability of ‘sufficient’ credits, a UIF contributor may apply for reduced work time benefits if:

- their employer does not fall under sectors listed in the directive, but is,

- still unable to make use of their services, and

  • confirms that an employee quarantined or isolated during the State of Disaster is:

- only entitled to TERS benefits if their employer provides the necessary affidavit, but

- is not required to ‘exhaust their sick leave’ before applying.

UIF has already opened the online application system to start processing claims for the first payment iteration. Guidelines on the application process are available on the Department of Employment and Labour website and COVID TERS portal (

Article By:

Tiffany Reed: HR & EE Consultant - Compliance Hub

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