Applications for the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) have reopened for workers recently affected by the lockdown restrictions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed this during his address to the nation on Sunday evening. Payments will be issued by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) as soon as possible.
"The UIF will provide income support to all those employees who have lost jobs as a result of the recent unrest. This will ensure that jobs are protected and that workers can continue to earn an income as those businesses take time to rebuild." he said.
Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi recently signed a new direction to allow the UIF to extend and reopen its applications for TERS.
Applications for this cycle will cover the period of 16 March 2021 and 25 July 2021.
“This means that the UIF will open the system for applications from 19 July 2021 and commence payments from 26 July 2021.
“However, there is one major condition that payments will in the main be made directly to the bank accounts of workers and not, as has happened before, through their employers but employers would still be expected to claim on their behalf,” the Employment and Labour Ministry said in a statement.
Applications are currently open to:
- Workers who have not been able to work from 16 March 2021. This would be due to Level 1, 2 and 3 restrictions
- Workers who were previously or are still impacted by the Level 4 restrictions which took effect on 28 June 2021
- Workers who have not been able to work due to the fact that they are over 60 or have co-morbidities.
- Workers who have had to isolate or go into quarantine.
Much like the previous application process, applicants will be required to provide information and documents to help the UIF verify their details.
Acting UIF Commissioner, Advocate Mzie Yawa said in the event that not enough information is provided, the funds would be paid into the employer's account.
“We have learnt the lesson from the previous phases that some unscrupulous employers did not advance the funds to their employees and it is for that reason that we have opted for this mode of payment.
“As a result of the non-payment of workers, the UIF and the entire department were inundated with a lot of complaints as workers could see in the system that funds had been released but had not been paid by their employers who kept the COVID TERS funds for themselves,” said Yawa.
In order to avoid this from happening again, employees have been encouraged to provide all their details, including identity document numbers and valid bank accounts.
Visit the UIF TERS website to apply.