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UIF Starts Audits To Track TERS Payments

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is on a mission to track payments made to employers. This comes after the UIF discovered that some employers were not being honest about making payments to employees.

The Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) was set up to give financial relief to employers and employees affected by the lockdown. 

UIF Spokesperson, Makhosonke Buthelezi said irregular payments slipped through the cracks because the UIF system was not linked to other databases.

This means the information that employers gave to the UIF could not be verified through Home Affairs or Sassa. 

"Out of our attempt to make sure no employee is left behind, we said even those who were not contributing that we don't know of, their employers can apply for the UIF. The only thing that we wanted was for them to declare the relationship between the employer and the employee. I think that's where we opened the floodgates which might've led to us paying people who were not supposed to be paid." said Buthelezi.  

UIF commissioner, Marsha Bronkhorst said the UIF TERS system used identity numbers, but had no way of verifying this information.

Bronkhorst said this old system has now been updated to identify fraudulent identity numbers and claims.

The audits will be taking place from 1 December and will run over the course of 6 months. Buthelezi said the audits could be extended past the 6 months timeframe if more audits need to be done. 

The goal of the audits is to make sure the UIF TERS funds have been paid to the right employees. 

Buthelezi said this audit is standard procedure and would have happened even if employees did not come forward claiming to have been defrauded by their employers. 

Employers found guilty of misusing UIF funds during the auditing process will be fined or get a jail term, depending on the severity of their offense.

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