APPLYING FOR THE COVID-19 TERS BENEFIT SCHEME
Since the announcement of national lock down by the President several benefit schemes were made available to employers. One of the benefit schemes introduced is the Temporary Employment Relief Scheme (TERS). This benefit is available to employers who have been forced to have a closure or partial closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest amendments to the benefit scheme were announced and published in the Government Gazette of 8 April 2020.
The purpose of this article is to provide a guideline in applying for the TERS benefit, prerequisites for claiming relief as well as additional information pertaining to the benefit scheme.
- PREREQUISITES FOR CLAIMING RELIEF
In order to claim the TERS benefit the company should comply with the following prerequisites:
- The company should be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund and contribute monthly on behalf of the employees;
- All application forms should be completed and submitted to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The application forms that should be completed and submitted will be discussed in more detail infra.
- The reason for the closure or partial closure of the company should be as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- APPLICATION FORMS TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND
- Letter of Authority placed on the company’s letterhead. This letter grants an individual within the company permission to lodge a claim on behalf of the company;
- A Memorandum of Agreement between the company and the Fund (only applicable to companies with more than 10 employees);
- Prescribed template that will require certain information from the company;
- Payroll of each employee for the last three months confirming salaries;
- Confirmation of Bank Account details of the company (a certified bank statement will be sufficient);
- All documents should be submitted to Covid19UIFclaims@labour.gov.za
- Payment will only be effected once the Memorandum of Agreement is signed off between the Fund and the company/Bargaining Council.
- The Fund may be contacted at 012 337 1997 for any further queries.
- AMOUNTS PAYABLE BY THE FUND
In calculating the benefit the maximum amount of R17 712.00 per month will be used. Employees will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38%-60%) in accordance with the Unemployment Insurance Act. The highest amount that will be paid is R6 730.56.
Employees that qualify for the benefit will receive a benefit calculated in terms of Sections 12, 13(1) and (2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, subject to an employee receiving a benefit not less than R3 500.00.
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
- In the event that a company falls under the auspices of a Bargaining Council, claims should be submitted to the Bargaining Council. The company will also be required to open a special bank account. The memorandum of agreement will be entered into between the Bargaining Council and the Fund.
- Partial leave pay will be considered to be a portion payment during the lock down period. Any short payment may be claimed from the Fund.
- In the event that an owner has more than one legal entity, an application for each entity should be submitted.
- Where a company employs 10 or less employees, the company should submit the banking details of each employee, as well as certified proof thereof.
- Once funding is received, it should be paid within five days upon receipt of payment.
In the event that a company has requested/instructed an employee to utilise the employee’s annual leave during the lock down period in accordance with the provisions of section 20(10) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, then the company may set off any amount received from the UIF in respect of the employee’s benefit against the amount paid to the employee in respect of annual leave, provided that the employee is credited with the proportionate entitlement to paid annual leave in the future.
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