May applications for TERS
The UIF has opened May applications for TERS. Employers who wish to submit May applications for TERS are encouraged to visit the TERS application website to apply: uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19.
The application process has been modified and now provides applying employers with the option to select whether TERS benefits should be paid to the employer or whether TERS benefits should be paid to individual employees directly.
Employers will be entitled to receive TERS benefits if they wish to recover funds from the UIF where the employer has advanced TERS benefits to employees or where employees have been required to take annual leave.
Where employers refuse to apply for TERS benefits on behalf of its employees, such employees are entitled to individually apply for TERS benefits on uFiling:
New amendments to TERS Directive
The TERS Directive now incorporates a new definition for "worker" after new amendments were gazetted on 26 May 2020. Clause 1.1.9 of the TERS Directive defines "worker" to mean -
a contributor; or
an employee as defined in the Ul Act who should have received benefits under this Directive but for circumstances beyond that employee's control, namely that the employer failed to-
the register as an employer in contravention of section 10(1) of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002 (Act No. 4 of 2002);
provide details relating to the employees in contravention of section 10(3) of that Act and accordingly not registered as contributors; or
pay the contributions contemplated in section 5(1) of that Act in respect of that employee.
The TERS Directive now provides that "workers" who have lost income or have been required to take annual leave are entitled to TERS benefits [see clause 2.1.1(a) of the TERS Directive].
The additional amendments, viewed together, open the way for many more employees to qualify for TERS benefits (particularly employees previously excluded as their employers unlawfully failed to register them with the UIF). The UIF has confirmed that it has paid out an amount in excess of 15 billion rand in TERS benefits to beneficiaries. Given the additional amendments and the predicted increase in the number of claims, it remains to be seen whether the UIF will ultimately be able to sustain payments to beneficiaries particularly for the June period.
Follow up on your TERS applications
If employers would like to follow up on the status of their TERS applications, they can contact the UIF as follows -
The Department of Employment & Labour (DEL) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) also regularly provide updates on TERS via their respective Twitter pages which can be accessed as follows -