A new direction which regulates the extension of C-19 TERS benefits for the extended application period (1 July - 15 August 2020) was published on 13 August 2020. We set out below the key takeaways from this new direction.
Categories of employees
This direction only applies to certain categories of employees -
Category 1: Employees who cannot work due to full/partial closure
||Category 2: Vulnerable employees
||Category 3: Employees who cannot be fully utilised
|Employees whose employers are not permitted to operate fully/ partially
||Vulnerable employees whose employers are unable to make alternative arrangements/ implement special measures for such employees to return to work||Employees whose employers are unable to make use of their services fully/partially due to operational requirements
Category 3 is a new category of employees who may now claim under TERS. This includes employees who are required to work on a shift system, short time or staggered working hours due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Calculation of benefits
Qualifying employees are entitled to receive TERS benefits in line with the calculation under section 13(1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001 (as amended). For the extended application period of 1 July to 15 August 2020, the TERS benefits will still be calculated according to the UIF's sliding scale. The lowest benefit payable on the UIF's sliding scale amounts to ZAR 1,920 while the highest benefit payable amounts to ZAR 6,800 per month.
This calculation is subject to the following conditions -
|(1) Despite the calculation under section 13(1) of the UIA, an employee will receive a benefit which together with their remuneration, is equal to at least ZAR3,500.
|| ||(2) An employee may only receive a TERS benefit where the TERS benefit, together with their remuneration, does not exceed the remuneration the employee would have ordinarily earning for working during that period.
Under the direction, "remuneration" bears the same meaning as the definition under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (as amended). This means that employer payments referred to in the direction only includes remuneration for work performed, not any other payments including gratuitous "top up" payments, leave or loans.
Application process and FAQ guide
The application process remains the same. The application process will open on Monday, 17 August 2020. Employers should visit www.uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19 to apply.
The Department of Employment & Labour has also published a revised FAQ guide accessible here.
April and May TERS claims
The UIF will continue to accept new TERS claims for the April and May periods until 15 September 2020. The UIF will not accept new TERS claims for these periods after this date. Any issues with existing TERS claims on the system on 15 September 2020 will continue to be resolved after this date.
To date the scheme has paid out approximately ZAR 40 billion to over 9 million employees, employed at almost 78 000 companies.