Employers are not applying for UIF benefits

Leaving more than 200 000 workers without relief.
Labour minister has urged employers to assist workers in applying for UIF Covid-19 benefits. Image: Reuters/Rogan Ward

There are currently 220 000 workers who are eligible to claim for salary benefits who could miss out on payments because their employers have not applied for relief.

These workers should be able to access the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters), but the companies they work for are not passing on payments to them.

Minister of Labour Thulas Nxesi said some employers “had not even dared” to assist their employees in claiming for benefits. The UIF Ters benefit allows employers who are not able to pay employees because of the lockdown to claim for partial payments of their salaries.

Nxesi was speaking at a briefing by economic cluster ministers on Tuesday providing updates on the initiatives in place to assist businesses and employees in various sectors.

“We are endeavouring now to contact those individuals … we continue to appeal to them to help us,” said Nxesi.

Applications so far

The UIF, which has 1.8 million registered employers representing eight million workers, has to date received 103 000 applications from employers seeking to claim benefits for 1.75 million employees.

At this stage, the UIF has been able to process 59 000 of these applications for 862 000 workers. Meanwhile, 10 000 applications could not be processed because of errors, including incorrect banking details. The fund has notified these companies to resubmit their applications.

The total amount of relief that has been paid out by the fund since the start of April is R3.3 billion.

Nxesi emphasised that the Covid-19 Ters benefit would not pay full salaries but a portion of what an employee would normally receive.

Employees are entitled to between 38% and 60% of their salaries, with the maximum salary used to calculate what an employee is due capped at R17 712 per month, 38% of which is R6 730. The minimum payout is R3 500.

Acknowledgement of debt

Employers who have registered to pay UIF are responsible for applying for Covid-19 relief benefits on behalf of their employees.

On businesses that are not complying with UIF requirements and have been making deductions from employee salaries but have not been paying that money to the fund, Nxesi said these companies will have to make arrangements to register. He explained that they will be required to acknowledge the debt they owe and pay the fund once their operations have been able to recover.

“We should not punish the workers because of irresponsible employers,” said Nxesi.

Since the scheme opened employers have complained about its slow administration. The minister’s update states that the UIF’s call centre has increased its capacity from 75 agents to 400 in order to meet the high volume of inquiries from the public, and that more agents will be added.

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COMMENTS   29

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Given the ineptitude of the anc and this fool Nexsi, its just too much trouble!

A company that does not have the money must claim for money from this scheme and pay the workers with money they do not have in the hope the government pays them back —

Now that is a cockamamy scheme if ever I saw one !!!

Frankly other than hatred you have no idea what you are talking about.

Yep. Try to do the right thing with helping employees and the frustration of getting any assistance drives one to the wall. Been forced to pay staff in the interim now there is no funds left. Amazing how employers are being blamed for ineptitude but no explanation from so called leaders about their confusing system. I give up

The problem is that the TERS site, like almost every other site implemented by the government, especially during this period, is either loaded with hickups or NO ASSISTANCE exist.

I am STILL waiting for an email to be sent by TERS in order to reset my password. I cannot complete my application.

After spending 1 hour and 45 minutes today, holding on, waiting for those INCOMPETENT individuals to just answer a phone, I gave up.

I wrote NUMEROUS emails and posts on their facebook page TRYING to get someone to help me move the process forward, but NO GO.

I am APPALLED by their SLAPGATGEIT ! It sickens me to the bone !

If there’s anyone who knows who I can talk to about the UIF TERS application, please let me know

Else … i’ve done what I could. The CONSTANT abuse of taxpayers’ money SICKENS me …

Eish, Thulas ! The UIF website doesn’t work, hey ! You should not have used that Gupta company to do the website ! I am still waiting for my login password ! I have grown a magnificent beard while I’m waiting for the password !

The u-filing website upgrade was such an abortion that we eventually went back to submitting our UIF returns on paper. It was just easier.

I have the same problem. Have you maybe been sorted yet ?

Your guavamunts shut down the businesses – why should they apply???

They get nothing for their trouble and a whole kot of them will not even open after this — Go think about it
You aye supposed to have the employee details -You do the payments —

It is YOUR JOB !!!!!!

So even though UIF contributions have been diligently paid over many years the Govt is pushing the responsibility back to the employer.

The lasting effect of this will be less willingness to employ anyone into the future.

A bunch of employers would not have bothered applying if it was clear from the beginning that whatever the company still contributed to its workers would be DEDUCTED from that 3500 to 6730 limit from the UIF. This rule could have been done different. For example, provided employees actually did not work, the UIF benefit applies and the employer is allowed to match that with a copayment but limited to total uif plus company not to exceed 75% of normal salary.

Are you sure about this? I read it the other way around: the 3500 – 6730 can be used to top up to the full salary. Because, if you’re right, then I give up.

Batman: there is an advisory out from SAICA and have seen elsewhere. Basically say Johnny earned R8k. You run his numbers through the UIF formula and his TERS would then be R4200 (just by example). If your intention was to top him up by R2000 so that he ends up with R6200 you are stuffed.

The TERS benefit payable by UIF is then 4200-2000 = 2200. You would need to pay Johnny 4000 to get to 6200.

One problem is a bunch of people did not do the TERS application including that they are paying Johnny 2000. So UIF sent them R4200. It is FUBAR – legal problem if pay him that 2000. Those employers must now basically lend Johnny R2000 and write it off one day, or buy R2000 of Johnny’s accrued leave might work as that is not salary.

Only positive is that there are thousands of employers that are in this boat in good faith without intention to defraud, so UIF will need to do a kind of amnesty or such

For the first time, I salute Cyril. A, government is not allowed to JUST use peoples detail. Secondly I am a W SME and thought exactly what is saying. My pro-active accountant applied, and I signed on two lines! I applied Tuesday and Saturday I received my proceeds. I paid employees immediately. Viva Cyril!!

Same here took 2 days to register and receive the money fr the employees.

Christopher, how did you apply, as the UIF website does not seem to work? Kicks me out every time.

Businesses are shut down, durr. Not everyone can remotely login and access their payroll etc.

It is more than a week that my attempts as well as attempts by auditors to complete the TERS Application were unsuccessful. The system is congestive. The tel no 012 377 1997 directs you to 0800030007 and there is no reply or either says that they are too busy. I have entered details of all four employees and when I wanted to submit the employ list, the system failed. Is there no TECHNICAL SUPPORT EMAIL ADDRESS TO ASSIST THE EMPLOYER. I have honoured to effect payment of UIF CONTRIBUTIONS SINCE 1999 and still are unable to claim on behalf of my employees.
Erica

If the UIF has only processed 59 000 of the for 862 000 workers then what hope in hell do the other workers have in getting paid?

It took me a week of phoning them before I managed to speak to them.

I do not hold out much hope even for those for whom the employers have applied.

The quality of journalism has become very worrying in South Africa. Journalism is not PR. You’re not simply required to repeat what the ANC gov is saying. You’re supposed to interrogate that information. As a business owner, I applied for C19 TERS on the 1st of April. The application process changed several times during April. The call centre is an outsourced assistance centre with a script to advise customers and refer all customers to email this and that. No one has received any email replies. The call centre agent I spoke to acknowledged that their system is working but the UIF backend is broken. I am in a business WhatsApp group with 200 business owners, more than 100 businesses have received ZERO payment for any employees with ZERO reasons why. ZERO foreign employees have been paid because the UIF system doesn’t allow for anything but a SA ID number yet foreign employees contribute every month. Journalists, do your job for heaven’s sake! Ask some tough questions and get the answers! Stop just being a mouthpiece of the government.

Journalism inSouth Africa has been afflicted by the same influencer as the rest of the planet. It is the internet impacted sales and the business need for income. Many big names have changed hands for bargain prices. The new owners are eager agents for the political and receive huge rewards for their blinkers and bias.

Even before COVID my contract was terminated and I applied for UIF relieve. What I learned out of this system is that if you’re a single male person with a white skin and grey-ish hair you might just as well go and sit on a park bench and die. The current system is severely racist and biased.

I’ve also applied on behalf of my 23 black employees during the first week of April 2020 by sending e-mailed submissions. The template was faulty and had to resubmit several times. The registered on the uifecc.gov.za portal and resubmitted on about 14 April. No feedback up to date.

Was it necessary to specify “black employees”? UIF if not for only black employees

We applied on the 2nd April. Heard nothing for 2 weeks. Then rea pplied on the 14th April. Still nothing. I have now hired a labour lawyer to apply for me.

In the meantime my workers are starving to death. So stop the Viva Cyril crap the system is screwed.

According to SAICA – the South African Institute Of Chartered Accountants UIF will only only top up an employees pay if you paid them less than the R4027.45 for the 35 day lockdown period (The National Minimum Wage of R3500 per calendar month).Have checked what we have been paid and I can confirm that this is indeed the case.Only 2 of the 14 of us have been paid anything because they were paid less than this amount. If you’ve paid an employee more than this sum they will get nothing.So if you normally earn R12000 and you get paid R6000 you will get zilch.

How can we get answers on our uif Ters fund application that was handed in by our employer in April already. We have been on unpaid leave since the lockdown started completed forms for the uif application procedures and still haven’t receive any money from our company. Have been calling the uif numbers given since April held on for 20 minutes yesterday finally spoke to a guy and all he can say is that they only help new applications I should send an email. Please assist me how do I know that the money was not paid already.

We have applied, got one payout which was not sufficient based on information sent out to us. The letter stated all were approved, but only 1 was, the rest they stated were not registered – I have been paying u.i.f since 2001 for all our staff. All documents were submitted as per request, so still waiting. Not rolling out as per announcement. Are we as small small enterprises going to drop through the cracks, as we usually do, and have to dig into our “non salaried” pockets to ensure survival of our livelihoods. Unfortunately, with our labour on the breadline, they are also losing out.

The problem is that the TERS site, like almost every other site implemented by the government, especially during this period, is either loaded with hickups or NO ASSISTANCE exist.

I am STILL waiting for an email to be sent by TERS in order to reset my password. I cannot complete my application.

After spending 1 hour and 45 minutes today, holding on, waiting for those INCOMPETENT individuals to just answer a phone, I gave up.

I wrote NUMEROUS emails and posts on their facebook page TRYING to get someone to help me move the process forward, but NO GO.

I am APPALLED by their SLAPGATGEIT ! It sickens me to the bone !

If there’s anyone who knows who I can talk to about the UIF TERS application, please let me know

Else … i’ve done what I could. The CONSTANT abuse of taxpayers’ money SICKENS me …

End of comments.

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