The Unemployment Fund (UIF) advises employers to select having the Covid-19 Ters (temporary employer/employee relief scheme) benefit paid directly into employees’ bank accounts to fast-track these payments.
This was recommended by the fund on Thursday after it confirmed that applications for Ters benefits claims for May are now back online.
This followed a damaged fibre link between the UIF offices and the State Information and Technology Agency (Sita) putting paid to plans for the platform to go live on Tuesday.
UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping says the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) partners have given the fund the green light to pay claims directly to employees.
“The Nedlac partners have given UIF a mandate to pay directly into the employees’ bank accounts in order to avoid delays and to deal with complaints where employers were alleged to be withholding the money or underpaying employees.”
Maruping says in order for the much-needed payments during the pandemic to be successful, it is “critical” for employers to provide clear and accurate banking details of employees.
Maruping says the option to pay the funds to employers, bargaining councils or industry associations is still available.
However, the UIF advises employers to select paying directly into employees’ accounts to fast track payments to employees.
Maruping says the UIF is working around the clock to finalise outstanding claims for April.
“The new features in the system will enable applicants to make corrections on the previous submissions and that will assist in fast-tracking the finalisation of outstanding applications for April.”
Corrections may also be made on rejected applications, which can then be resubmitted.
“The system will make it easier to resubmit because in cases where the information has not changed, the claim will be processed immediately on confirmation by the employer. But if the information has changed, employers will be required to capture employees’ details directly on the system or attach the CSV file,” Maruping says.
Payments to foreigners
Maruping disputes accusations that the UIF is not paying claims to foreign nationals, says the fund has paid up to R100 million to 23 000 foreign nationals declared on the database.
It is continuing to validate and process these claims. “We want to assure every employer and employee of our commitment to settle every outstanding claim still in our system as soon as possible,” Maruping says.
Shane Johnson, a professional support lawyer at Webber Wentzel, says foreign nationals may apply for the benefit “if they have a work permit and they are registered as contributors to the UIF”.
The following is necessary for the May submissions to be successful:
- Proof of Ters payment to employees for April such as electronic bank statement or a letter of acknowledgement of payment between employer and employee;
- Re-upload employer bank confirmation letter or latest bank statement;
- Signed approval or acceptance letter received from the UIF for April payments between employer and employee.
Applicants who would like to check the status of their application can follow the steps in this link.