Following the signing, by the Minister of Employment and Labour on 11 August 2020, of the new Direction Covid19 TERS benefits have been extended for certain categories of employees. An employer, or employee, may claim Covid-19 TERS benefits for the extension period 1 July 2020 until 15 August 2020.
The new directives cover the following categories of employees whose employers are:
-not permitted to commence operations under the Disaster Management Regulations;
-unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers, such as working from home or taking special measures under the OHS Direction to protect them;
-unable to make use of their services because of operational requirements caused by compliance with the Regulations and Directions such as rostering, staggering working hours, short time, and the introduction of shift systems.
Please be advised that Applications for the six-week extension period will open on the portal on Monday 17 August 2020 and the process remains the same for the extension period (1 July 2020 until 15 August 2020) as it was via the online portal.
The amendments further state that a qualifying employee will receive benefits calculated in terms of section 13(1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act however should the benefit calculated together with any remuneration earned fall below R 3500.00 the benefit will be increased to ensure the employee receives R 3500.00.
Furthermore, an employee will only receive Covid-19 benefits provided that the total benefit contemplated together with any remuneration paid by the employer for work performed by the employee in a period does not exceed the remuneration that the employee would ordinarily have received in that period.
You will be required to upload all the same documentation and information as you did for your previous TERS claims however if it the first time you are doing a TERS application, you would need to urgently activate your profile online, following the instructions to electronically sign the MOA and Letter of Undertaking, and upload bank confirmation letter.
The application window for April and May will close on 15 September 2020. All new applications for these periods must be uploaded on or before this date to qualify for processing and payment. Existing claims will remain open for corrections and finalisation beyond this date.
Following the amendment, dated 25 May 2020, to the original directive, employers who had registered for UIF after 15 March 2020 would be eligible to claim TERS on behalf of their employees. Although applicants for April 2020 period may have been rejected on this basis, these applications have subsequently been reviewed for processing and payment. Employers in this category who have not claimed, or not claimed for periods beyond the initial lockdown period, are urged to do so on or before the deadline (as above).
It is important to note the lockdown period is from 1 July 2020 until 15 August 2020, therefore a date earlier than 1 July or later than 15 August 2020 will not be accepted on the system.
However, any dates within that range will be accepted. For example, if resumed operations on 1 August, then you can enter 1 July 2020 until 31 July 2020.
Users are reminded that advances, ex gratia payments, or income related to annual leave, should be excluded. The UIF has amended the TERS calculator to ensure that it accurately assesses the benefit based on the provision of a monthly normal remuneration and the remuneration received for the selected lockdown period.