TERS benefit extended to mid-August

  • The Unemployment Insurance Fund announced that it would extend the Covid-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme to 15 August.
  • The extension of the relief scheme comes as the UIF has put cash in the hands of workers of some R34 billion in 7.4-million payments.
  • Cosatu's Matthew Parks said the labour federation believed support for workers should be extended as some were still vulnerable to the lockdown's restrictions.

The Department of Employment and Labour and the Unemployment Insurance Fund released a statement announcing plans extend the Covid-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme to 15 August.

The provision by the UIF was due to conclude by the end of July as a provision to allow employees access to stable income despite being unable to work. More than six million employees and over 500 000 businesses have benefited from the relief scheme.

The extension of the relief scheme comes as the UIF has put cash in the hands of workers of some R34 billion in 7.4-million payments. The fund has done this while maintaining its normal benefits disbursements which have amounted to R4-billion in 677 000 payments to beneficiaries since March 26, 2020.

The UIF announced plans to extend the relief system aimed at supporting employees who could not work as a result of the national lockdown's restrictions on business.

In a statement, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour, Boitumelo Moloi, said the extension would be implemented in line with the extended national lockdown.

"Following due diligence and consultation with the Unemployment Insurance Fund actuaries, and in line with the president's decision to extend the life of the Disaster Management Act until 15 August, we have taken the decision to similarly extend the Covid-19 TERS benefit until 15 August 2020," Moloi said.

Congress of South African Trade Unions parliamentary liaison officer Matthew Parks said the labour federation believed support for workers should be extended as some were still vulnerable to the lockdown's restrictions or to the risk of contracting the Covid-19 novel coronavirus.

"We've been having engagements about it. Basically, we have been having negotiations. Remember, not all workers can resume work, including those over 60 and those with co-morbidities, and those working restricted industries. There needs to be some support for those workers," said Parks.

Parks said the UIF was able to continue supporting employees who could not work as it had R103 billion in the reserves and had R156 billion before lockdown.

"We want to get it finalised quite soon because we are almost at the end of July. We need to help workers and restricted sectors. We are hopeful because the UIF has been receptive and we would like to see it get concluded soon," Parks said.

* The article has been amended to reflect that the extension of the Unemployment Insurance Fund relief scheme comes as the UIF has already put cash in the hands of workers of some R34 billion in 7.4-million payments. The article previously stated that the extension would pay a further R34 billion. 

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