UIF coronavirus relief extended again, to business applause

Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi during a media briefing.
Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi during a media briefing.
GCIS
  • The Department of Employment and Labour said the scheme would now continue to make a difference in the lives of beneficiaries until 15 September.
  • B4SA said in a statement that it was pleased at the announcement by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.
  • To date, the UIF has disbursed over R41 billion in 9 501 365 payments through applications by 825 814 employers.

 


Business interest lobby group Business 4 South Africa on Wednesday welcomed what appeared to be an extension to the Unemployment Insurance Fund's Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme until the end of South Africa’s national state of disaster.

The scheme, run by the UIF, came into effect after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster in March along with a national lockdown. It sought to allow businesses to continue paying salaries to employees to sustain their livelihoods through the lockdown restrictions.

It has not been an easy road for the scheme, which was originally meant to lapse by September. Payments had to be suspended temporarily following a preliminary report from the office of the Auditor General which found irregularities in disbursements.

The Department of Employment and Labour said the scheme would now continue to make a difference in the lives of beneficiaries until 15 September.

The department statement said UIF would continue to receive applications for the late March to late July until 15 September.

"The receipt of Covid-19 TERS benefit applications for August 2020 to 15 September 2020 shall close on 30 October 2020, and no further applications shall be accepted beyond that date.

"To date, the UIF has disbursed over R41 billion in 9 501 365 payments through applications by 825 814 employers," the statement said.

B4SA said in a statement that it was pleased at the announcement by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi of a further extension of the TERS scheme.

"It appears that this extension will last until the state of disaster ends, but final confirmation on funding availability for this is awaited. The scheme will follow the same criteria as it has to date," the B4SA statement said.

The statement said all payments by the UIF have currently been suspended, and we are awaiting updated information as to when payments will resume, and as to when claims under the extension may be lodged. 

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