UIF TERS preparing for new intake of May 2020 #Covid19 relief benefit claims

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Since the inception of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) coronavirus temporary employee/employer relief scheme (TERS) on April 16, the UIF has processed more than 200,000 valid claims.

These claims were from employers with more than 2.5 million employees benefiting from the more than R14 billion paid out so far, the employment and labour department said.

The UIF was currently finalising its testing process on the Covid-19 TERS online application system in preparation for the new intake of the May relief benefit claims, the department said in a statement.

With the move to Covid-19 alert level four lockdown, some businesses had resumed operations, either in full or in part. With this change, the UIF expected employers to submit claims in varying degrees, as some employers would either claim for all employees or some of them. Therefore, the UIF had to reconfigure its system to accommodate various scenarios pertaining to the May applications, it said.

Testing would be finalised over the weekend and the plan was to open the May 2020 claims early next week. Employers applying for the first time would be expected to register on the uifecc.labour.gov.za portal and follow the on-screen steps. Repeat employers submitting claims for May would be expected to submit proof of payment to employees for the payments made in April 2020.

Social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) had endorsed the UIF’s plan to ramp up payment of funds directly into employees’ bank accounts, the department said.

“We have received numerous complaints from employees about not receiving their salaries, even after [the] UIF has made payments to their employers. This, and other reasons, prompted the department to appeal to the social partners at Nedlac to allow [the] UIF to deposit funds directly into employees’ bank accounts,” UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said in the statement.

Even though the UIF would pay directly into employees’ bank accounts, employers were still expected to apply on behalf of their employees. Employers would still receive the payment breakdown from the UIF as confirmation of payment to employees, he said.

The system had also been enhanced to allow users to edit banking details for those employees whose payments were declined due to bank verification or branch code errors.

To date, the UIF had processed 204,177 valid claims from employers at a value of just under R14.5 billion (R14,473,283,036) for the benefit of 2,633,834 workers around the country, the department said.

African News Agency (ANA)