Destroyed, affected or looted workplaces: TERS 2021

02 September 2021 11:30 by John de Villiers

Destroyed, affected or looted workplaces: TERS 2021

The Unemployment Insurance Fund's Destroyed, Affected or Looted Workplaces: Temporary Financial Relief Scheme has been established to assist the more than 75 000 workers who are receiving either reduced pay or no pay at all because their workplaces have closed due the unrest.

The Directive establishing a Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) for employees, who have lost income as a result of the closure of a workplace on account of the unrest came into effect from the date of publication in the Government Gazette (10th August). Its operation will be reviewed every two weeks by the Minister of Employment and Labour, until terminated by notice in the Gazette.[1]

Key points

1. Definitions

“worker” means –

(a)   a contributor; or

(b) an employee as defined in the Act who should have received benefits under these Regulations but for circumstances beyond the employees control, namely that the employer failed to –

register as an employer in contravention of section 10(1) of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002

provide details relating tot the employees in contravention of section 10(3) of that Act and accordingly not registered as contributors; or

pay the contributions contemplated in section 5(1) of that act in respect of that employee.

2. Purpose

(c) to set out the application process for this temporary financial relief (Note: The UIF is earnestly reconfiguring its systems for processing of temporary financial relief claims, and an announcement on the claims process and platforms and the date from which claims can be submitted will be made as soon as possible.)[2]

3. Temporary Financial Relief Scheme

(1) Subject to sub regulation (2), workers because of the closure of a workplace as a result of the unrest and are not being paid remuneration either in full or in part are entitled to the financial relief as follows:

(a)  income replacement is calculated at the rate on the sliding scale (38% - 60%) based on the employees remuneration;

(b)  the remuneration to be taken into account in calculating the relief is capped at a maximum amount of R17, 712.00 per month; and

(c)   if income replacement falls below R3 500, the worker must be paid a replacement income equal to that amount or

(2) Despite the calculation in sub regulation (1) the Minister or the delegated authority may, if financial considerations dictate, determine a flat rate for the financial relief under the Scheme.

(3) Subject to the amount of the temporary financial relief contemplated in sub regulation (1) or (2), an employee may only receive temporary financial relief if the total of the relief together with any additional payment towards relief or salary in any period is not more than the remuneration that the employee would ordinarily have received for working during that period.

(4) The temporary financial relief provided in terms of these Regulations is de-linked from the Unemployment Insurance normal benefits and therefore the normal rule that for every 4(four) days worked, the employee accumulates a one-day credit, and the maximum credit days’ payable is 365 for every 4 (four) years does not apply.

(5) The payment of the temporary financial relief to a worker in terms of these Regulations may only be done by a direct payment into the worker’s bank account unless the Commissioner permits payment directly to the employer subject to such conditions as the Commissioner may specify.

4. Application Procedure

(1) To avoid any in-person employee applications at Department offices for the temporary financial relief under the Scheme, an employer who has had to close its business as a result of the unrest must apply for temporary financial relief under the Scheme for and on behalf of its affected employees/workers in accordance with these regulations.

(2) For an employer to apply on behalf of its employees under the Scheme, it must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. It must register and be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund;
  2. The employer’s closure must be directly linked to the destruction, damage or looting of its workplace
  3. It must confirm in writing or electronically that – (1) it accepts the terms of the Scheme herein and / or in the procedure document issued by the Unemployment Insurance Fund; and
  4. It must provide details of the destruction or damage to, or looting of, or closure of its workplace and submit documentary proof of a report to the South African Police Services, and proof that a case has been opened with a case number, and if insured, proof of submission and acknowledgment of receipt of the insurance claim; and
  5. Submit any other information that the Commissioner may require.
  • (3) The employer must apply by reporting the closure of the workplace as a result of the unrest by complying with the application procedure issued by the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

[1] GN 712 of 10 August 2021: Destroyed, Affected or Looted Workplaces: Temporary Financial Relief Scheme published in Government Gazette 44978

[2] UIF’s temporary relief scheme approved to assist workers of looted businesses in KZN and Gauteng