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Tag: Uif relief fund

News: UIF Ters Benefits Suspended

The Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) benefit has been temporarily suspended, following the identification of control deficiencies within the Ters system, Moneyweb reported.

According to Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi, these control ‘deficiencies’ include inconsistencies regarding past payments made to people who are deceased, imprisoned, or who are minors.

The Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) alerted the Department of Labour to the irregularities.

Buthelezi confirms that the department is investigating the AGSA’s findings.

“This issue is under investigation, however, we normally check IDs against the Home Affairs database. That is why in some cases we’ve been able to stop payments where Home Affairs confirms that the applicant is deceased,” Buthelezi says.

When asked by Moneyweb if this is an indication of corruption within the department or by applicants, he alludes to the fact that the department has previously made attempts to put control measures in place.

“Some of the things we’ve done to curb fraud include bank verification prior to payment, blocking the payment where anomalies are detected such as multiple UIF reference numbers against one bank account, and we’ve also introduced business rules to deal with some of the control deficiencies like payments to underage or overage claimants. We’re still going to appoint a team of auditors to follow up on all payments made,” Buthelezi says.

Buthelezi says it is unclear how long payments will be suspended.

Who has been paid?

According to the National Employers Association of South Africa:

  • 12% of employers still haven’t received their April payments and of the 88% of employers who received payment, only 68% were paid in full.
  • 19% of employers still haven’t received their May benefit; of the 81% who received payment, only 69% were paid in full.
  • 30% of employers are still waiting for their June payments; of the 70% who received payment, only 77% were paid in full.
  • 95% of employers still haven’t received their July benefit; of the 5% who received payment, only 47% were paid in full.

According to Moneyweb those wanting to receive April and May benefits have been told that they have until September 15 to apply, but because the outcome of the investigation is still dependent on the National Economic Development and Labour Council, this can no longer be confirmed.

“I’m unfortunately not sure when the outcome from Nedlac can be expected,” Buthelezi told Moneyweb.

 

News: New dates for UIF relief funding

The Unemployment Insurance Fund says it will open, and begin processing the July and August Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme Benefits applications, from Monday (17 August), Business Tech reported.

This follows the signing of a new directive on an extended period of benefits by the Labour minister, Thulas Nxesi, on 11 August.

According to Business Tech, the new directive stipulates that an employer, or employee, can claim Covid-19 TERS benefits for the extension period starting from 1 July 2020 until 15 August 2020.

The new directives cover the following categories of employees whose employers are:

  1. Not permitted to commence operations under the disaster management regulations;
  2. Unable to make alternative arrangements for vulnerable workers, such as working from home or taking special measures under the OHS direction to protect them;
  3. 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.

The application process remains the same for the extension period and all claims must be lodged via the online portal. https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/

As with previous claim processes, to apply in the new period, employers are required to upload similar documentation that includes:

  1. A signed approval or acceptance letter,
  2. Bank confirmation letter,
  3. Proof of payment to employees
  4. Refund to the UIF – if applicable.

“In keeping with strict governance principles, we will still subject payments to bank verification prior to releasing the funds into the applicant’s accounts.”

Maruping said the UIF will issue a letter to employers who have applied for Covid-19 TERS benefits outlining the process to be followed when making applications for the extension period.

He added that an explanatory memo will be available on the Department of Labour’s website. http://www.labour.gov.za/

“Employers who experience technical difficulty in creating – or accessing – their profile should immediately contact the Call Centre 0800 030 007 for assistance. A reference number will be issued that will enable resolution follow-up and, in the event of non-resolution by application cut-off date, it will serve as evidence of efforts to comply within the time-frame,” said Maruping.

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