The Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) temporary financial relief scheme has finally been approved through the government gazette that was published on Tuesday 10 August 2021.
The UIF relief scheme was established to assist workers whose workplaces have been closed due to recent unrest in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, resulting in either reduced pay or no pay at all.
According to the Department of Employment and Labour estimates, more than 75 000 workers have been impacted by the unrest in both provinces.
It’s important to note that every employer, who is not yet registered with the UIF will have to register first in order to access the benefit.
Qualifying employers will be required to apply on behalf of their employees through a process that the UIF will specify. The process will enable employers to make bulk applications and they will be required to meet the following criteria:
Payment of the UIF temporary financial relief may only be done directly into the worker’s bank account unless the UIF Commissioner specifies the conditions under which payments can be made into the employer’s account.
The relief will be paid based on the income replacement rate calculated on the sliding scale of 38% – 60% based on the employee’s remuneration.
“The maximum payment will not exceed R 6 700 and the minimum will be not less than R3 500 per month, or a flat rate as the Minister or Accounting Authority may decide depending on financial considerations of the UIF,” it said in a statement.
The temporary financial relief is de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefits, therefore, the normal rule is that for every four days worked, the employee accumulates a one-day credit, and the maximum credit days’ payable is 365 for every four years, does not apply.
“This will enable workers who have no credits to receive financial support whilst their workplaces are in the process of rebuilding or reopening,” it added.
The UIF is 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.