FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Covid-19 lockdown South Africa is currently experiencing is unprecedented and has led to a lot of uncertainty, in particular in relation to the TERS funding.
In order to assist and provide some clarity to employers, NEASA has compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers.
Please note that some answers are based on the best available information at the time and may be subject to change.
• Must a business be in complete shutdown in order to claim?
No, although the original Memorandum of Agreement received from the UIF indicated that this should be the case, ongoing discussions at NEDLAC indicate that the final document will make provision for a partial closure or a reduction of an employee’s income.
• Can you apply for temporary workers laid-off during lockdown?
Yes, as long as the reason for them not working is as a result of the lockdown.
• Can non-South Africans receive UIF benefits?
Yes, provided that they have a work permit and are registered with the UIF.
• Are benefits only available to employees receiving no payment?
No, according to discussions at NEDLAC, employees whose income is reduced may also claim.
• Can employers ask employees to take annual leave?
Yes, employees who have annual leave available may be requested to utilise their leave during this period, however, if there is an existing leave agreement in the workplace the agreement will have to be amended, which would require consent.
• Is there a benefits calculation guideline?
No, at this stage the benefit will be calculated on a sliding scale between 38% (for high earners) and 60% (for lower earners), calculated on the maximum salary cap of R17 712 per employee per month.
• Are the benefits taxable?
No, the full amount received by the employer from UIF must be paid to the employee.
• Can the employer lend an employee money and recover it later when the UIF benefit has been received?
Although this situation is not entirely clear, as a result of the requirement of an audit trail, it may be possible to enter into such an arrangement provided that documentation such as an Acknowledgment of Debt has been concluded. We will provide more clarity on this as more information becomes available.
• Who can make an application on behalf of the company?
Any person who has been authorised to do so in writing by the CEO and CFO or equivalent functionaries.
• Is a special bank account required?
Although the requirements currently call for a special bank account, there is every expectation that this will be scrapped.
• When will payments be made?
The communication from the Department of Employment and Labour indicates that payments will only be made after the lockdown period.
We will be updating these questions as the situation evolves.
We are all in this together.
Privileged and challenged to be South African.