Photo: UIF
  • The UIF has opened a new round of TERS applications, for the period from 16 October to 31 December.
  • An expanded list of business, which were affected by lockdown regulations, can claim for the Covid-19 benefit.
  • But this time around, only those who contributed to the UIF in the past can expect payments. 
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za

The Unemployment Insurance Fund is now accepting new applications for TERS, the Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme benefit, for the period from 16 October to 31 December.

A later round of applications will be accepted for 1 January to 15 March, when TERS is due to end.

There are changes that affect who may claim. This was the result of long meetings between the UIF, unions and businesses – in the end, TERS now covers an expanded range of businesses.

“The social partners impressed on us that we need to carefully consider other business activities that get indirectly impacted if the main business they render a service to is not operational. For example, a bottling supplier in the liquor industry gets affected if production is stopped or reduced by the alcohol manufacturer, and so does the wine or grain farmer who supplies raw material to the manufacturer," said Marsha Bronkhorst, Acting UIF Commissioner.

TERS payments will be paid to staff whose employers were not able to operate fully due to lockdown restrictions. Only applications from these businesses will be considered:

  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Restaurants
  • Venues hosting auctions
  • Venues hosting professional sports
  • Night clubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Bars, taverns and shebeens
  • Public parks
  • Domestic and international air travel
  • Rail, bus services and taxi services
  • E-hailing services
  • Sale, dispensing and distributions and transportation of liquor
  • Beaches, dams. rivers and lake
  • Passengers ships
  • Venues where social events are held
  • Venues hosting concerts and live performance
  • Hotels. lodges, bed and breakfast, time-share facilities, resorts and guest houses
  • Conferencing, dining, entertainment and bar facilities
  • International sports, arts and cultural events
  • Any industries that form part of the value chain of the above as per the discretion of the UIF.

Older (and vulnerable) workers may claim

TERS will also be paid to vulnerable employees who have comorbidities and those older than 60 years, who cannot be safely accommodated at work.

Staff who couldn’t go to work because they had to isolate and quarantine, can also claim for when they weren't allowed to work. 

Only UIF contributors will receive TERS

While last year, at the height of lockdown, TERS was opened to even non-UIF paying employees - this is no longer the case.

What about other workers?

Workers who have been temporarily laid off, or are still only working shorter hours – but who do not fall into the categories mentioned above – can claim a “normal” UIF payout to make up for their lost income.

A new directive has been issued that means that even though they may still be working, they are entitled to a full UIF benefit pay-out – provided that the total amount they receive (from the UIF plus their reduced wages) is not more than their normal pay.

How much will you get from TERS?

It works on a sliding scale: The maximum a worker will get is R6,730 a month (if you earn more than R17,700) – while the minimum amount is R3,500.

How do you apply?

While last year, employees were allowed to apply directly along with employers, only employers can apply on behalf of their staff this time round. They need to apply via the Covid-19 TERS online portal.

Supporting documents for the new rounds include proof of payment to employees for previous TERS claims.

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