thulas nxesi
.Labour minister Thulas Nxesi.
  • Companies who have not kept up with their contributions to the UIF are still allowed to claim coronavirus payouts. 
  • Workers who are put on unpaid leave, have been laid off temporarily  or whose employers can’t afford to pay their full salaries during the crisis are entitled to a special payout from the UIF.
  • But companies may be required to repay their unpaid contributions after the crisis.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Companies who have not kept up with their contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) are still allowed to claim coronavirus payouts, labour minister Thulas Nxesi said this week. He said that workers should not be punished for the fact that their employer has not contributed.

As part of the Covid-19 Temporary Relief scheme (TERS), workers who are put on unpaid leave, have been laid off temporarily  or whose employers can’t afford to pay their full salaries are entitled to a special payout from the UIF. 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.

READ | Claiming money from the UIF: Everything you need to know

So far, the UIF has paid out R3.3 billion in Covid-19 benefits to 103,000 companies, representing 1.7 million workers. Companies must apply on behalf of their workers. The money is paid out to the companies, who must distribute it to workers within 48 hours.

There are 1.8 million companies registered with the UIF, but many businesses have not kept up with their payments. These businesses are also allowed to apply for the coronavirus TERS, Nxesi said.

Employers must contribute 1% of a worker's salary to the UIF every month, and the worker must also contribute 1%. Employers must submit a monthly declaration of their employees to the UIF.

But as long as they were registered with the UIF, even if they did not pay the contributions or submit the monthly declarations, they can still apply for TERS, Lungelo Mkamba, spokesperson for the UIF, confirmed to Business Insider SA.

Nxesi said these companies will have to acknowledge their outstanding debt, and may be required to repay the debt once their company is “up and running” again.

He urged companies to apply for the TERS benefit, and said that distressed companies representing 220,000 employees have not yet applied, and could benefit from the payouts. 

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: