Many companies still haven’t received their employees’ UIF TERS Covid-19 payouts – we ask why and give some ideas on where to get help
Has your team received their UIF TERS Covid-19 payouts for April? A number of HR managers and business owners say they haven’t, despite applying correctly. And this is a few days after pay-day for the month of May, and the May the disaster relief fund hasn’t opened applications for May as of 27 May 2020 yet.
What’s going on? What are the actual figures? And what can you do if your payments are rejected or just never get paid out?
A PROBLEM IN THE SYSTEM: UIF TERS
125 076. That’s how many companies’ April TERS UIF benefits have been paid out as at 27 May 2020, according to the downloadable doc on the website. That’s payments to the tune of R14.9 billion that reached about 2.5 million workers in South Africa, according to a 19 May SAnews release.
But how many companies applied? We just don’t know. The UIF is said to have some 1.8 million employers registered on their database, according to the Department Employment & Labour. But no one knows how many companies applied. In fact, spokesperson for the Western Cape’s ministry of finance and economic opportunities, Francine Higham, asked just that question to the Minister of Employment & Labour on 15 May. No response noted yet.
What we do know is that the UIF TERS system has been plagued with technical glitches from the start. The UIF’s director of communication and marketing Makhosonke Buthelezi told Times Live that the Labour Department is working to resolve “some challenges” with its website. This after the National Employers Association of South Africa (NEASA) said that less than half of their members received their payments in the second week of May. And, of those, only 45% agreed with the amounts they received.
WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT UIF TERS PAYMENTS
In the week of 20 May, we asked some of our HR News blog subscribers if their team had received their April UIF payouts. 21 People responded: Only 7 had received theirs. 9 said they didn’t receive at all and 3 said that only some employees had received, other not. (That’s a 57% negative response if you’re interested.)
And it’s worrying because that’s just April. We’re almost through May. Payday’s come and gone already. And the UIF hasn’t begun accepting May submissions yet.
So, if you feel frustrated, you’re not alone.
We phoned around to try and come up with some ideas to help get some support if you’re battling to get those TERS UIF payments sorted.
IDEAS FOR HELP WITH TERS UIF PAYMENTS
1 JOIN THIS HR SUPPORT GROUP
We spoke to Adria Bulpitt of HR networking service HRWorks.co.za, and she says that they’ve created a LinkedIn support group. She says that there are many HR people who’ve had trouble with UIF payments. And that the HR pros in the group who have received their TERS UIF payments successfully will gladly give advice and assist where possible. Join here.
2 ASK AN EXPERT AT ONE OF THESE WEBINARS
There are numerous webinars currently available on the subject of TERS UIF benefits. The idea is that if you join one, you get some insight into what’s required. And, even if you don’t get the answers immediately, most webinars have a Q&A session, where you can ask the host for help directly.
Some upcoming ones:
Every Wednesday at 12:00, HRWorks has a legislative update webinar with High Court advocate Cecilia Brümmer. It’s R125pp and you can register here.
Accounting group Sage is hosting a TERS-specific webinar on 4 June 2020 at 9:00. It’s a little more expensive at R1 250pp. Register here.
3 TRY THE OFFICIAL UIF CHANNELS
We’re not sure how helpful this is – reports are they’re swamped with people needing support – but the UIF does have a call centre: 0800 030 007 and email support: Covid19TersSupport@labour.gov.za.
We’ve also included a link to a helpful guide to applying for TESR UIF in our original post on Covid-19 for HR.
Note: We’re constantly looking for ideas on how to help HR and business owners get their TERS UIF sorted. So, if you’ve received yours or you come across anything helpful for those that haven’t, please let us know at email@example.com so we can share with everyone.
WHAT IS TERS UIF?
When South Africa entered Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, the government announced a R500 billion disaster relief management fund to help the country cope with the economy grinding to a halt. Of this, R30 billion was allocated to relief fo employers and employees who can’t work during the lockdown. That money was given to the UIF to administrate. It’s known as the TERS disaster relief management fund. See the website here.
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