UIF COVID-19 employee relief scheme extended by six weeks

The UIF said it was analysing three scenarios to continue supporting workers and employers beyond the COVID-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme benefit

FILE: Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi during a walkabout at the extended UIF call centre in Johannesburg. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has confirmed that along with the Department of Employment and Labour, government will continue with the COVID-19 temporary relief scheme for another six weeks.

The relief benefit used for social security was calculated on a sliding scale of 38% to 60% of workers' wages and R3,500.

It came to an end in June, leading to protest from some businesses which are still in desperate need of the funds to stay afloat.

The UIF said it was analysing three scenarios to continue supporting workers and employers beyond the COVID-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefit.

The first option is to extend the TERS benefit for six weeks, which will stretch the UIF’s R40 billion budget for the relief.

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said another alternative could be to rely on the old temporary employer/employee instrument once the COVID-19 relief ends.

“I think more and more companies will apply for that to be able to survive beyond COVID-19.”

This benefit is available for businesses under distress but may not cover the scope of beneficiaries included in the national disaster intervention.

Maruping said another intervention, which was already in place, was the setting aside of R104 million through Productivity SA to assist companies to turn distressed businesses around.

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