UIF: Fewer people claiming ordinary unemployment benefits

The benefit is due to workers who are retrenched or lose their jobs through other means. The latest UIF data points to a different trend.

Picture: Flickr.com

JOHANNESBURG - The latest Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) data shows that fewer people are claiming ordinary unemployment benefits now compared to the same period last year, despite the predicted spike in job losses over the past three months due to the lockdown.

The benefit is due to workers who are retrenched or lose their jobs through other means. The latest UIF data points to a different trend.

Between April and June last year, 212,702 people applied for the ordinary benefit with the majority approved and paid out by the UIF.

However, over the same period this year when the country was under lockdown, jeopardising many business’ sustainability, only 143,034 people applied.

UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said this could be attributed to the backup options provided to companies and employees through the temporary COVID-19 employer/employee scheme.

“My suspicion from the data is that companies have not started with the claims yet.”

Maruping is nonetheless worried that they are about to reach the peak application numbers in the coming months.

The UIF is still paying out the COVID-19 relief benefits that came to an end in June to companies. The relief has since been extended by six weeks.

The fund’s daily status report shows that it has so far processed more than 819,000 applications from employers and bargaining councils, benefiting over nine million workers.

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