Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour reiterates its commitment to pay COVID-19 Relief Benefits until June as May payments top R8-Billion

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is committed to pay millions of workers their relief payments under the COVID-19 TERS until the end of June, 2020. 

“We remain committed to pay the TERS Benefits till June 2020 as per the initial Directive of 26 March 2020. The benefits will continue to be paid to eligible employees as set out in COVID-19 Directives of April, May and June 2020 and will be paid according to the same benefits structure of the income replacement rate varying between 38% and 60%”, said Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.

The Fund has also committed to ensure that applications received in April and May that have been registered in the system will still be processed and paid once all the relevant documents and information has been received. In cases of claims that have been declined because of lack of proper documentation, the Fund is committed to pay as soon as this information has been received.

The Fund has made significant progress in the payment of May applications. As of 24 June 2020, the Fund has paid R8,4-billion (R 8 401 750 767.94) to 149 120 employers who submitted applications on behalf of 2 037 458 employees. In total, UIF has disbursed close to R28-billion (R27 717 930,315.10) since 16 April 2020.

The payments were intended as a stop gap measure for a period of three months or until such time that lockdown restrictions were eased and the economy slowly re-opened.

“The payments by the UIF should be seen in the context of government-wide basket of services and interventions to ease the burden of the coronavirus. In the process, and because this is unprecedented, a few mistakes occurred but detractors fail to see the magnitude of the work that has been done and the relief that it has brought to many people in our country.

“Using the measure that one beneficiary is responsible for eight others, the amount of money that has been distributed has covered at least 14-million people in this round of May payments alone. This is a real difference in the lives of workers and is evidence to government’s commitment to make a real difference,” said Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi.

A fairly sizable amount of R770-million has been paid directly into the bank accounts of the workers instead of being paid through their employers even though the employers lodged the claims on behalf of workers.

The cumulative figure since April that has been paid as relief payments to domestic workers stands at R135-million while a total of R639-million has been paid to workers of foreign nationality.

At the same time, the total benefits amount for ordinary claims has increased over the comparative period by 1.6 percent to R3.3-billion from R3.2-billion.

Unfortunately, 965 751 employees have been unable to receive their benefits because of outstanding information from their employers. This translates to R4.2-billion (R4 201 562 681.30) in payments that has not been paid out and a further 1197 employees have not been paid because the details were rejected by the banks and this amounts to R703 999.25. 

Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.

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