work employers lockdown

Photo: Adobe Stock

Workers who qualify for COVID-19 UIF benefits face payment delays

Department says hundreds of thousands of employees may be impacted because their employers haven’t done the paperwork.

work employers lockdown

Photo: Adobe Stock

Hundreds of thousands of South African workers who should qualify for temporary benefits under the COVID-19 Temporary Employer  / Employee Relief Scheme  may not get their money.

This is because employers have either not applied on their behalf or have not corrected the information to enable the UIF to pay timeously.

The Department of Employment and Labour issued the warning on Friday 24 April, saying that more than 220 000 employees who may be entitled to as much as R927-million in benefits face payment delays. Payments can only be made once they have been verified by their employers, as they either do not appear in the UIF’s system or the information given is insufficient.

Applications from employers must be verified

“When we receive applications from employers, we verify the information to ensure that the employees they are claiming for appear in our system. When we identify inconsistencies, we send the enquiry to the employer for verification,” said the UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping.

In total, over 77 000 employers have submitted applications on behalf of their employees. After the verification process, the UIF has paid R2.2-billion for COVID-19 relief benefits and R839-million for normal benefits from 16 April 2020 to date.

How to apply for these benefits

Companies that are facing distress and contribute to the UIF should apply through for assistance. Businesses that were not registered with the UIF by 15 March 2020 may not apply as they would not qualify.

The fund has also emphasised that all businesses with employees, from spaza shops to hair salons, who are registered with UIF can apply for this relief. Employers of domestic workers who have been impacted should also apply for the relief as domestic workers are included in the UIF process.

However, commission earners and freelance employees are not contributors to the UIF and do not qualify for this benefit.