TERS third phase claims opening on 19 July 2021

TERS third phase claims opening on 19 July 2021

Business, Coronavirus Reliefs, Human Resources, Legislation

The Labour Minister, Minister Nxesi, announced three weeks ago that the third phase of Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits for industries that cannot operate fully under level 4 restrictions would commence.

This time, however, workers can be paid their Covid-19 TERS benefits in their bank accounts and not through their employers. Employers will still be expected to claim on the employees’ behalf.

The following workers are eligible to claim in the third phase:

  • Workers who have not been able to work from 16 March 2021 due to level 1, 2 and 3 restrictions preventing gatherings of a certain number of people, such as in the entertainment industry.
  • Workers who were and/or are still impacted upon by the level 4 restrictions, which commenced on 28 June 2021 until the 25 July 2021.
  • Workers who have not been able to work since they are over 60 or have comorbidities and have not been able to work in the period, as well as those who have had to isolate or go into quarantine.

The period the directive covers ends on 25 July 2021. Applications for the Covid-19 TERS period from 16 March 2021 to 25 July 2021 will open on 19 July 2021 and payments will commence from 26 July 2021.

Please also note the following:

  • Employees who continue to be impacted by short time, shift rotations, temporary layoff, and other operational requirements related to current economic conditions, but who do not work in the specified sectors, cannot claim under TERS but should be able to claim UIF under section 12 (1B) of the UI Act i.e., Reduced Work Time
  • If an Employer previously applied for Covid-19 TERS Benefit, but never received payment, an application can still be made, however the employer must state in the company letter that no payment was received to date and hence there is no proof of payments.
  • The claimant must be a UIF contributor – no payments will be made to an employee whose employer has not contributed to UIF.
  • All records of receipt of payment/ funds must be kept on file in case of future audits by the Department of Labour.
  • Where you have been used to paying an advance to employees and then recovering it when the TERS claim is received please be careful this time round because the payments will go to your employees and you will struggle to recover any advances.
  • Finally, we see lots of TERS audits. Please make sure you follow the process and keep records otherwise you will most likely be required to pay back the money later.

The directive is available on the following link.

If you need help with any TERS or UIF claims please contact us on [email protected].