TERS vs Reduced Work Time Benefit

TERS vs Reduced Work Time Benefit

Business, Coronavirus Reliefs, Human Resources

UIF Covid-19 TERS

On the 28th February 2021 employers were sent correspondence from UIF regarding the extension of the TERS benefits. These benefits were extended from 16th October 2020 until 15th March 2021 but only certain categories of employees are eligible for this benefit.

These include

  • Employees who are on temporary lay-off or Reduced Work Time within those sectors that have not been able to operate due to regulatory restrictions. These business sectors are specified in Annexure A of the New Directions and include businesses directly involved in hospitality, tourism, liquor, some sectors of Arts, entertainment and recreation and certain businesses included as part of the supply chain to the aforementioned sectors.
  • Employees in all sectors who:
  1. Were required to self-isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  2. Are age 60 or above and who could not reasonably be accommodated in the workplace
  3. Have co-morbidities and who could not reasonably accommodated in the workplace

The online portal is open to accept claims for employees list in section 1 above for the period 16th October 2020 until 31st December 2020 ONLY. UIF will communicate on the opening of the other claim codes and the period 1st January 2021 until 15th March 2021.

Reduced Work Time Benefits

In light of the extended UIF TERS benefit period, employers in the sectors targeted for relief will have the opportunity to apply for the TERS benefits.

For those sectors unable to claim TERS, employees could make use of the Short Term/Reduced Work Time Benefits.

The Reduced Work Time covers employees whose working hours have been reduced or who are forced to stay at home due to work stoppage.

Normally, a claim for this benefit is submitted by an employee with the assistance of the employer. However, the system has apparently been enhanced to enable employers to submit bulk applications on behalf of employees and a spreadsheet has been designed to make this easy for employers.

The differences between TERS and Reduced Work Time Benefits are:

  • The Reduced Work Time benefit uses, and then reduces, the employee’s “credit days”. These days are then no longer available to the employee to increase the value of unemployment benefits at a later stage.

The TERS benefit does not use or reduce “credit days”. The value of the RWT benefit is, in almost all cases, less than the value of the TERS benefit.