Amended COVID-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme

Updated: Apr 21


Amended COVID-19 TERS

COVID19 IN THE ORGANISATION - AMENDED COVID-19 TEMPORARY

EMPLOYEE / EMPLOYER RELIEF SCHEME - 08 APRIL 2020

The Minister of Employment and Labour has signed an amendment to the COVID19 TERS Government Gazette. Please see the changes below.


PARAGRAPH ONE (1) - DEFINITION AMENDMENTS:


Original: 1.1.6 “Temporary lay-off” means temporary closure of business operations due to the COVID19 pandemic for the period of the National Disaster.


Amended: Clause 1.1.6 is renumbered as 1.1.7 and is substituted with the following –


1.1.7 "Temporary lay -off" means a reduction in work following a temporary closure of business operations, whether total or partial, due to the COVID19 pandemic for the period of the National Disaster.


What does this mean? Companies that have partially or completely closed down due to the pandemic are able to apply for the COVID19 TERS benefits.


PARAGRAPH THREE (3) - COVID19 TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE/ EMPLOYER RELIEF SCHEME (COVID19 TERS) AMENDMENTS:


Original: 3.1 Should an employer as a direct result of the COVID19 pandemic close its operation for a 3 (three) month or lesser period, the Company shall qualify for the COVID19 Temporary Relief benefit.


Amended: The following clause is substituted for clause 3.1 of the Directive –


3.1 Should an employer as a result of the COVID19 pandemic close its operations, or a part of its operations, for a 3 (three) month or lesser period, affected employees shall qualify for the COVID19 benefit.


What does this mean? This reiterates that a Company which is partially closed is able to apply for the benefits.


Original: 3.4 The salary benefits will be capped to a maximum amount of R17 712.00 per month, per employee and an employee will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38% - 60%) as provided in the UI Act.


Amended: The following clause is substituted for clause 3.4 of the Directive -


3.4 The salary to be taken into account in calculating the benefits will be capped at a maximum amount of R17 712.00 per month, per employee and an employee will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38% - 60%) as provided in the UI Act.


What does this mean? The wording of the original clause was ambiguous as there was no clarity on whether the salary is capped at R17 712.00 or if the benefit is capped at R17 712.00. This provides clarity that the salary is capped at R17 712.00 and not the benefit. Meaning the benefit will be calculated as a percentage of a capped salary of R17 712.00.


Original: 3.5 Should an employee's income determined in terms of the income replacement sliding scale fall below the minimum wage of the sector concerned, the employee will be paid a replacement income equal to the minimum wage of the sector concerned.


Amended: The following clause is substituted for clause 3.5 of the Directive -


3.5 Should an employee's income determined in terms of the income replacement sliding scale fall below R3500.00, the employee will be paid a replacement income equal to that amount.


What does this mean? The amended clause has clarified the exact amount that will be received.


Original: 3.6 Qualifying employees will receive a benefit calculated in terms of sections 12 and 13 of the UI Act, provided that an employee shall receive a benefit of no less than the sector-specific minimum wage.


Amended: The following clause is substituted for clause 3.6 of the Directive -


3.6 Qualifying employees will receive a benefit calculated in terms of Sections 12 and 13 (1) and (2) of the UI Act, provided that an employee shall receive a benefit of no less than R3500.00.


What does this mean? The amended clause has clarified the exact minimum amount that will be received.


PARAGRAPH FIVE (5) – APPLICATION PROCEDURE AMENDMENTS:


Original: 5.2.2 Signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) from the employer or Bargaining Council with the UIF;


Amended: The following clause is substituted for clause 5.2.2 of the Directive –


5.2.2 Signed memorandum of agreement from the employer or bargaining council with the UIF, or written or electronic confirmation of acceptance by an employer or bargaining council of the terms and conditions of the scheme provided to the employer or bargaining council or published in writing by the UIF.


What does this mean? Previously, the Company was required to provide a signed MOA, now the Company can accept the terms electronically in writing.


Original: 5.3 An employee who is being paid by the employer during this period is not entitled to this benefit.


Amended: The following clause is substituted for clause 5.3. of the Directive -


5.3 Subject to the amount of the benefit contemplated in clause 3.6, an employee may only receive COVID19 benefits in terms of the Directive if the total of the benefit together with any additional payment by the employer in any period is not more than the remuneration that the employee would ordinarily have received for working during that period.


Original: No clause 5.4


Added: The following clause is inserted as a new clause 5.4. of the Directive -


5.4 All amounts paid by or for the UIF to employers or Bargaining Council(s) under the terms of the Scheme shall be utilized solely for the purposes of the Scheme and for no other purpose. No amount paid by or for the UIF to an employer or Bargaining Council under the terms of the Scheme that is required to be paid, in turn, to an employee will fall into the general assets of the employer or Bargaining Council, and no bank may refuse to release or administer the transfer of that amount into the bank account of the employee as required by the Scheme, irrespective whether the employer or Bargaining Council is in breach of its overdraft or similar contractual arrangements with the bank concerned.


What does this mean? The employer may not use the money provided as a benefit for any use other than for payment to the Company’s employees.


Further communication AND/OR CHANGES regarding THIS will be given as soon as it has been declared by the relevant Ministers or President.

Download the amended TERS Benefits document pack here.

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