COVID-19 TERS is no longer a foreign term and brought relief to many employees in the midst of unstable and difficult times, going back as far as 27 March 2020. Originally the COVID-19 TERS Fund was established only for the period 27 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 in anticipation of employees losing their income as a result of the National Lockdown that was declared on 23 March 2020.
The reality for the need of a phase-out of lockdown soon became clear and as a result the period during which employers could claim the COVID-19 TERS benefits, on behalf of their employees, has been extended numerous times. The latest extension, signed on 15 July 2021 by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in terms of section 27 (2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act no 57 of 2002) (hereinafter referred to as Directive), extend the period covered by this Fund to 25 July 2021.
Amendments and Qualifying Requirements
The basic requirements, in terms of the Directive of 4 September 2020, to qualify for COVID-19 TERS, remains in place, which means the employee must be registered with the UIF and the employer needs to declare and pay the UIF contributions over to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The more stringent qualifying requirements for COVID-19 TERS benefits, during the period 4 September 2020 to 15 March 2021, is also still applicable and as per the latest Directive extended to 25 July 2021, with payment of the benefit still ring-fenced to employees and sectors that qualify for the COVID-19 TERS benefit.
The extended COVID-19 TERS benefits ring-fence payments as follows:
COVID-19 TERS Benefits in the Motor Industry
That is employees “with known or disclosed health issues or comorbidities or any other condition that may place the employee at the higher risk of complications or death than other employees if infected with COVID-19; or an employee above the age of 60 years who is at a higher risk of complications or death if infected”.
It is all about protection and risks, personally as well as towards colleagues. MISA did an article on this very sensitive issue of being 60 years’ old and older. The ideal was that vulnerable employees work from home or that, if possible, special arrangements at the workplace are made. Should this not be possible, you are covered by TERS and your employer must claim TERS on your behalf.
Reduced Work Time Benefits
In terms of paragraph 4 of the latest Directive, employees can benefit from the COVID-19 TERS when their services were not utilised as a result of an employer’s “need to limit the number of employees at the workplace through rostering, staggering of working hours, short time, and the introduction of shift systems.”
It is important to note that in this instance payment of COVID-19 TERS for reduced hours, is subject to an employee’s UIF credits available.
COVID-19 TERS are accessible to employees who are:
MISA signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Unemployment Insurance Fund in April 2020, to assist and ensure that our members, and as a result all employees employed at RMI establishments will receive COVID-19 TERS when applicable. As a result, MISA can assist all employers in the Motor Industry who are members of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), to submit their claims to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
MISA – Just a phone call or an e-mail away!
Kindly utilise the following e-mail addresses and links for assistance during this time:
Legal/Labour-related enquiries Legal@ms.org.za
Legal Reception 011 476 3920
MISA Benefit claim-related enquiries Claims@misa.org.za
Any other enquiries Info@ms.org.za
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