With regards to the COVID-19 TERS payouts (as administrated by the Unemployment Insurance Fund)...
COVID-19 Temporary Relief Scheme and UIF FAQs
1.) What are the different options?
a) If you can afford it, you pay your employees 100%.
b) You can negotiate annual leave, but you are not allowed to enforce it.
c) You can negotiate short time.
d) Temporary layoff.
2.) Who can claim from Ters?
Any Employer where the Employer contemplates business closure for a period of three (3) months or less as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company does not have to be in complete shutdown. The Company must be registered with UIF. The company must comply with the application process and the company’s closure must be directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3.) How does the Ters procedure work?
It is important to note that Ters can only be used for salaries. The employer or a person that the employer gives authorisation to act on his behalf, and completes an application. The money is paid to the employer and the employer must distribute the money to his employees.
4.) How much will Ters pay? Will the employee get his full salary?
Ters will not make up n full salary. The benefit is not linked to the normal UIF benefit structure. The benefit is based on a sliding scale of 38% for the high-end earners and 60% for the low-end earners. An employee will not earn less than the minimum wage or the sectoral specific wage.
5.) Can I access UIF business support when I have negotiated short time with my employees?
Yes. This will be claimed from normal UIF. The Benefit is calculated on the difference between what the employer is paying, and that which the Employee normally earns, if the decreased salary then falls below the UIF Replacement Benefit. The difference will then be used to calculate the UIF benefits applicable using normal calculations based on credits available to the Employee. Normal UIF Benefits are accrued at a rate of one day for every four days worked. There is a maximum cap on benefits.
6.) Can I access UIF business support when one of my employees must be quarantined due to exposure to or for exhibiting symptoms symptoms of COVID-19 and is unable to report for work?
Yes, the normal UIF benefit structure will be used. Both the employer and the employee must sign the declaration. When the employee is quarantined for more than 14 days a medical certificate must be submitted.
7.) Can I claim if I have paid an advanced payment to employees?
Yes. Employers who have paid or advanced payment to employees may claim to recoup the payments against the funds received from the UIF. This advance should be indicated separately as “TERS-benefit” on the payslip and should not be taxed.
8.) Can the Employer suspend or reduce Pension fund / Provident fund contributions during this time?
It seems that this can be done for a period of six months, please talk to your life insurance brokers or retirement fund supervision division about such options.