The Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS)
Latest amendments to the Covid-19 TERS regulations says bosses must pay workers who lose wages because of the coronavirus lockdown. Bosses are legally forced to get money from the UIF’s TERS fund to pay workers who are temporarily laid off. Workers who were forced to take annual leave or unpaid leave can get their annual leave back and be paid for the unpaid leave days because bosses can use the scheme to pay them.
Workers who qualify for a TERS benefit
The scheme state that workers who have lost wages because of the coronavirus must get a benefit. It is only workers who have contributed to the UIF who will qualify. Workers who their employer doesn’t contribute to UIF will not get money from TERS, even though it is their company’s fault that they are not registered to the UIF.
Workers from company/s partially on lockdown also qualifies for TERS benefits
A company that lays off only some of its workers but continues to operate must still claim for the workers who were laid off.
Workers who were forced to take annual leave or unpaid leave
Workers who were forced to take paid leave or unpaid leave at the start of the lockdown can get back their annual leave or unpaid leave days. Their boss must apply to the scheme to get back the money paid to workers as annual leave and or pay the workers for the unpaid leave days.
“No work no pay rule”
Bosses who applied no work no pay rule must now apply to the UIF’s TERS fund to pay their workers during the lockdown.
Workers will be paid from the TERS scheme and for the duration of the lockdown
Workers can get between R3 500 and R6 730 per month from the TERS, depending on how much they normally earn. Workers can get TERS money for up to 3 months, depending on how long the lockdown continues. TERS also allows bosses to top up workers’ wages so that they earn their normal monthly or weekly wages.
Bosses must claim from TERS, on behalf of workers
TERS easy guideline says bosses must claim the money from TERS scheme and then pay workers, although the TERS ‘urges’ bosses to pay workers first and then claim the money back. Workers do not have to fill in any forms to get TERS money.
Workers falling within bargaining councils
Bargaining councils have made agreements to pay workers the UIF or TERS grants. Bosses whose workers fall within these bargaining councils’ scope must claim through the bargaining council. Workers must expect to receive payments from the bargaining council.
A worker in 14-day quarantine because of suspected coronavirus qualifies for a TERS illness benefit. No medical certificate is needed. If the quarantine is longer than 14 days a medical certificate will be needed.
Will claiming a TERS benefit affect workers UIF benefits?
The Covid-19 TERS money paid to workers will not come from their normal UIF benefits.