Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour praised for prompt payment of Coronavirus Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Benefits

Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour praised for prompt payment of Coronavirus Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Benefits

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A number of companies and individuals have expressed appreciation at the work of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and its quick response in disbursing COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits which have, in most cases, been handed over to the workers.

The UIF, an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour has since April 16, 2020 paid benefits of over R11-billion (R 11 314 188 205.70) for the benefit of 2 047 227 workers through 161 567 companies that launched claims on their behalf.

This method of paying out was borne out of an agreement reached at National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) which represents workers through unions, employers and the community.

In one of the letters of testimonial, the Metair Group of companies expressed appreciation for the department’s efforts in paying over the relief benefits. The quick payment meant that Metair subsidiaries were able to pay almost 7 000 employees TERS benefits for April. The company also confirmed that all monies received were paid over to the employees. 

Paul Vermaak, Human Resources director said: “I can assure you that Metair is appreciative of your department’s efforts, starting with day one and had it not been for constant support of your department of the individuals in the respective subsidiaries, our employees could have been affected detrimentally.

“Under the most difficult circumstances we support your ongoing efforts and ongoing commitment”.

The Metair group consists of a number of companies including: Smiths Manufacturing, Smiths Plastics, trading as Automould, Supreme Springs, ATE, HESTO Harnesses, Lumotech, First National Batteries, DENSO Sales South Africa and UNITRADE

In response, the Commissioner of the UIF, Teboho Maruping, paid tribute to the Fund’s employees and their commitment to be change agents and a force for good during the pandemic.

“We have been at the receiving end of some of the vitriolic comments and I am happy that our colleagues have kept their eyes on the ball and delivered for most of the time. We have been ably led by Minister Thulas Nxesi and the Director General of the Department of Employment and Labour, Thobile Lamati. Their dogged insistence that where possible “no South African should be left behind” has borne positive fruit”, he said.

Maruping further urged companies that have not provided the UIF with all the pertinent details to do so, so that further 503 629 workers can benefit from over R2-billion that the department is ready to pay as soon as the details are furnished.

“Taking into account that each breadwinner takes care of at least nine others, this means that millions of beneficiaries have been placed in an undesirable position and have been denied what, by law, should be relief benefits this time”, he said.

In addition there are 22 781 workers who have also not received their monies because the accounts have failed bank verification and the UIF is adamant that as soon as correct details are furnished, the benefits would be paid over. Just over R100-million (R106 620 941.63) has been held back pending correct details.

This is over and above the UIF continuing to meet its obligations for ordinary benefits.

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