17 August 2020 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Employment Alert

TERS Update: Vulnerable employees and employees affected by COVID-19 regulations and directives

With effect from 17 August 2020, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will resume processing TERS applications. The TERS directive published on 11 August 2020 makes provision for two further applicants to apply for TERS benefits: (i) employees who are effected by the directives and regulations issued in order to reduce presence in the workplace and (ii) vulnerable employees who cannot be accommodated in the workplace.

Important TERS Updates inclusion of employees who are on staggered working hours, shift rosters or any other system to reduce employee presence in the workplace as required by law.

On 11 August 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour (Minister) issued a directive on the COVID-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (Directive).  The purpose of the Directive is to, inter alia, extend TERS benefits; provide relief to employees who may be affected by the regulations and directives issued by the Minister to reduce the number of employees at the workplace and to provide relief to employees who may be adversely affected due to the operational requirements of their employer.

  1. Deemed to Commence:

27 June 2020 to 15 August 2020 unless withdrawn.

  1. Extension of TERS:

Extension period: 01 July 2020 to 15 August 2020.

  1. Date for processing TERS Applications:

TERS Applications to be processed from:

17 August 2020

  1. An important category of employees who may now claim

In terms of the Directive, the Minister has created a new category of employees who may now claim a TERS benefit, these being:

Employees whose employers are unable to make use of their services fully or partially due to regulations published by the Minister related to the limitation of employees at  the workplace. This includes employees on a shift system, short time or staggered working hours.

  1. Other categories of employees who may claim from TERS

Employees whose employers are not permitted to commence operations (partially or fully); Vulnerable employees whose employers are unable to make alternative arrangements for them to attend work; or Employees whose employers are unable to make use of their services fully or partially due to operational requirement.

  1. Calculation of benefits

Qualifying Employees to receive a benefit calculated in terms of section 13 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001 (UI Act).

Notwithstanding the calculation in terms of section 13(1) of the UI Act, an employee will receive a benefit, which together with their remuneration, is equivalent to R3,500 where the benefit calculated in terms of section 13(1) of the UI Act is less than that amount.

Restriction: an employee may only receive a TERS benefit where, together with their remuneration, they do not receive more than they ordinarily would had received for working during that period.

  1. Application process

The TERS benefit application process remains the same.

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