Government relief measures for employees impacted by the recent unrest – now official

The “Destroyed, affected or looted workplaces: Temporary Relief Scheme 2021” was gazetted. Workers who have been affected by the recent unrest in various parts of SA (i.e. KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng) are able to claim from this scheme.

Claims can be submitted and qualifying employees can expect to receive between 38% and 60% of their remuneration – with a minimum amount of R 3 500 and the maximum benefit paid will be in accordance with the UIF remuneration limit of R 17 712, depending on the usual qualifying criteria for this type of benefit as specified by the UIF. As this is deemed to be a payment from an insurance scheme, there will be no tax implications for the recipient.

The normal qualifying rule regarding the length of service is not a requirement, however, the employer must be registered with the UIF and are required to submit the application on behalf of their employees.

Other items to bear in mind:

1 – The relief is only available to affected businesses – i.e. those businesses that were/are still unable to operate as a result of closure, or partial closure of the business or workplace, as a result of the damage caused by the civil unrest;

2 – The relief is only available to vulnerable workers – i.e. those workers of affected businesses who received partial or no remuneration as a result of the business being forced to close or partially closed;

3 – Worker means – those employees who have been registered with the UIF, their contributions (i.e. employer and employee) are up to date and their data has been declared to the UIF;

4 – Where a non-compliant employer wants to apply for these benefits they are required to firstly register with the UIF and secondly ensure that all the required contributions to the UIF are up to date;

5 – Claiming of benefits will be done in the same manner as the previous TERS benefits – i.e. through the online portal;

6 – Although claims must be made by the employer the actual payment of the benefit will be made into the employee’s bank account;

7 – The claim must be substantiated by detailed information about the damage to the workplace, proof of a report to the police, case number and where applicable details of the insurance claim.

The scheme will be reviewed by the Minister every two weeks and when appropriate, an end date will be gazetted.

For more detailed information and to access Government Gazette No 44978 directly, click here.