This is a separate benefit scheme (separate from normal UIF benefits with its own set of forms and requirements) which cannot be claimed at the same time as the UIF ‘reduced working time’ benefit.

It applies where the company has closed its operations as a direct result of Covid-19.

Benefit claims are not dependent on an employee having any UIF credits and will be entitled to benefits irrespective of how long they have contributed.

The benefit value cannot be less than the sector minimum wage.

The company (rather than the employee) submits a claim for UIF and the company then pays over the money to employees.

Online process: Send blank email to covid19ters@labour.gov.za and you receive an automated response with the relevant forms and other requirements.

The UIF will be prepared to “top up” any payment made by the employer (by prior arrangement with the UIF).

The benefit will be calculated in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale of 38 % (for high earners) up to 60 % (for low earners) as provided in the Unemployment Insurance Act, subject to the maximum threshold which is currently R17 712. 

Our understanding is that the maximum benefit for a high earner would be 38 % of R17 712 a month, which amounts to about R6 730 a month.

The company has to enter into a written agreement with the UIF if it has 10 or more employees 

The company has to fulfil a number of administrative requirements, e.g. proof of payroll for the last three months.

The company must open a dedicated UIF bank account, or clear an existing account, so that COVID-19 benefits can be tracked.

Further information can be found at http://www.labour.gov.za/easy-guide-for-employers-on-covid19