With applications for the third extension of the COVID-19 TERS benefit officially open, Eat Out has created a brief guide on how restaurant owners can apply for the available funding on behalf of their workforce.
The announcement of the launch of the third extension of the COVID-19 TERS fund was made on 16 July 2021 and applications opened on 19 July 2021. The fund is open to South African restaurants, bars and taverns along with several other sectors within the hospitality sector.
In a press statement, Thulas Nxesim, the Minister of Employment and Labour for South Africa highlights that compared to previous TERS payment releases, funds will be distributed directly into employees’ bank accounts, but employers are still be expected to claim on behalf of their employees.
Acting UIF Commissioner and Advocate Mzie Yawa explains why the UIF has changed its payment release process to pay employees directly: “We have learnt the lesson from the previous phases that some unscrupulous employers did not advance the funds to their employees and it is for that reason that we have opted for this mode of payment. As a result of the non-payment of workers, the UIF and the entire department were inundated with complaints as workers could see in the system that funds had been released but had not been paid by their employers who kept the COVID TERS funds for themselves.”
We are accepting #Covid19TERS applications for the latest extension ending on 25 July 2021. Please visit https://t.co/rsOV444dQH to apply on behalf of your workers. #UIF #WorkingForYou pic.twitter.com/M1o7pBtLJv
— UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND (UIF) (@UIFBenefits) July 20, 2021
To apply for the available funding, employers must complete an online application and submit the necessary documents.
Applicants must register on the online portal or log an existing profile that has been created. It is important to note that if this is the first time that you are applying, an applicant must create an online profile, follow the electronic prompts, sign the MOA and letter of undertaking along with uploading a bank confirmation letter.
It is important to prepare and submit the following documents:
Employers must indicate the monthly salary for their employees when completing the application.
There are several columns that must be completed within the online application by the employer and are inclusive of monthly salary, remuneration earned for hours worked (excluding leave income and advance), applicable codes based on a detailed document and more.
The banking details of employees submitted by an employer will be subjected to verification and in the case that an employee does not have a valid bank account, the UIF is willing to distribute the funds to an employer at their discretion and on a case-by-case basis.
Further information on the process can be found in a detailed UIF document here which indicates the relevant codes applicable and other necessary details.