UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping told SABC News there were 1,4 million registered companies and roughly 9 million employees entitled to claim funds from the UIF.
He urged companies to apply on behalf of employees (rather than employees applying themselves) for funding, and promised an expected turnaround time of 10 days.
Maruping advised companies to email email@example.com. An automated email response will then be received with the documents to be filled in. The email will also guide you through the application process.
Maruping referred to the TERS programme (Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme) which has been be expanded and expedited. It is funded by the UIF to assist distressed companies in the form of subsidies to fund directly workers’ wages. One of the conditions is that the company embarks upon a turnaround or sustainability programme. TERS will be overseen by the CCMA (Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration). To obtain application forms and all relevant details, please send an email to: infoTERS@labour.gov.za.
If the CCMA finds that you do not fully follow the sustainability programme, penalties and repayment will be levied at punitive interest rates.
The UIF office is able to process over 10,000 applications in 30 minutes, though the transfer of money may take up to 10 days. So far about 100 companies have applied from three-person operations to those with 10,000 employees. The volumes will be huge, said Maruping, but Nedlac partners have offered tech support to speed it up.
What about freelancers and sole traders? Maruping says SMEs should apply to Department of Small Business Development at www.smme.gov.za.
What if you make a mistake in your application? Phone the Covid hotline at 012-3371680/1997. The call centre has been beefed up to handle the expected traffic.