The UIF said it was inundated with worker complaints that employers were keeping their TERS funds to themselves (Getty)
The new round of Temporary Assistance to Employers and Employees (TERS) payments for industries that cannot fully function during the Level 4 lockdown will now be paid directly to workers to prevent fraud by “employers unscrupulous”.
While employers should still claim the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on behalf of their workers from Monday, this time the payment will go directly to employees’ bank accounts – “unless otherwise decided by the discretion of the UIF commissioner, “the fund said in a statement
“It is therefore crucial that employers provide valid and accurate details about their employees, including valid ID numbers and bank accounts,” UIF Acting Commissioner Mzie Yawa said.
The UIF said that in cases where workers do not have an account or there are problems paying them directly, employers must provide proof and “the funds can be paid into the account of the employer at the discretion of the UIF “.
“We have learned from the previous phases that some unscrupulous employers have not advanced funds to their employees and that is why we have opted for this method of payment,” said Yawa.
“Due to the non-payment of the workers, the UIF and the whole department were inundated with numerous complaints because the workers could see in the system that funds had been released but had not been paid by their employers. who have maintained the Covid TERS funds for themselves.
Accepted claims will start paying from July 26 – almost a month after Tier 4 was announced for the first time.
Restaurants weren’t allowed to offer sit-down meals for the first two weeks of July, and gyms and fitness centers had to close. These industries were then allowed to reopen. But nightclubs, casinos, taverns and shebeens (with the exception of food and take-out deliveries), conference, exhibition and entertainment venues, theaters, cinemas as well as museums, libraries, archives and galleries were forced to close from June 28.
From last year to the first months of 2021, the TERS aid program paid more than R60 billion to 5.5 million workers across the country.