Dear CEO Members resorting under any Bargaining Council,
On 8 April 2020, the Department of Labour gazetted (Government Gazette 43216) amendments to the directive relating to Temporary Employer / Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) and the impact thereof on bargaining councils.
It is important to note the following material amendments:
- Should an employer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic close its operations, or a part of its operations, for a 3 (three) months or lesser period affected employees shall qualify for a COVID-19 benefit.
- The salary to be taken into account in calculating the benefits will be capped at a maximum amount of R17,712.00 per month, per employee and an employee will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38%-60%) as provided in the UI Act.
- Should an employee’s income determine in terms of the income replacement sliding scale fall below R3,500.00, the employee will be paid a replacement income equal to that amount.
- Qualifying employees will receive a benefit calculated in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act, provided that an employee shall receive a benefit of no less than R3,500.00.
- An employer whose employees are entitled to receive COVID-19 benefits provided by the Unemployment Insurance Fund during the period of lockdown from a Bargaining Council MAY NOT make a direct application in terms of the Scheme, and the employees of that employer may not receive any payment in terms of the Scheme, HOWEVER, should claim through the particular Bargaining Council.
This is subject to:
5.1 the parties to the Bargaining Council have concluded a collective agreement that:
5.1.1 has been extended by the Minister of Employment and Labour in terms of section 32 of the Labour Relations Act; and
5.1.2 provides for the disbursement of funds received from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to provide COVID-19 benefits to employees bound by the collective agreement during the period of lockdown; and
5.2 the Bargaining Council has concluded a memorandum of agreement with the Fund for the council to disburse COVID-19 benefits on behalf of the Fund to:
5.2.1 the employees who fall within the scope of the collective agreement; and
5.2.2 if authorised by the memorandum of agreement, any other employees in a sector identified in the agreement, whether or not they fall within the registered scope of the bargaining council.
No Employer / Employee may “double dip”
Subject to the amount of the benefit, an employee may only receive COVID-19 benefits in terms of the directive, if the total of the benefit together with any additional payment by the employer in any period, is not more than the remuneration that the employee would ordinarily have received for working during that period.
COVID-19 benefit is an unemployment benefit and not remuneration/wage
No amount paid by or for the UIF to an employer or Bargaining Council under the terms of the Scheme that is required to be paid, in turn, to an employee will fall into the general asset of the employer or Bargaining Council, and no bank may refuse to release or administer the transfer of that amount into the bank account of the employee as required by the Scheme, irrespective whether the employer or Bargaining Council is in breach of its overdraft or similar contractual arrangements with the bank concerned.
We at CEO will keep our members abreast on any new developments herein. For any enquiries, please contact our office at (012) 880 0294 and/or e-mail us at email@example.com