There has been much confusion as to how the National Disaster benefit, as gazetted on 26 March will operate. Currently, the Preferred option, which appears to have the broadest application, is the COVID-19 temporary employee/employer relief scheme (TERS). However, this is not the only fund available, and employers, who have laid off their staff without pay may have claimed through the UIF “reduced working time” option, which was introduced in light of the COVID crisis.


  • COVID-19 temporary employee/employer relief scheme (TERS)

This fund has been established, specifically for the COVID 19 outbreak and is only applicable for employers who cannot afford to pay employees during the lockdown period. The fund is available for employers from date of lockdown for a period of three months after the lockdown has been lifted.


Description of the Scheme:

  • This temporary relief scheme is for employers to claim financial assistance in order to pay employees’ salaries who cannot work during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Employers can claim a maximum of R 17 712.00 per employee per month. The amount paid to each employee will be determined on a sliding scale (between 38% -60%) in terms of section 12(2) of 13 of the Unemployment Insurance Act No 63 of 2001.
  • This claim will be based on the individual employees’ salary. Therefore, employees will only receive between 38%-60% of their salary.


Requirements to qualify for the Scheme:

  • The entire organisation/company must be closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • The organisation/company must be registered with UIF.
  • The organisation/company must comply with the application procedure.


Application Procedure / Step by Step:

  • The Employer must report the business closure to D.O.L in writing on a company letterhead and email it to
  • The Employer must open a new bank account (only applicable for Councils) and/or have proof of an existing company bank account.
  • Employers must draft a letter of authority, in writing on company letterhead stating that the CEO/Director/Member authorises the administration of the T.E.R.S claim.
  • Receive and Study documentation received from the D.O.L to confirm the correctness of details.
  • Draft and forward the following documentation to the D.O.L
  • A Letter of authority
  • A Memorandum of Agreement between company and UIF.
  • The MOA must only be signed if a company employs more than 10 employees.
  • A Spreadsheet of all employees employed at the company at the time of lockdown, which must include the names, surnames and salary of each employee.
  • A Bank Account Statement/confirmation of company account details.
  • A Spreadsheet of 3 months previous salary payments per employee.


Create a payroll document schedule:

  • Draft a payroll schedule for each employee in the organisation to be paid.
  • All above-listed documentation must be sent to
  • The UIF Department may also be contacted directly on: 012 337 1997 (08:00 -17:00)


  • UIF Reduced working time

This option was originally intended for employees who have to work short-time. According to the Easy-guide document issued by the Department of Employment and Labour on 26 March. This fund is applicable to employers who “shuts down for a certain period or implements Reduced or Short Time”.


Description of the Scheme

  • This benefit is linked to the standard UIF Structure;
  • It is calculated on the difference between what the employer is paying, and that which the employee normally earns, if the decreased salary then falls below the UIF replacement Benefit;
  • UIF benefits accrue at a rate of one day for every 4 days worked;
  • Although this claim is normally by the employee, the employer may assist;


Requirements to qualify for the Scheme:

  • The organisation/company must implement short-time or reduced working hours.
  • The organisation/company must shut down for a limited period.
  • The organisation/company must be registered with UIF.
  • The organisation/company must comply with the application procedure.


Application Procedure / Step by Step:

  • The following documents need to be submitted:

UI19 and UI 2.7 (completed by employer)

UI 2.1 Application form

UI 2.8 (bank form completed by the bank)

Letter from employer confirming reduced work time or lay off is due to the Coronavirus

Copy of ID Document

  • The completed documents can be filed online at (if assisted by the employer) or emailed to the nearest UIF processing centre.


  • UIF Illness and Deceased Beneficiary Benefits

The UIF Illness Benefit and UIF Deceased Beneficiary Benefit are available. A summary of the benefits and detains on the application procedure can be obtained from the summary table attached.


Click the link below for a summary of each Programme: