In our previous articles, we have discussed the process to claim for benefits under the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (commonly referred to as the “TERS”) benefit. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 virus and the extension of the period of National Lockdown, the Department of Employment and Labour (DOL) in conjunction with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) are continuously updating and adapting the manner in which employers apply under the scheme.
These updates to the manner in which an application is submitted are expected, considering that this is the first time that our country, the DOL and relevant stakeholders are confronted with a national crisis of this magnitude. Consolidated Employers Organisation is therefore committed to informing you of these changes as they occur. It is accepted that you, the employer, may find these applications genuinely daunting. If there are any questions that you may have, please feel free to contact us, and we will be glad to advise you accordingly. We are only a telephone call away as we remain operational during this lockdown period. We are also available via email and through our social media accounts.
To avoid any confusion that may occur, this article will resume where our last article concluded and specifically focus on the changes that have been affected to the application process.
- The first change in the application process concerns the requirement that the employer signs a Memorandum of Agreement which is already signed by the relevant stakeholders instrumental in the scheme. As the employer, you will have to initial every page and sign the last page in full. This Memorandum of Agreement will form part of your application to the TERS.
- Secondly, the Undertaking Letter (also known as Form A4) will have to be signed and submitted after receiving approval of your application to the relevant stakeholders.
- The National Disaster spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel document) has been amended to include the last date that the employee (s) were paid, prior to the National Lockdown. On this spreadsheet, all the employer must do is to fill in exactly what the last payment amount was.
- Sharing your payroll information with the DOL will only be done once your application has been approved.
- Therefore, finally just to reiterate, only the following documents will need to accompany your application to the TERS:
- National disaster payment template on the provided Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
- Memorandum of Agreement (please remember that this only applies to companies which have more than ten employees.)
- The Letter of undertaking (Form A4) discussed above.
- Confirmation of banking details which does not need to be certified.
- Template reflecting confirmation of employers account.
The above-amended criteria are a reflection that the relevant stakeholders are refining the process to make it as simple as possible for the employer to apply. In the next few weeks, there will be a clear procedure that employers will have to comply with.
Our members have reported that feedback from the DOL is slow. Please expect this as the Department is inundated with thousands of applications, some of which are fraudulent and others where the employers are not properly registered or compliant