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Department of Employment & Labour: Coronavirus Disease UIF Plan

Monday, 23 March 2020  
Posted by: SAFCEC Communications
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The Minister of Employment and Labour has announced measures that the Department will put in place as required under the current special circumstance relating to the Corona virus (COVID-19) and its impact on UIF contributors.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund will compensate affected workers through a new “National Disaster Benefit” and other existing benefits including illness, reduced work time and unemployment benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Commissioner, after consultation with Unemployment Insurance Executive has developed processes to access UI benefits to contribute to the containment of the spread of Corona Virus and its impact.

The processes were developed in line with the purpose of the Unemployment Insurance Ac tas stipulated in section 2 of Unemployment Insurance Act , 2001 (Act 63 of 2001 ) as amended.

 The purposes, as outlined in Section 2, state as follows: ‘to establish an Unemployment Insurance Fund to which employers and employees contribute and from which employees who become unemployed or their beneficiaries, as the case may be, are entitled to benefits and so doing to alleviate the harmful economic and social effects of unemployment.'

NATIONAL DISASTER BENEFIT

  • The employer may decide, as a direct result from the current Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic to close their business for a particular period and send employees home. This constitutes a temporary lay-off. If the employer cannot pay his employees for this period, the employer can apply for the “National Disaster Benefit” from the UIF.
  • This benefit will be de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefit structure. The credit accumulation rule which is that for every 4 days worked the employee accumulated 1 credit a day and maximum credit days payable is 365 for every 4 years completed will not apply all the time.
  • The benefit will be calculated based on the credits and salary as per normal process. If the amount is lower than the minimum wage the beneficiary will be paid a minimum wage for the three months of shut down, otherwise the beneficiary will be paid what they would have received had they applied for the UIF Ordinary benefit.
  • If an employee is ill, temporarily laid off or unemployed for longer than three months, the normal UIF benefits as will apply.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT:

  • This benefit will be at a flat rate not less than the minimum wage (R3 500) per whichever period is the shortest.
  • An employer or employee cannot apply for the “National Disaster Benefit” and any other UIF benefit simultaneously.
  • For every 4 days worked the employee accumulates 1 credit a day, and maximum credits days payable is 365 for every four completed years.
  • Benefits are paid as per prescribed benefits structure from 239 to 365 days.

BENEFIT TYPES

  • In instances where companies decide to close for a short period as a precautionary measure, the short-term UIF benefits will kick in as stipulated in Section 12(1) b of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended.
  • Section 12 (1B) covers a contributor employed in any sector who loses his or her income due to reduces working time, despite still being employed, is entitled to benefits.
  •  Where a contributor has to be self quarantined for 14 days and or in special circumstances more than 14 days, the contributor will be covered under Part C of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended (Illness benefits)

SECTION12(1B): REDUCED WORK TIME

  • Where a Company shuts down for a certain period or implements Reduced or Short Time as a precautionary measure.
  • Benefits payable is the difference between what employer pays and normal UIF benefits payable should an employee lose employment.
  • In instances where companies have to close for a short period, the employer is requested to inform the department. The Departmental rapid response team will visit and or contact the companies to provide the necessary assistance with the application and payment of this benefit type. The Departmental rapid response team has been established to provide assistance in cases of retrenchment of more than 50 employees but will also consider less than 50 employees depending on the circumstances at that point in time.
  • REQUIRED FORMS AND DOCUMENTS FOR REDUCED WORK TIME (SHORT TERM SHUT DOWN)

    • UI19 and UI2.7 (completed by Employer);
    • UI 2.1 (application);
    • UI 2.8 (bank form completed by the bank);
    • A letter from the Employer confirming company shutdown or employee’s “temporary lay-off” is due to the Corona Virus (Reduced work time);
    • Copy of employee’s ID document
  • BENEFIT PAYMENT

    • In terms of section 13(3) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended, the accumulation of credits is at 4:1 (for every 4 days worked and contributed, 1 day's credit is accrued) in a 4-year cycle from the date of unemployment up to a maximum of 365 days.
    • In terms of section 12(1)b of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended, the maximum UI benefit will be paid as per the benefit structure if the employer pays R0.00 amount to the employee during the shut down period. However, if a certain Rand value is paid during the shut down period, then the UI benefit will be reduced (difference between the benefit level and amount received as income).

 

PART C OF THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT (as amended): ILLNESS BENEFITS

  • Where an employee has been quarantined for 14 days, the Illness Benefit
    process will apply
  • A Confirmation Letter from both the employer and employee must be submitted together with the application as proof that both the employer and employee have agreed to the 14 days ‘special leave’. In this instance, the letters will stand in place of (replace) the medical certificate on the Illness Application Form (UI2.2), as the beneficiary would have self-quarantined without prior consultation with a medical practitioner. Benefits will be paid based on these letters.
  • Should an employee be quarantined for more than 14 days, a medical certificate from a medical practitioner must be submitted together with the Continuation Form UI3.
  • A claim for illness can be lodged
    • Online at: www.ufiling.co.za (Illness benefits); or
    • The Illness Application can be emailed or faxed to the nearest UIF processing Centre. Application forms can be downloaded from the Department of Employment and Labour website: www.labour.gov.za
  • REQUIRED FORMS AND DOCUMENTS FOR ILLNESS CLAIMS (QUARANTINED FOR 14 DAYS OR MORE):

    • UI2.2 (medical portion to be ignored)
    •  UI19 and UI2.7 (to be completed by Employer)
    • UI 2.8 (banking details completed by the bank)
    •  Copy of ID document
    •  Employer / Employee confirmation (standard letters are attached for completion)
  • ILLNESS BENEFIT PAYMENT

    • In terms of section 13(3) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended, the accumulation of credits is at 4:1 (for every 4 days worked and contributed, 1 day's credit is accrued) in a 4-year cycle from the date of unemployment up to a maximum of 365 days
    • In terms of section 21(2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended:
      • The maximum UI benefit will be paid as per the benefit structure if the employer pay R 0.00 amount to the employee during the quarantine period.
      • However, if a certain Rand value is paid during the quarantine period, then the UI benefit could be reduced (the combined value should not be more than the remuneration the employee would have receive if not in quarantine)
    • UI3 to be completed at the expiry of the 14 days for payment to be executed into the employee’s bank account
    • If period is beyond 14 days, further UI3 is required with completed medical portion for payment into employee’s bank account.

 

DEATH BENEFIT

This portion corresponds to cases where thecontributor passes on due to corona virus in terms of Part F of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended. The current deceased application processand practice will remain as is for now,until indicated otherwise.

In the undesirable event where a contributor passes on, the following will apply:

  • Benefits are paid to the beneficiaries of the deceased.
  • Beneficiaries eligible to apply are a spouse, life partner, children and nominated persons, in that order.
  • A claim for deceased benefits can be lodged by
    • Online at: www.ufiling.co.za (Illness benefits); or
    • The Illness Application can be emailing or faxing the nearest UIF processing Centre. Application forms can be downloaded from the Department of Employment and Labour website: www.labour.gov.za
  • It should be noted that:
    • For every 4 days worked you accumulate 1 credit day and maximum credits days payable is 365 for every four completed years.
    • Benefits are paid as per prescribed benefits structure from 239 to 365 days.
  • REQUIRED FORMS AND DOCUMENTS:

    • UI19 and UI 53 (completed by the Employer)
    • UI 2.5 or UI2.6 (deceased application)
    • Death Certificate
    •  Copy of ID of deceased
    • Copy of ID of applicant
    • UI 2.8 (banking details completed by the bank)
  • DECEASED BENEFIT PAYMENT

    • In terms of section 13(3) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, as amended, the accumulation of credits is at 4:1 (for every 4 days worked and contributed, 1 day's credit is accrued) in a 4-year cycle from the date of unemployment up to a maximum of 365 days
    • Benefits are paid as per prescribed benefits structurein terms of 12 (3) b of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THESE BENEFITS

  • Employers must complete the UI 19 Form stating the last date of termination and the reason thereof.
  • Application forms can be downloaded from the Department of Employment and Labour website: www.labour.gov.za.
  • The forms can be submitted through the following methods: -
    • Online at: www.ufiling.co.za (Illness benefits)
    • Email the application to the nearest UIF Processing Centre. (Illness / Reduced Work Time / Death benefits)
    • Fax the application to the nearest UIF processing Centre. (Illness/Reduced Work Time/Death benefits)

RAPID RESPONSE TEAMS

Rapid Response Teams have been established to assist companies with processing of claims in cases where they have retrenchments of more than 50 employees. The teams will be deployed to employer premises in each province.

 PROVINCE  BUSINESS UNIT MANAGER
OFFICE NUMBER
 Eastern Cape  Philiswa Madikazi  043 701 3342
 Free State  Morgan Ramatsetse  051 505 6362 / 6200
 Gauteng  Dingaan Basimane  011 853 0303
 KwaZulu-Natal  Gugu Khomo  031 366 2012
 Limpopo  Ronet Landman  015 290 1703
 Mpumalanga  Evelyn Mokoena  013 655 8742
 Northern Cape  Adv Bulelani Gwabeni  053 838 1554
 North West  Selete Qhamakhoane  018 387 817
 Western Cape  Tony Lamati  021 441 8054

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