NEWS & ANALYSIS

UIF Covid-19: Companies reported for alleged non-compliance – SACTWU

Union expresses serious concerns about companies which have not applied for UIF TERS benefit for their employees

UIF Covid-19 applications: SACTWU reports companies for alleged non-compliance

15 September 2020

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has reported 156 clothing and textile companies to the Department of Employment & Labour, for alleged non-compliance with Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) COVID-19 TERS applications.

In a formal letter submitted to the Department’s Director General, Mr Thobile Maliti, the union requests that immediate compliance enforcement inspections be conducted at these companies. The letter, with an accompanying list of companies which are alleged not to have lodged the required applications, was submitted to the Director General on Friday evening.

For some time now, SACTWU has expressed serious concerns about companies which have not applied for the COVID-19 TERS UIF benefit for their employees. Despite repeated reminders, these 156 employers have not replied to the union’s request for them to confirm that they had indeed made such applications. The union would have preferred co-operation from these employers, in order to address the matter more constructively, but clearly they were not prepared to co-operate.

In terms of the Disaster Management Act Direction issued by the Minister of Employment & Labour, Thulas Nxesi, regarding this matter, all employers are legally obliged to lodge such applications for their employees.

With the UIF now having announced formal closure dates for applications, SACTWU is deeply concerned that employees at these companies might lose out on UIF COVID-19 TERS benefit funds, to which they are entitled.

The union has requested that where such inspections reveal that no applications had been made, that the Department of Employment & Labour Inspectorate should issue immediate Compliance Orders to such employers.

We cannot allow a situation where any worker is robbed of their UIF COVID-19 TERS benefits, through irresponsible acts which are not their fault.

All workers and their families deserve better. It is the duty of all of us to leave no stone unturned until all qualifying workers are paid the UIF COVID-19 TERS UIF  benefits to which they are legitimately entitled.

We hope that the Department of Labour & Employment will deal with this matter with speed, so that it is swiftly concluded.

Issued by Andre Kriel, General Secretary, SACTWU, 15 September 2020