UIF Covid-19 Ters benefit: Make an announcement today about May payments
25 May 2020
The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, needs to make an announcement today about what is happening with the Covid-19 Ters benefit for the month of May.
On Saturday I wrote to the Unemployment Insurance Fund Commissioner (UIF), Teboho Maruping, asking him when the UIF would begin accepting Covid-19 Ters applications for May.
Given the length of time it took the UIF to make April payments (many of which only occurred in May), and the constant, desperate struggle of employers and employees to get their pound of flesh from the Fund, the latest delays do not augur well.
Even with the UIF’s promised payment processing time of 24-48 hours, it seems most workers will have to wait until June to get their Covid-19 Ters benefit for May.
At a time of desperate financial struggle, this delay is unacceptable.
During a Portfolio Committee meeting on Employment and Labour last week, the UIF Commissioner indicated that the UIF’s online application system would be “going live on Friday [22 May]” and that, at the latest, the system would be open on the weekend.
Today is payday for millions of workers. I still have not received a response from the UIF Commissioner, and as of 8 am today, the UIF website states: “We have not started accepting Ters applications for May 2020 yet. Kindly keep visiting the website for the latest updates…Thanks for your patience”.
For most employers and employees, their patience has worn thin with waiting. It now hangs by a thread.
For much of April, several employers were not able to access the Covid-19 Ters website because the site repeatedly crashed. Many employers were locked out of their UIF uFiling profiles. Phone calls and emails to the Fund went unanswered. By the end of April, unpaid employees were desperate and mutinous.
Now we run the risk of repeating the disaster. To complicate matters, in terms of a directive issued by the Minister of Employment and Labour earlier this month, individual employees can now apply directly for the Ters benefit (and not only employers and bargaining councils as was the case previously). This is going to place an additional intolerable strain on the system.
The Minister of Employment and Labour urgently needs to level with the nation and explain what the delay is with the UIF’s applications process for May, and announce when the system will go live.
Issued by Michael Cardo, DA Shadow Minister for Employment and Labour, 25 May 2020