The Department of Employment and Labour says the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has to date paid in excess of R15 billion to beneficiaries, marking a historic first in terms of a lump sum paid out by the Fund within five weeks.

On 16 April, the Fund paid the first batch of COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits to employers on behalf of workers.  The COVID-19 TERS benefits were necessitated by the global breakout of Coronavirus, resulting in the shutting down of economies due to the introduction of stringent nationwide lockdown measures in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, has commended the urgency and seriousness with which the department and the UIF have responded to the enormous challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department’s delegation will on Thursday, 28 May, attend a meeting at NEDLAC, where social partners will look at the UIF’s technical and financial capacity to continue to pay out TERS benefits in the long run.

Nxesi said the department needs to guarantee the sustainability of funds beyond June 2020.

COVID-19 TERS applications for May opened at midnight on Tuesday.


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