DURBAN - The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has urged businesses, who were hit by the looting and unrest, to apply for funding for staff from the Workers Affected by Unrest (WABU) Temporary Financial Relief Scheme.
It said the financial relief scheme, which started accepting applications last month, was established to assist workers whose workplaces had been closed due to the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, resulting in workers receiving partial remuneration or no pay at all.
Employers will be required to apply on behalf of affected workers. Qualifying conditions are that the employer will have to register or be registered with the UIF, the employer’s closure must be directly linked to the destruction, damage or looting of its workplace; the employer must provide details of the destruction, closure, or damage to, or looting of, its workplace and submit documentary proof of a report to the South African Police Services.
Makhosonke Buthelezi, spokesperson for the UIF, said the employers would have to provide proof that a case had been opened by providing a case number, and, if insured, proof of submission and acknowledgement of receipt of the insurance claim.
He said: “The employer must confirm in writing or electronically that they accept the terms of the Scheme and any procedure document issued by the UIF. They are also required to submit any other information that the Minister of Labour or UIF Commissioner may require to assess eligibility of claim.”
The body said payment from the WABU relief funding would be paid directly into the worker’s bank account, unless the UIF Commissioner specifies the conditions under which payments can be made into the employer’s account.
"Therefore, as the UIF, we urge employers to ensure that banking details of employees are correct and that they are also declared on our database to avoid delays with payments," said Advocate Mzie Yawa, acting UIF Commissioner.
The UIF said the relief would be paid at a flat rate of R3 500 to ensure that the UIF envelope was able to cover all affected workers.
“The benefit is de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefits, therefore the normal rule that for every four days worked, the employee accumulates a one-day credit, and the maximum credit days’ payable is 365 for every four years, does not apply.
“This will enable workers who have no credits to receive financial support whilst their workplaces are in the process of rebuilding or reopening,” said Buthelezi..
Employers would be required to submit claims via the TERS Online portal (uifecc.labour.gov.za ).