Labour department urged to be vigilant to prevent fraudulent UIF claims
Cape Town - Parliament's employment and labour portfolio committee has urged the Department of Employment and Labour to deal with employers seeking to exploit the Unemployed Insurance Fund (UIF) system by submitting fraudulent claims.
The committee had held a follow-up virtual meeting this week on progress made in the performance of entities administered by the department, committee chairwoman Lindelwa Dunjwa said in a statement on Saturday.
The entities involved were the UIF, the Compensation Fund (CF), and the Inspection and Enforcement Services assisting workers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown period, she said.
The department told the committee that R4 billion had been paid out so far during the lockdown period, covering over a million workers. Applications were received from 137 386 employers. The committee heard that applications from 750 employers for 8958 employees had failed bank verification.
Dunjwa called on the department "to deal with employers who seek to exploit the UIF system by submitting fraudulent claims".
"This kind of fraud is unacceptable; the department and the UIF need to be vigilant and alert the law enforcement agencies without hesitation on suspicious claims," she said.
The committee heard that 42 Covid-19-related claims had been submitted to the Compensation Fund, 39 of which the fund had accepted liability for.
The economic financial assistance programmes introduced because of the Covid-19 national lockdown regulations should be "used for the purposes for which they were established".
“Employers have no reason to submit fraudulent and false claims. The country is dealing with a matter of life and death. The department needs to look at the matters involving vulnerable workers like the domestic workers and petrol attendants."
She said some employers may overlook issues of compliance and these needed to be addressed. The committee "appreciated the employers who played an active role and made use of the interventions availed by the government for their employees".
African News Agency (ANA)