Myths – what is true or false?
- Only BEEE compliant employers can apply for the COVID-19 relief benefits (TERS)
- FALSE: any business contributing to the unemployment insurance fund (UIF) that cannot pay salaries due to the lockdown period, and any contributing employee (who works more than 24 hours per month), and where there exists an employer-employee relationship, can apply for the COVID-19 relief benefit.
- The only way to apply for the COVID-19 TERS relief fund is telephonically
- FALSE: businesses are encouraged to apply on behalf of their employees by visiting https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/, registering and following the application process.
- I failed to register my employees for UIF, they may not be eligible for relief
- TRUE: businesses who have registered with UIF just after 15 March 2020 may possibly not be eligible for the benefit.
- Employees not registered for UIF will receive benefits
- FALSE: all employees will be checked against the UIF systems and if the employee is not registered with UIF, the application will be sent back requesting additional information from the employer.
- Employees will be paid out a full salary from TERS
- The minimum amount to be paid by UIF to employees is R3 500.00
- The maximum amount to be paid by UIF to employees is R6 638.40
- The employer does not have to follow special precautions prior to reopening the workplace for employees to resume duties
- FALSE: the employer still has the responsibility to create and maintain a safe working environment for employees. Detailed guidelines for occupational health and safety was issued indicating the regulations of what must be in place before employees are allowed to return to work.
- The employer can retrench employees during the lockdown period without following required procedures
- FALSE: Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act sets out strict requirements that must be followed when retrenchment is considered.
Every field has its myths – what is true or false? It is important to get expert advice regarding labour law as mistakes are costly.
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