Employees who have not received payouts from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters), which is the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Covid-19 fund, since the beginning of lockdown, have no way of finding out what could be outstanding or delaying their payouts.
The UIF Covid-19 Ters portal allows employees to check the status of their applications by entering their ID numbers. Responses differ depending on whether the employer followed the application process correctly.
Among these responses is “employee not found” or “application not processed”.
According to the UIF website, “employee not found” means the employer has not declared the employee, and “application not processed yet” could mean the employer did not use the correct universal bank code, or the payment will be made in a few days.
Although the meaning of these responses is explained on the UIF website, employees have no way to get detailed reasons specific to their companies about why they have not been paid.
A test done by staff at Arena Holdings came up with different responses for four staff members.
UIF commissioner Makhosonke Buthelezi told TimesLIVE on Friday that the UIF communicates with the employers if there are inconsistencies with the application.
These can range from the declaration of employees who are not on their data base to incorrect company banking details or incomplete employee details. He said some employers fail to declare their employees on a monthly basis, as required by the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act.
Buthelezi said there are about 100,000 employees who have not been declared by their employers.
“This tells you about the degree of non-compliance of employers out there. If they were all declaring their employees as required, the applications would be processed smoothly.”
Buthelezi said some companies have declared deceased employees, which also slows the payment process as the UIF has a duty to investigate these cases.
“As a way to prevent fraud, we put such applications aside for further investigation to ascertain whether it was a mistake or intentional, and that usually delays the payment.”