Understanding the UIF’s Temporary Employment Relief Scheme (TERS)

a person walking holding a brown leather bagAs you by now know – clients can claim from TERS (UIF). However, more lenient coverage has come about with effect from 30.4.2020 and was broadcast by SAIPA today. Click here and here to download and read the documents for more specific information.

However, what has specifically come out of the recent SAIPA Webinar that I attended is as follows:

  1. If the company has experienced (any) trading difficulties due to COVID-19, they qualify;
  2. They need to be registered for UIF and having had made contributions and staff need to be on register at 28.2.2020;
  3. The formulae on how it is calculated attached. See also https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/636/203372.html;
  4. Even if you have already paid staff for March and or April you can still claim for March and April;
  5. You can also claim for May and June if staff are affected, if
  6. You short paid staff or didn’t pay at all (Mar, April, May / June – max 90 days);
  7. If you did pay staff but it was in lieu of leave that they will forfeit in the future. As in, staff may not take leave (“again”) later in the year as they were forced to take leave now due to Covid and got paid over this period. So you can’t tell the staff that they are on leave and not pay them;
  8. If already paid (and in the future), Salary slips must state that they received TERS income and not Salary or it must state that it was LOAN. If payslips have already been sent then they must be retracted and staff duly informed;
  9. They will receive no less than R3500 per month. So if an employee earns say R6000 but received nothing then, R6000 x 40% (example) = R2400, they will get R3500pm. R3500 is the minimum benefit;

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  1. All benefits are tax-free;
  2. Maximum benefit is R17 712. If you normally receive say R16 000. And R16 000 x 38% = R6 080, yet you paid the staff R12 000. R12 000 + R6 080 = R18 080. It will be limited to R17 712;
  3. They may get TERS as a top-up. Previously it was believed that if the actual amount received from the employer was greater than what is receivable from TERS, then they would not benefit. This is not the case. Top-up payments from TERS is allowed;
  4. TERS benefits will be treated separately to retrenchments, normal layoffs, short time, maternity leave. So TERS has its own number of days calculations. So if you got UIF you can still get TERS and vice versa;
  5. You must claim BEFORE 30.6.2020!!!!!!!!!!!!;
  6. Companies providing essential services and are affected by Covid may STILL claim TERS;
  7. Domestic workers qualify too;
  8. Informal businesses (Sole Proprietors and Partnerships (even Trusts)) qualify too as long as they have been contributing;
  9. Once all the paperwork is in place and accepted by UIF, payments will come through in +- 10 days (in some cases sooner);
  10. If you pay staff part salaries or full then you still need to pay PAYE, UIF and SDL to SARS on the amount paid by the company to staff. It is not halted;
  11. When being asked banking details, they do not need to be certified banking details – as in stamped by the bank;
  12. Can use existing bank account – no need to open a new bank account;
  13. If the employer does not claim then the employee can claim for themselves but the employer IS EXPECTED to help!;
  14. All applications are to now be online. The manual way of filling in the excel doc and converting to CSV and then emailing is coming to an end. You can still submit manually but, electronic is the way to go;
  15. KZN contact number is 060 985 9286 or the toll-free number on their website;
  16. You can force staff to stay at home and then not pay them but you MUST assist to claim;

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  1. If you have applied and been unsuccessful or heard nothing you must apply again online;
  2. Directors of Companies and Members of CC’s, Partners in Partnerships and Sole Proprietors CAN also claim, providing that they have been contributing;
  3. If only part of your workforce is affected – those that have been affected can still claim. So part claims can be made too;
  4. You MAY pre-calculate what is the best benefit amount per employee. So if for example, the benefit is greater to pay staff 30% instead of 75% – for example – then you may do that. You MAY use the calculator to best suit your company. What you can’t do is pay 75% but pretend you have paid 30% but then claim as though you have paid 30% – that is illegal;
  5. You MAY sign on behalf of your employees if they have no access to computers/printers as long as you inform the staff that you are going to be doing this for them; and
  6. Their respective payslips, payroll AND IPR5’s / EMP201’s / EMP501’s MUST tie back to what was paid as salaries and what was awarded from TERS.


It is cumbersome – but worth it!! If a company has a payroll of say R200 000, you can get as much as R60 – R80 000 (!!). Many people were of the belief that it was not worth their while. IT IS WORTH THEIR WHILE. Only companies that managed to pay full salaries do not benefit.

You may send this on to all clients and or anyone that is interested. It is a guide and information only, the verification and accuracy is not guaranteed.

We charge for our time. We will estimate the time spend and we will provide our hourly rate. All TERS claims that we get involved with is extra billing. Work on a rough average of 20 – 30 Minutes per employee. You can provide this as an estimated fee and then provide feedback as you go. Minimum billing is +- 3 – 4 hours.

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