The Covid-19 temporary employee relief scheme: What does it mean for companies? Also, can your employer renegotiate your terms employment during this time?

Hugo Pienaar, Director in the Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Employment practice, to help us understand this properly…

Amid all the national lockdown panic, there seems to be a great deal of confusion around the new COVID-19 temporary employee/employer relief scheme (C19 TERS) and who can apply for the benefit.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Department of Employment and Labour launched the C19 TERS to provide emergency relief to enable employers to pay employees who are temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis.

While the UIF appears to have the necessary resources available for the scheme – having earmarked R30bn – there is a concern around its administrative capacity as high numbers of claims are expected. As such, contrary to the normal practice of workers submitting claims individually, Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi has said that UIF benefits will be paid through companies, sectoral associations and bargaining councils.