The Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) has been extended until mid-August, mainly for sectors which have not yet reopened.
The announcement was made on Tuesday during the tabling of the Department of Employment and Labour’s budget vote by its Deputy Minister Boitumelo Moloi.
She said this is in alignment with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to extend the national state of disaster to the middle of next month.
“Following due diligence and consultation with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) actuaries, and in line with the president’s decision to extend the life of the [national state of disaster in terms of the] Disaster Management Act until August 15, we have taken the decision to similarly extend the Covid-19 Ters benefit until August 15, 2020.”
The benefit was previously granted for only April, May and June. The department says the extension comes into effect with no change to the structure and existing criteria used in the last three months.
Details regarding applications for July and part of August will be announced in due course as the department is still consulting with its social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).
Meanwhile, more than 530 textile employees were fired by a King William’s Town factory for twice engaging in an unprotected strike, despite company warnings, after “system errors” at the Department of Labour led to delays in UIF payments.
The 538 employees, the bulk of Da Gama factory’s 720 workforce, went on strike twice in the space of three weeks over the non-payment of UIF money.
The insurance fund was promised in order to cover their salary losses caused by a two-month shutdown of operations due to Level 5 hard lockdown.
When the funds were not paid, the workers engaged in an unprotected two-day strike on 10 June and 30 June, confirmed Lungulethu Siswani, a workers’ representative.
The company gave the shift workers an ultimatum which they ignored, and were fired subsequently.
In other news, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi was admitted to hospital on Monday evening, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu announced.
This is a week after the Minister tested positive for Covid-19.
This article first appeared on Moneyweb and was republished with permission.