Support for Business – COVID-19 TERS

Please note: The information provided in this blog is correct at the time of writing, but as this is an unprecedented and ever-changing situation, we will do our best to ensure we keep ourselves and our clients up to date. Please check back regularly for updates – we will also notify you of these by email and system notifications.

Update 23 April: We have received confirmation that the TERS benefit paid by employers to their employees will not be subject to PAYE, SDL or UIF. You may pay this amount off-system if you choose, but we recommend waiting until we have updated our system to include a new TERS benefit item. We will send out a notification when the system has been updated.

Update 7 April: DoL has changed the forms required for applications. Please disregard the previous processes outlined and forms / examples attached in this blog. The process outlined in the automated response needs to be followed. Alternatively, you can contact the TERS hotline (012 337 1997) for more information or guidance.

Should you have any queries over the content or processes to follow within this blog, please contact our support team via [email protected]

Opportunities for Businesses to be Supported by the COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS)

As mentioned in our blog released this morning on Government initiatives to support businesses, this blog is dedicated to giving an overview of the COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID-19 TERS).

If you have experience with the pre-existing TERS system, it is important you know that the procedure has been altered for COVID-19. The breadth of what can be applied for has been narrowed to employee remuneration only, and the applications should now be made to the Department of Labour instead of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Below we will give you further information on the pandemic related scheme.

COVID-19 TERS is a scheme which is aimed at providing support to businesses that are in distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If a company has their funding approved, the UIF will fund companies which are directly affected by COVID-19 in the form of a TERS allowance. The default length of funding is for 3 months, but can be extended with prior written consent by both the employer and COVID-19 TERS representative.

In applying for COVID-19 TERS funding, there are some requirements that businesses must meet:

  1. The company must be registered for UIF. 
  2. The company’s closure must be directly linked to COVID-19, that is to say, it was not already in the process of being wound up before the lockdown. 
  3. The company must comply with the application process, detailed below.

This is considerable relaxation on the standard TERS requirements, where a company needed to be able to demonstrate compliance with the current UIF legislation, or undertake to do so within a stipulated time frame, as well as embarking on a sustainability programme. It is therefore worth reconsidering this scheme if it was not a viable option in the past for your company.

Successful applications will get contributions of between 38-60% towards the employee’s remuneration on a sliding scale, where the percentage contributed decreases, the more the employee earns. In addition, there is a cap on remuneration of R17,712 per month, per employee. Should the determined income be less than the minimum wage for the employee’s sector, an adjustment will be made to give them the minimum wage. It is therefore imperative that forms be filled in carefully and accurately, being double-checked before submission.

How does the Process work?

Update 16 April: The email application is now obsolete. A new online application is now available. Read more here.

In applying to COVID-19 TERS, employers must get the application form and other documents by emailing [email protected] Unfortunately, the contents of this email has changed since this blog was first written. At this moment in time, 7 April, an automated response will come back, providing you with:

  • A list of the documents required
  • A copy of the “COVID-19 TERS Easy Aid Guide” 
  • A draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which needs to be filled in with the relevant information and signed 
  • A template listing critical information required to be filled in by the employer on their employees
  • A second template to be filled in by the employer, listing the details of the account intended for the sole use of COVID-19 TERS employee payments
  • A guide of how to convert excel spreadsheets to CSV files

The Department of Labour released updated requirements on 7 April. The CSV generated by SimplePay requires a minor change as a result. We are working on this as a top priority and will keep you updated – please see this blog for more.

The TERS application requires two CSVs to be completed, one with comprehensive company and employee information and a second with the employer’s bank details. SimplePay generates the former, which is the more labour intensive while employers will need to manually complete the separate Excel spreadsheet with their own account information. This second spreadsheet must then also be converted to a CSV file, as outlined in the guide.

Once all of the above information is complete in the prescribed format, applications are to be sent to [email protected]. After the fund has signed off the employer can expect payment as laid out in the MOA.

Advisory Note: One point to note is that the draft MOA*contains several obligations and so needs to be read carefully. It is advisable therefore to negotiate any terms and conditions that would be particularly onerous for yourself to fulfill.

If you are in the position that you have already submitted an application we would recommend that you contact the TERS hotline if in any doubt as to what to do next.

We hope this information aids you in this time of uncertainty, we will continue to do our best to assist you where we can with any queries you may have. Watch this space for new posts on support for the Industrial and Tourism sectors, as well as an unpacking of the new ETI initiative.

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Should you have any queries over the content or processes to follow within this blog, please contact our support team via [email protected]

30 Replies to “Support for Business – COVID-19 TERS”

  1. Good day

    I have a question regarding this Covid 19 Ters application. I send an application through to Covid 19 and I received an e-mail back from them and one of the sentences read
    MOA (completion of the agreement between UIF, Bargaining Council and Employer) ; only applicable to employers that has more than 10 employees

    Does this mean that only companies with 10 employees or more can apply via this platform or does it mean that you only need to complete the MOA if you have 10 employees or more.

    1. Hi Riana, we contacted the UIF on their dedicated TERS line. They say that employers with 10 or less employees still need to fill in the MOA, but it is only between the employer and UIF. For employers with more than 10 employees, the MOA is between the employer, the bargaining council and the UIF.

    2. Hi, when I contacted the call Centre today they advised that only companies with 10 or more employees are required to complete and submit the MOA.
      Companies with less can gladly claim but that document is not required.
      Again, it seems the process changes daily so it seems to at this moment be a hurry up and wait / work in progress set up.

  2. Good day

    I would like to find out if we will be able to draw this information required by the labour department from simple pay in the correct format?

    Thank you
    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Christine, we are busy developing a solution to allow employers to download the template through SimplePay. We will make an announcement when this is made available.

  3. Will SimplePay set up the reports in the correct format that we need for the TERS application?

    1. Hi Chricel, we are busy developing a solution that will allow employers to download the TERS template through SimplePay.

  4. Simple pay has really come through in this uncertain time with a quick reponse to making changes to the system and reporting all the options available with links etc.
    Love these blogs with relevant information.
    Thank you simple pay!

    1. Hi Marelize,

      I couldn’t agree more! In these fluid moments it has been great to see how SimplePay are coming to the party and doing what they can to assist us all, thanks guys

  5. Hi Alan,

    Can you please advise on when the template csv document will be ready to export for TERS purposes?

    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Johnny, thanks for your message.

      If everything goes to plan the TERS CSV export function should be live tomorrow. We are also creating a “How To” guide to make it as easy a task to complete as possible.

  6. Hi there.

    Any progress on the template CSV for export for TERS? We are ready to submit but need this information.

    Also, what is a simple way for us to provide “Evidence / payroll as proof of the last three months employee(s) salary(ies)” via a report?

  7. Hi,
    Are there any links on where or how to verify the minimum wages per sector? I see it also requires proof. Any advice?

    (National Minimum wage per sector must be stated by the employer and documentary proof to be submitted with the other documents/information.)

  8. Hi

    I am a self employed consultant business with a registered CC and I contribute monthly to UIF. I am applying for TERS using Template 3 as I don’t have a Payroll System. They are asking for the National Min. Wage for my Sector (Consulting). Where can I find this information?

  9. Good Day

    Does anyone have the “Prescribed template that will require critical information from the employer” ?

    Have still not received an email from them with all the documents.

  10. Hi, just a quick couple of questions regarding TERS, I just want to make sure that I understand it correctly.

    1. Do you need to open a new separate bank or use an unused account for TERS receipts and payments or can money be received and paid from the business bank account? This question specifically is not for bargaining council clients as they need a separate bank account according to my knowledge.

    2. Is TERS only available if NO salary will be paid to the employee whilst you will have to use the UIF route if reduced salaries will be paid?

    Thank you for your quick replies and updates!
    Keep safe

  11. Good evening,

    Does the TERS application only apply to Bargaining Council/ Clothing industry ? Or any field can apply ? Education field for instance.
    Thank you
    Kind regards

  12. Good day
    I would appreciate your assistance. We have a small home renovation and maintenance business of 11 workers. I do not use an official payroll system. I have this all on excell spreadsheets. We do pay UIF monthly. From the link that the COVID19TERS sent me I am not able to export to the CSV format they advise. Is this just me? You are referring to simple pay in previous responses, I do not have this. Will I still be able to use this spreadsheet that you are working on even if not having that?
    Thank you

  13. Hi
    I’m trying to muddle my way through the options for a business of 19 employees. We have temporarily had to close during the lockdown period. Is it advisable for us as the employer to apply for UIF for each employee – or is applying to the TERS fund better? But our employees are not members of any unions or bargaining councils.

  14. Good day
    I have sent 2 emails to [email protected] and as yet not had a response. Do you recommend we complete the MOA and send with other required documentation excluding the template, or do I need to wait for a reply? Please also advise I am a very small company and at this stage do not have a separate bank account could UIF pay directly to the individual staff? I only have 6 staff members currently. If so how would this work?

  15. Hi!

    We have the same question as Paula, which type of claim (UIF or TERS) should be used to claim when the company closed temporarily?


  16. Does TERS apply to all employers, regardless of whether we are a company or a sole trader or a school?

  17. Dear All,

    Thank you for all of your comments. Due to the large number of comments on the blog posts, we decided that in order to maintain our high level of customer service we would create an FAQ document, listing all the recurring questions in one place.

    This can be found on our Lockdown Week 1 Recap Blog.

    If this doesn’t address your question, please contact [email protected], who will do their best to assist you.

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