Update 15 July: The UIF has released a statement that in order for them to authorise the disbursement of TERS benefits, you must enter your Enterprise number or ID number of the bank account holder. Failure to do so will result in delays.
Following on from the President’s speech last Sunday, 12 July, concerns over a spike in coronavirus cases has led to an extension to level 3 of lockdown. The effect of this is that many businesses and their employees will likely have to continue relying upon support to remain operational. In the blog today we want to outline the timelines for the existing COVID-19 support measures, thus helping you in making an informed decision for the coming phase of transition.
Timeline of Support Measures
Dependent on any announcements from the Government, as of 15 July 2020, this is the current timeline for the rolling up of support measures.
1 July 2020
Update 22 July: The UIF has announced an extension of the COVID-19 TERS scheme to 15 August 2020.
COVID-19 TERS scheme ceases to operate, meaning that TERS benefits cannot be claimed for July. Despite this, the Minister announced that there has been no cut off date put forward for claims to be made for the months of April, May or June. Therefore, if you are yet to apply for these months, you should do so as soon as possible.
NB: As per the above update, the home page of the TERS application portal has been altered, with a new message outlining urgent steps for the employer to take, in order for the UIF to be able to authorise payment of applications. Please take a look in case any action on your part is required for claims already submitted.
1 August 2020
35% PAYE deferral reaches completion, meaning that repayments start to become due for the amounts deferred over the last 4 months, These repayments will be spread equally across the 6 months after the scheme finishes. It appears SARS will calculate these repayments and add them to your Statement of Account – please see question 10 SARS’s FAQ for more detail.
Additional and Extended ETI period closes, meaning that the original ETI sums and eligibility requirements will be back in force.
1 September 2020
SDL Payment Holiday comes to a close, meaning that employers and their employees will have to resume making contributions. SimplePay will automatically start to calculate SDL contributions again come 1 September. We also anticipate SARS to update their channels to allow for these inputs again. No repayments for the months that the holiday was in force will be necessary.
Alternate Support Systems Remaining in Place
We appreciate that the above list of timelines is quite a change in the tides, but we should reiterate that some of these deadlines could be subject to change. Additionally there are still other support measures available to help you with reducing cash outgoings, whilst your business returns to normality. Below is a non-exhaustive list of examples which you may wish to look into:
- South African Futures Trust (SAFT): interest free loans are provided to cover a portion of SMME’s employees wages.
- SMME Debt Relief Finance Scheme: Soft loans provided to businesses which are negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- Loan Guarantee Scheme: The Government will guarantee loans for businesses, supplying capital for outgoings and business restarts.
- Small Enterprise Finance Agency Support: Various loans are granted to qualifying SMMEs.
Now is a good time to start planning ahead for how to handle this next transition phase and if necessary look into additional support measures.
Moving From TERS to UIF Benefits
If your business remains closed or affected by the pandemic and you have been reliant upon TERS benefits to help support your employees, now is the time to look into switching your employees onto claiming UIF Benefits.
The Department of Employment and Labour and UIF have released the “UIF Benefits – Easy Guide for Electronic Claims” which provides guidance on how your employees can apply for UIF benefits through uFiling, as well as a list of useful contacts.
To help make this process as hassle free as possible for you, SimplePay generates both the individual UI 19 and UI 2.7 forms, which are necessary for your employees to be able to apply for benefits in relation to reduced working hours, maternity leave or parental leave. Note that the documents required are different for employees applying for illness benefits.
Further guidance on the correct procedure for you to follow for ending employee service is given in our blog from 6 July. Doing this process correctly will help improve your chances of a smooth transition onto UIF benefits.
We hope that the information we have provided proves useful to you. Should you have any questions on how the above relates to SimplePay or where to find further information on the functionality provided please refer to our Help Site, or get in touch with us at [email protected].