TERS Extension: 16 March to 25 July 2021

As promised in our last blog post, the aim of today’s post is to give an overview of the new COVID-19 TERS Direction and the process to apply for and receive TERS benefits. 

Currently, applications are only open for employees working in certain sectors, so we will only cover the application process for this group in detail today (claim code 1). When applications open up for the other groups we shall release a further post or posts concentrating on these groups’ applications.

Eligibility

The number of days that your employees can receive TERS for between 16 March and 25 July 2021, depends on a number of variables. TERS eligibility by sector is decided by whether the laws of a specific alert level required a restraint of your business’s trade. There are also individual eligibility criteria, meaning individuals may be eligible for TERS benefits even if they do not work within affected sectors.

The Direction covers 5 different groups that can claim for varying amounts of the extended TERS period. The groups and their relevant claim codes are:

UPDATE 6 August 2021: The table was updated to reflect the UIF’s changes.

CLAIM CODEGROUPCAN CLAIM FOR 
1Employees of Annexure A employers*28 June to 25 July 2021
1Employees of Annexure B employers * 28 June to 25 July 2021
2Employees of Annexure A employers *16 March to 27 June 2021
3ANY Employees over the age of 60, where the employer is unable to have alternate measures put in place for them to safely work16 March to 25 July 2021
4ANY employees with health issues, comorbidities or any other condition placing them at risk of COVID-19, who are unable to have alternate measures put in place for them to safely work16 March to 25 July 2021
5Any employee forced to isolate or quarantineThe period of isolation

*The sectors in Annexure A and B at the time of writing are listed below in the table. If in any doubt regarding eligibility, please contact the UIF call centre on 0800 030 007 to confirm.

ANNEXURE AANNEXURE B
1. Venues hosting auctions1. Cinemas11. Domestic and international travel
2.Venues hosting professional sport 2. Theatres12. Rail, bus and taxi services
3. Venues where social events are held3. Casinos 13. E-hailing services
4. Venues hosting live performances4. Museums, galleries, libraries and archives14. Sale, dispensing and distribution/transportation of liquor
5. Industries that form part of the value chain of any of 1 to 4 above.5. Gyms and fitness centres15. Beaches, dams, rivers and lakes
6. Restaurants16. Passenger ships
7. Night clubs 17. Hotels, lodges, B&Bs, timeshares, resorts and guest houses
8. Swimming pools18. Conferencing, dining, entertainment and bar facilities
9. Bars, taverns and shebeens19. International sports, arts and cultural events
10. Public parks20. Businesses at the discretion of the UIF, or industries that form part of the value chain of the above businesses

NOTE: The President’s speech last night mentioned a possible further category, covering those employees unable to work due to the recent unrest. At this point there has been no further information released. 

Applying for TERS

Currently, applications are only open for employees of Annexure B employers, but applications for all 5 groups will be opened as the UIF develops their portal to accommodate more applications.

Applications for TERS will again be done on the TERS portal and are currently open for the businesses listed in Annexure B, who were affected by adjusted level 4 of lockdown. The application period is for between 28 June and 25 July 2021. As an employer you will again be able to apply on behalf of your employees, but unlike some previous iterations, TERS payments should be paid directly from the UIF to your employees.

Guidance on the application can be found by downloading the UIF’s bundle of documents for the 28 June to 25 July lockdown period. To do this, go to the UIF portal landing page and click on: “Application Info” > Lockdown Period 10 (28 June to 25 July 2021) Documents.

As for previous periods, the guidance letter states that when applying you will need to provide the UIF with a:

  • Signed approval / acceptance letter;
  • Bank Confirmation Letter (current);
  • Proof of payment to employees for previous benefits claimed & received for the prior period (e.g. EFT, payroll report, pay recon);
  • Refund to the UIF (if applicable); and
  • Letter of authority.

In addition to the above, you will need to record which of your employees are claiming TERS. The two methods for doing this are:

  1. direct capture on the TERS portal; and
  2. via CSV file.

NOTE: If you choose option 2 and are a client of SimplePay, our TERS CSV Export will help you by pre-populating certain fields and in turn taking the leg work out of completing the CSV! 

When reviewing the CSV, in particular, please check the following for each employee you’re applying for:

  • LOCKDOWN PERIOD: this needs to reflect that your business falls under Annexure B
    • Shutdown from – 28 June 2021
    • shutdown to – 25 July 2021
  • REMUNERATION DURING SHUTDOWN: this should reflect the actual amount your employee was remunerated by you between 28 June and 25 July 2021.
  • PREFERRED PAYMENT METHOD: The new Direction stateS that the employee MUST be paid directly by the UIF, unless there is a reason this is not appropriate. An example of this would be if you made an advance payment of the TERS benefit to your employee. For this reason we recommend that you select “Payment to Employee”.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to ensure that all the documents you submit with your application are accurate, as otherwise this could lead to delays to TERS payments.

We hope that this information has proved helpful to you. If you have any questions about the application we would direct you to the UIF call centre on 0800 030 007.

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Keep well and stay safe 

Team SimplePay