You may have noticed it’s been a while since we have had a blog with the word TERS in the title. This is a good thing! This is a reflection of how the process has been streamlined and clarified through the hard work of the UIF. This blog therefore aims to provide a consolidatory recap on some of the questions which remained outstanding since our last blog on TERS.
Application Process for May
As we’re sure you are aware, the application process for May is much the same as the process was for April, being made via the online portal at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19.
The Department of Employment and Labour has released a TERS May 2020 Applications – Application Guide (Application Guide), which provides you with a step by step guide on how to Apply for May. Additionally there is an attached FAQ for common problems experienced during the process.
Applicants Reapplying in May, Having Received TERS Benefits for April
If you are reapplying for TERS benefits for your employees, having received TERS benefits for them for April, you simply need to follow the instructions laid out in the Application Guide (linked above).
One point to note is that in step 7 of the guide, if you select Yes to both questions one and two, then the system will re-submit your application for April (but with the altered date range). This can lead to errors. Even if you think the above is correct, we would advise you to submit a new application and attach a new CSV, lessening the chance of errors.
Having uploaded your new CSV, you can submit and that’s it! your application is filed!
Applicants Reapplying in May, Having Not Received TERS Benefits for April
Although the UIF has made significant inroads into the backlog of April Applications, there are still a limited number of unpaid applicants. If you have not received any payment for any of your employees for April, the last FAQ in the Application Guide would suggest that you nonetheless can apply. Unfortunately, it is not stated what you should put in place of the proof of payment to employees, under step 6 of the Application Guide. We would imagine that, similar to entities applying for the first time in May, you can substitute proof of payment with a letter in the format prescribed in step 6. We would though recommend you verify this with the TERS call centre on 0800 030 007.
If some of your employees have received TERS benefits in April, but you are still awaiting payment for some, you can continue to apply for all of the employees for May. When the employees who are yet to receive TERS payments, do get payment, proof of payment can be sent to [email protected].
Points of Note for Applicants in Non-standard Situations
Applicants Applying in May for the First Time
Note: You will first need to register. This can be done at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/, by clicking on Register. The steps which should be followed are the same as in the Application Guide, save for what’s mentioned below.
At the opening of May Applications, employers wanting to apply for the first time in May encountered the problem that they were unable to provide proof of payment of benefits for April (Step 6 of the Application Guide).
The UIF has now put forward a solution. Employers who have not applied for April relief must attach a signed letter, on a company letterhead, confirming that they did not apply in April. This needs to be signed by the director or CFO of the company and attached in PDF format under “Signed Proof of Acceptance Letter”.
In step 7 you should select No to both questions and the shutdown date range should reflect the date range your operations were totally or partially closed for this period. After clicking PROCEED, you can fill in the staff for which you wish to claim. SimplePay provides a TERS CSV download, saving you the arduous task of inputting all employees manually. More information can be found on our related help page, linked here.
Advance Payments – Setting Off
Due to the quantity of applications and number of possible reasons for delay, it is likely that TERS benefits are not always released to employees in timely, periodic instalments. This can clearly create all manner of difficulties for your employees.
To address this issue, if employers are able, they can advance money less than or equal to the TERS benefit amount to their employees, then set off this money when the TERS benefits are disbursed. The same principle applies for if it was agreed between the employer and employee that they would take annual leave, the sums the employer paid can be set off, provided the employee regains their leave entitlement.
We hope that this information proves useful to you. If you have any queries on how the above relates to payroll and the SimplePay system, please feel free to get in touch with our customer support team at [email protected].
TERS Applications for the Month of June
The UIF has announced that TERS applications for June are now open. To date there have been no new documents released for June applications, so we assume that the information provided above for May is also relevant to June applications. If you wish to verify this, we would recommend contacting the COVID-19 TERS hotline on 0800 030 007.
Keep well and stay safe,