TERS Update: Appeals Process and Manual Bank Verification

Next week, on 6 April 2021, the UIF is due to open its appeals process for refused applications for the two extended TERS periods. (Read more about these periods here).

A common reason for applications being denied on the TERS portal is due to companies being registered with the wrong or no sector classification (SIC code). As eligibility is limited to certain sectors, a check is run against the SARS database. Unfortunately updating your SIC code with SARS will not fix this issue; instead the UIF has released an appeals process.

Appeals Process

If having received an error message, you believe this to be incorrect and that you are eligible to apply for the two TERS periods, the appeal process is as follows:

  • From 6 April, you can call the UIF hotline (0800 030 007) to lodge an appeal
  • The operator will verify your identity and send you a link to upload your appeal documents (see below).
  • Having uploaded your appeal documents, the UIF will review them and make a decision on your appeal.

The appeal documents are:

  • The Proforma (“COVID-19 TERS Extension – Motivation for Inclusion proforma” attached to UIF email, dated: 29 March 2021) – In this, you can detail why your business is part of one of the restricted sectors eligible for the extended periods, and how the COVID-19 regulations have affected your employees’ ability to work their normal hours. 
  • Supporting Documents – The proforma should be substantiated by supporting documents to show you practice in the SIC code stated. 

The UIF aims to make a decision and inform you of the result of your appeal within 5 working days. Thereafter you should be able to log onto the TERS portal within 72 hours to reapply. When you do this make sure you:

  1. Select the same business activity as you did previously; and
  2. Select “OTHER (APPROVED APPEALS)” on the main division sector.

The application should be the same as for previous periods and is detailed in this earlier blog post.

Bank Verification Process

The UIF has started reaching out by telephone to employers who have been unable to pass the automated bank verification process. If you have experienced such issues please stay vigilant for a call. 

To carry out the verification, the UIF will first ask you 5 security questions, before asking you to provide your latest bank confirmation letter (which must be dated within the last 3 months). This will be used to verify the following for comparison with the portal:

  • CIPC Number
  • Banking details
  • ID number
  • Trade Name

The UIF did not state in its letter how the confirmation letter is to be provided to them, but this should become clear when you are called. They anticipate a turnaround time of 14 working days.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on the above information you can contact the UIF on 0800 030 007. If you have any questions for SimplePay, you can reach us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well, stay safe and watch out for April fools jokes!

Team SimplePay

COVID-19 TERS Phase 2 Claim Process

Update 19 March 2021: The UIF has released a Frequently Asked Questions Document on the two extended periods. To view it, click here.

Today’s blog post highlights the salient points from the UIF’s correspondence with employers on 3 March 2021 regarding the two new extension periods for Covid-19 TERS: 16 October to 31 December 2020, and 1 January to 31 March 2021. 

Who Can Claim?

Subject to falling within one of the relevant claim codes, the TERS benefit for the extended periods is available for any employees who are registered with the UIF as a contributor and who have not been able to work normally. Each of these elements are broken down below:

Registered with the UIF

This requirement stipulates that only employees who are registered to contribute to UIF are eligible for Covid-19 TERS payments. 

Have not been able to work normally

To be able to claim the benefits for the two extended periods, employees need to fall into one of the following four categories:

CategoryDescription
Claim Code 1Employees (on temporary lay-off or reduced working time) within those sectors that have not been able to operate due to regulatory restrictions as per directives issued. A list of these sectors is detailed in the table below – to verify your company’s eligibility, the UIF will require you to provide the relevant Sector Industry Class (SIC) for your business.
Claim Code 2Employees aged 60 and above, and who cannot be reasonably accommodated at work.
Claim Code 3Employees in isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of Covid19.
Claim Code 4Employees with co-morbidities and who cannot be reasonably accommodated at work.

Additional Info: Eligible Sectors for Claim Code 1

A list of the eligible sectors in Claim Code 1 is provided in the UIF’s correspondence on 3 March 2021, but is tabled below for your convenience:

  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Restaurants
  • Venues hosting auctions
  • Venues hosting professional sports
  • Night clubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Bars, taverns and shebeens
  • Public parks
  • Domestic and international air travel
  • Rail, bus services and taxi services
  • E-hailing services
  • Sale, dispensing and distributions, and transportation of liquor
  • Beaches, dams, rivers and lakes
  • Passenger ships
  • Venues where social events are held
  • Venues hosting concerts and live performances
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast, timeshare facilities, resorts and guest houses
  • Conferencing, dining, entertainment and bar facilities
  • International sports, arts and cultural events
  • Professional services (cleaning and security) within regulated restricted sectors (e.g. hospitality)
  • Other services and activities within regulated restricted sectors (e.g. hospitality)

When to Apply

Applications for the 16 October to 31 December 2020 period are open for employees eligible for TERS under the first category (Claim Code 1). The UIF is still tweaking their system to accommodate applications for employees eligible for TERS under categories 2, 3 and 4; they will communicate as soon as the system is ready to accept these applications.

The UIF is not yet accepting TERS applications for the 1 January to 31 March 2021 period; the opening date for these applications will be announced in due course.

How To Claim

The application process remains the same as the first extension period.  Your applications need to be accompanied by the following documentation:

  • Signed approval / acceptance letter (i.e. the Memorandum of Agreement or application, pre-signed by and for the UIF)
  • Bank Confirmation Letter (current)
  • Proof of payment to employees for previous benefits claimed and received for the prior period (e.g. EFT, payroll report, pay recon)
  • Refund to the UIF (if applicable)
  • Letter of authority

The claim for eligible employees can be captured either on the TERS online portal itself or by completing the spreadsheet template attached to the UIF’s email (also available to download here).

Unfortunately the CSV upload facility is not currently available for these applications, so it is of utmost importance that you ensure that the relevant information is captured correctly in the online portal or spreadsheet. 

To complete the application correctly, the UIF highlights the following critical data fields in particular:

FieldImportant Notes from the UIF
Monthly SalaryThis needs to be the employee’s regular monthly salary and should not be increased in line with the full application period
Remuneration Earned for Hours Worked (Yellow Column on Spreadsheet)This amount must reflect the full lockdown period’s cumulative remuneration, i.e. the amount you have paid your employee between 16 October and 31 December 2020 for the work they’ve done across this full lockdown period but not  payment of advances, leave entitlements or gifts.

Should you have any questions on any of the above, you can contact the UIF on 0800 030 007. Greater detail can also be found in the UIF’s correspondence sent to employers. 

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. If you have any questions on how the information provided relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

President’s 11 January Speech and TERS Disputes Procedure

As the country eases into 2021, the President’s speech on 11 January made it clear that COVID-19, and the resulting restrictions, will remain a part of day-to-day life in 2021. The blog post today looks to give a brief overview of the adjusted level 3 regulations from a business perspective and also flags the TERS disputes process.

Adjusted Level 3

The main change that the President announced in his most recent speech was that South Africa’s land borders will be closed until 15 February. Exceptions apply for goods, repatriation and medical supplies, meaning that this change is likely to mainly impact the tourism and leisure industry.

The above is in addition to the measures announced on 28 December, all of which remain in place.

Below is a table summarising some of the key restrictions to businesses under adjusted level 3 at this point in time.

Non-Hotspot AreasHotspot Areas
Curfew21:00 – 05:00 daily21:00 – 05:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 20:00*Non-essential stores close at 20:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.All uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses permitted which are permitted to be open is allowed, in line with the occupancy limitations.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen between 6:00 – 19:00 dailyClosed
Businesses that must remain closedPublic parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, Public parks, public swimming pools, clubs, bars, taverns, shebeens, 
Sale and distribution of alcoholNot permittedNot permitted

*List of establishments which must close by 20:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; and venues hosting professional sport.

At this point in time, the only material difference between hotspot and non-hotspot areas is access to beaches, dams, lakes and rivers. The reasoning behind this is that the number of people at any one of these locations cannot easily be regulated or controlled. 

You can find a list of the areas designated as hotspots and the adjusted level 3 Regulations on the Government website.

TERS Dispute Resolution Process

On Friday 8 January, as an employer you should have received an email from the UIF, titled “UIF-TERS – Update letter”. The update letter lays out the process that you can follow if you believe the UIF has not performed one or more of its contractual obligations with you contained in your memorandum of association with them.

The letter highlights that this route is only for disputes and not for enquiries, such as failed bank verifications.

To lodge a formal dispute:

  1. Complete the Dispute Form (attached to the 8 January email, sender: [email protected]a)
  2. Attach any relevant supporting documentation
  3. Email the completed dispute form with attachments to [email protected], with the subject as “COVID-19 TERS Dispute – [Your UIF Reference Number]”

We hope that this information has proved useful. If you have any questions for us, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Equally, if you are not yet a client of SimplePay but would like to be, why not check out our website? Or, better yet, try out our service for free with our 30-day trial, get acquainted with our user-friendly service by reading our getting started page, or take our free online course

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay