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:

CLAIM CODEGROUPCAN CLAIM FOR 
1Employees of Annexure B employers * 28 June to 25 July 2021
2Employees of Annexure A employers *16 March to 25 July 2021
3ANY Employees over the age of 60, with health issues, comorbidities or any other condition placing them at risk of COVID-19, who are unable to have alternate measures put in place16 March to 25 July 2021
4Any employee forced to isolate or quarantineThe period of isolation
5Employees of Annexure A or B employers, who are unable to work in order to comply with Government COVID restrictions for workplaces *A: 16 March to 25 July 2021
B: 28 June to 25 July 2021

*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.

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

TERS Refund Details and Possible Extension

In store today we have the first TERS post since our coverage of the two extended periods. If you made a refund for a period we’ll explain the reporting requirements for you to remain compliant, in addition to signposting a further extension to TERS due to adjusted alert level 4.

TERS Refund Details

If for any reason you refunded any amount of TERS payments, the UIF requires you to complete a breakdown of the amounts repaid by each of your employees, as opposed to the lump sum. If you did not do this when you refunded a TERS payment, the UIF requests that you correct this.

In their email to all employers on 6 July 2021, the UIF stated that they needed an individual breakdown of refunds to reconcile TERS payments on a per employee basis to allow them to reflect these amounts on the portal.

If you’ve made a TERS refund but did not submit a breakdown of repayments, you’re required to complete the spreadsheet attached to the 6 July email and send it to [email protected] with subject line “TERS REFUND per EMPLOYEE”.

Further TERS Extension

On 11 July 2021, President Ramaphosa announced in his speech that the UIF had entered into discussions with its social partners and agreed that TERS should be extended for businesses affected by the adjusted level 4 lockdown (in force from 28 June 2021). 

There has been no further information released since the speech, but we are keeping our eyes peeled for any developments. We’ll release a further blog post on extended TERS as and when more information becomes available, so watch this space!

We hope that this information has proved helpful to you. If you have any questions for the team you can contact us at [email protected]

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

How working from home may have cut your tax bill

At SimplePay we love going the extra mile for our customers and their employees. Normally this involves making your payroll obligations a breeze, but sometimes there are aspects of income tax law that we like to highlight as they can benefit both you and your employees!

As you will be all too aware, COVID-19 triggered an exodus out of the office with many finding themselves Working From Home (WFH) for extended periods of time. With the notable exception of one’s pets, it’s fair to say that most of us have found WFH to be anything but smooth sailing. Video meetings, choppy internet connection, the forbidden L word (thanks Eskom)… It hasn’t always been a walk in the park. 

There is one positive result of this though and it comes in the form of a tax deduction for certain home office expenses. Provided you meet the requirements laid out below, the various costs that you’ve incurred running a home office could be deducted when you submit your individual tax return (ITR12) next month. 

(The below is intended purely for informational purposes to highlight the existence of this deduction – for any queries around eligibility, claiming etc, please contact SARS directly).

What are the qualification requirements?

There are four key elements to be eligible to claim home office expenses:

  1. The part of your home connected to the claim must be occupied for the purpose of trade.

Put simply, you need to have an allocated area in your home from which you work.

  1. The part of your home needs to be specifically equipped and regularly and exclusively used for the purpose of trade.

Specifically equipped” simply means that you have the equipment needed for you to carry out your role. Clearly this is subjective; the equipment required by a software developer is not the same as that required by a carpenter. Practically this could mean as little as a laptop, chair, table and internet connection.

Regularly” is again subjective, but a SARS interpretation note highlights that there needs to be a certain frequency of working that once a week is unlikely to meet.

Exclusively” indicates that the part of your home used to work must be exclusively used for that purpose. As soon as there is mixed business and private use, this requirement isn’t met. There is no hard and fast rule on exclusive use currently, so you will need to make a judgement call on whether you’ve satisfied this requirement. If you’re at all unsure, it’s always best to contact SARS directly – their call centre is very helpful!

  1. You need to work at home for at least 6 months of the tax year.

For salary-based employees to claim, at least 50% of their working time must be spent working from home. So, if you moved to remote working after the first lockdown in March 2020 and didn’t return to the office before October 2020 you’ve most likely met this requirement!

  1. Your employer must have granted you permission to work from home.

This could be as simple as a letter from your employer confirming that they required you to work from home and explaining to what extent.

What might you be able to claim?

Once you qualify,  some of the key items you might be able to claim expenses for are:

  • A portion of the cost of your rent / your bond’s interest*
  • Rates and taxes for the property*
  • Repair / renovation costs*
  • Maintenance costs for the home office e.g. cleaning
  • Wear and tear allowances on stationery and office equipment used for the purpose of trade.

*You can claim the cost of rent / interest on your bond, repair / renovation costs and rates and taxes in proportion with the percentage of your home occupied as a home office. 

SARS has stated  that estimates will not be permitted and you must be in a position to prove the floor area of both your premises and the home office, if requested. They have not elaborated on what they will require as evidence, but this clearly makes it very important to be as precise as possible for the proportion you claim.

FYI: employees who earn more than 50% of their gross income through commission can deduct further expenses, but for simplicity’s sake this information has not been included. If you would like more information on this, please call SARS or visit their webpage.

Ok I’m satisfied I qualify, how can I claim?

Individual filing season opened on 1 July 2021 and runs until 23 November 2021. As long as your employer has completed their employer filing return, your ITR12 should be pre-populated with the relevant information from the IRP5.

You can claim your home office expenses on your individual tax return (ITR12). In claiming the expenses you will need to make sure:

  • You meet the requirements laid out above.
  • You have recorded the expenses that you’ve incurred by running your home office (there is no prescribed format, you just need to provide the information in a clear way, like a spreadsheet). 
  • You have retained bills and receipts to evidence your expenditure, in case this is requested by SARS (these should be retained for 5 years).

When completing your individual ITR12 you simply need to claim the amount under the deductions sections and upload your relevant supporting documents when prompted.

Once you’ve done this, you can file your return and that’s it! It’s then over to SARS to review your return and pay across the amounts due to you. As always, if you’re at all unsure about whether you qualify, how to complete the forms etc, please get in touch with the SARS call centre for guidance.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. As this information is relevant to a larger than normal proportion of people this filing season, we encourage you to share this post with your employees, colleagues, friends and family, so that everyone can benefit!

 If you have any questions on the above information you can contact SARS on 0800 00 7277. 

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

EMP501 Reconciliation to Reflect 2020 SDL Holiday

Background

As part of the government’s efforts to assist the cash flow of employers during the initial 2020 Covid-19 lockdown months, provisions were added to the Disaster Management Tax Act to relax payment of SDL to SARS for the period of 1 May 2020 to 31 August 2020 (the “affected months”).

SimplePay followed the guidelines from government, which stated that the correct way to record this payment holiday would be by replacing the 1% percentage in the SDL calculation by 0% on the monthly EMP201’s as a temporary change for the 4-month period. We also followed this change through to our bi-annual filing documents (EMP501 and tax certificates).

UPDATE 18/05/2020: PAYE “Not Assessed” Validation Error

On submission of their IRP5 / IT3(a)s, some clients have received a validation error from SARS, flagging up some or all of their employees as “not assessed”.

Without going into the details, this does not relate to whether your employees’ tax certificates will be pre-populated or not. Any certificate that can be matched to an employee will be pre-populated and will allow your employee to complete their ITR-12.

If you receive a “not assessed”, you should check that the information to which the error corresponds is correct. If it is, then you can proceed to give the certificates to your employees to allow them to file their ITR12 returns.
If you discover an error, you need to correct it and resubmit. The problem with this scenario is that your employee may have already been assessed from your initial submission. This will also result in the error code “not assessed”, as duplicate submissions trigger this validation error. If this error recurs after you resubmit, you will need to direct your affected employees to do a Request For Correction (RFC) on their ITR12s. More information on RFCs can be found on this SARS webpage.

Declaration to Reflect SDL Holiday

With filing season open, SARS have identified that some employers are submitting EMP501’s and tax certificates with SDL recorded for the relief period, when it should be nil. As a result, the reconciliation process automatically flags SDL as payable for those months and thus overdue, which then results in interest and late payment penalties being incorrectly levied against the employer.

Last week, we notified you that SARS has flagged this issue and has requested that employers double check their SDL figures when completing the reconciliation. Although we were confident that this would not be an issue for most of our customers, we chose to pass the notice on, to cater for any customers who do not make use of the filing documents generated by SimplePay (e.g. those who outsource submissions).

We apologise for any concern that this notification may have caused. Our development team have run additional tests on customer data and we would like to assure you that the SDL is recorded correctly on the EMP501 and tax certificates generated by SimplePay.

You can confirm this by opening the PDF version of your EMP501, where you’ll see the SDL values for May to August as zero under the SDL heading.

Credit for Payments Made

If, despite the correct declaration of 0%, you in fact paid the SDL to SARS for the affected months, the SDL amount paid will be indicated as an unallocated credit on your statement of account. The SDL for this period will again be declared as 0% on your 2021 EMP501 reconciliation as well as the IRP5/IT3(a) certificates.


If you have any questions on any of the information provided in this blog and how it further relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS Phase 2: Non-Sectoral Claim Applications

In our previous blog post covering the COVID-19 TERS initiative, we introduced Phase 2 of the initiative and discussed the requirements for making an application for relief on behalf of an employee for the first period, under Claim Code 1. In today’s blog post, we will cover the process relating to claims under the remaining codes (2, 3 and 4), for which applications officially opens on 13 April 2021.

One of the notable highlights of the State of the Nation address earlier this year was the announcement of the extension of the COVID-19 TERS relief scheme from 16 October 2020 to 15 March 2021. This ‘Phase 2’ of the COVID-19 TERS relief scheme is split into two payment iterations which will focus on claims based on loss of income during two specific periods. 

  • The first period is between 16 October to 31 December 2020; and
  • The second period is between 1 January to 15 March 2021. 

Only claims for the first period are currently being accepted by the UIF and claims relating to the second period will be dealt with at a later date.

New Verification Requirements Added

In order to claim for an employee falling under Claim Code 2, 3 or 4 the TERS online portal will require you to complete a new two step verification process. A detailed explanation of each of these codes can be found here.

The verification process revolves around the requirements set out in the guideline on the submission of COVID-19 related health data from workplaces to the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH), which places the legal obligation on all employers to collect and report data on certain categories of employees to the NIOH. The UIF have decided to use the registration and submission of this data to the NIOH by the employer as a means of verification for the processing of non-sector based claims.

Employers who are not registered with the NIOH will be unable to proceed with a claim under Claim Code 2, 3 or 4..

To register with the NIOH you are directed to visit their website to complete the registration and employee declaration. At least 4 days should be allowed between receipt of your Business ID, upon successful registration, and returning to the TERS portal to lodge a claim.

Claim Process

  1. All claims will be lodged via the UIF online portal and, irrespective of claim code, you will be required to upload the following documents:
  • 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

(these are the same documents required for previous TERS applications)

  1. If you intend making a claim on behalf of an employee falling under Claim Code 2, 3 or 4 you will be required to complete the two step verification process:

Step 1: Verification of Employer Registration with NIOH

You will be asked to confirm (via dropdown) your registration with the NIOH and also that you have declared your affected employees.

Step 2: Verification of Employee Declaration with NIOH

You will be required to individually capture the details of each affected employee, whose ID/Passport/Asylum seeker number will be verified against those in the NIOH database.

Important Areas to Note When Applying

Lockdown Period

Benefits will be calculated by the amount of days claimed within the designated lockdown period, which is from 16 October 2020 to 31 December 2020. Any dates which do not fall within this range will not be accepted.

Monthly Salary

Regardless of the lockdown period being claimed (even if for the full two-and-a-half months’ lockdown period) you must only enter the normal monthly salary for the employee. DO NOT alter/extrapolate this value to meet the cumulative lockdown period.

Remuneration earned for hours worked (excluding leave income and advance)

Unlike monthly salary, this column must reflect the full lockdown period’s cumulative remuneration. The remuneration earned for the entire period must be stated but all advances, ex gratia payments, or income related to annual or other leave must be excluded.


Although Phase 2 of the COVID-19 TERS initiative is seen as an extension of the previous relief program, it is important to note the key differences in Phase 2 relating to who the benefit is actually aimed at. Each specified Claim Code has its own identifying factors and criteria which must be strictly adhered to. This undoubtedly limits the applicability of the initiative this time around and greatly reduces the potential beneficiaries of the relief.  

The UIF can be contacted directly on 0800 030 007 for general queries on this issue as well as the lodging of disputes relating to an application. Greater detail on the process can also be found in the UIF’s correspondence sent to employers. 

If you have any questions on how the information provided in this blog relates to SimplePay, you can contact us at [email protected] 

Keep well and stay safe.

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

February Adjusted Level 3 Amendments

Last night (1 Feb 2021) President Ramaphosa once again took to the TV screen to update South Africans on the coronavirus pandemic. The arrival of the first set of vaccines and a reduction in cases has allowed the Government to announce some relaxations to adjusted level 3 regulations, which were previously covered in this blog post from 14 January. 

From 1 February, the rules relating to Adjusted level 3 are as follows:

Hotspot & Non-Hotspot Areas
Curfew23:00 – 04:00 daily
Business closing timesNon-essential stores close at 22:00*
GatheringsAll uncontrolled social gatherings are prohibited. Gatherings at businesses and faith-based institutions are permitted, in line with occupancy limitations, health protocols and social distancing. Remote working is still encouraged where possible.
Beaches, dams, lakes and riversOpen, subject to health protocols and social distancing.
Businesses that must remain closedNight clubs
Sale and distribution of alcoholOffsite consumption
Mon – Thurs: Permitted 10:00-18:00
Fri – Sun: Not permitted**

Onsite consumption
Mon – Sun: Permitted 10:00-22:00 for licensed premises.

*List of establishments which must close by 22:00: Cinemas; theatres; casinos; museums, galleries and archives; gyms and fitness centres; restaurants; venues hosting auctions; bars taverns; shebeens and venues hosting professional sport.

**wineries, wine farms, microbreweries and microdistilleries exception: these institutions may provide alcohol for on and off-site consumption throughout the week under adjusted level 3, provided they adhere to the curfew (22:00), health protocols and social distancing measures.

From the table above you can see that the current adjusted level 3 removes the restrictions on hotspots. It also allows the vast majority of businesses that were forced to close under adjusted level 3 to reopen their doors.

We hope that you have found this information useful and that these relaxations give you a boost for the start of February. 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

UIF Payment Process Relaxed

At the end of last month, the UIF announced that it will be cutting away some of the red tape to help prevent labour centre queues spreading COVID-19.

The UIF now intends to deal directly with employers, who’ll need to collect retrenched employees’ benefit applications and supporting documents for the UIF. While the Department of Labour refines the new processes that they’ll use, you can expect to receive follow-ups to your submission.

To help reduce the number of people going to labour centres, the UIF has implemented the following measures:

  • Individuals enrolled for UIF benefits will not need to go to the department for a monthly continuation form. This will instead be calculated from the previous month’s statistics.
  • Application status updates will be provided to individuals by SMS, removing the need to follow up in person.
  • The UIF is setting up a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) service, to facilitate faster access to information.

You can read the UIF’s media statement here.

We hope that this information has proved helpful to you. 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

TERS Update Blog: 22 December 2020

Our blog post today draws your attention to our new FAQ, based on the UIF’s TERS update letters from 15 and 18 December 2020. As TERS draws to a close, these letters, and therefore our FAQs, provide information relevant to the 16 September to 15 October application period. They also cover information on correcting earlier periods’ applications, yet to be accepted and / or processed.

You can find our FAQs on this help site page. The FAQs are:

We hope that the FAQ proves useful. If you have any questions on how the above information relates to SimplePay, please feel free to 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 Speech – 14 December 2020

Last night the President addressed the nation for the second time this month on the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and how the Government plans to counter them. Some of the new rules announced are particularly important for businesses, so these are what the blog post today focuses on.

Masks and Social Distancing

The authorities are going to be more active in enforcing compliance with measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. You as managers and business owners are now responsible for ensuring that employees and customers entering your premises or vehicle are wearing masks.

Failure to enforce these rules on your employees or customers could expose you to fines or even six (6) months imprisonment.

Gatherings

Some of the key points on changes to permitted gatherings are as follows:

  • Gatherings are limited to 250 people outdoors or 100 people indoors.
  • All gatherings need to provide ventilation and hand sanitiser, as well as practice social distancing and mask wearing.
  • Certain hotspots for gatherings will be fully or partially closed across the festive season (16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021). Fully closed areas currently include the Eastern Cape and Garden Route.
  • Beaches and parks that aren’t closed will be open between 9am and 6pm.

It is important that you keep up to date with the latest news on any restrictions as rules are subject to change, dependent on increase or decrease of transmission in a region.

Hospitality and Goods

As the President suggested a second wave is possible, the focus of the Government is to try and maintain economic activity, whilst limiting the spread of the virus. This is reflected in the restrictions and rules that have been placed on the hospitality and tourism sectors.

The new rules are:

  • There is a national curfew between 11pm and 4am.
  • Restaurants and bars must close by 10pm to allow staff time to return home before curfew.
  • Alcohol can be sold in shops Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 6pm
  • Vineyards and wine tastings may resume on the weekends and may include purchases for offsite consumption. 

Although the above restrictions may limit your business, it is encouraging that emphasis is being placed on keeping the wheels of the economy turning.

You can read the President’s full speech by following this link.

We hope that this information has proved useful to you. As always, if you need to get in touch with a member of the team, you can contact us at [email protected]

Keep well and stay safe.

Team SimplePay