TERS Applications for May Open

We are extremely happy to announce that this morning the applications for the COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) for the month of May have opened! For all intents and purposes, the application process appears to be the same as that in place for the end of the April application period. This means that you can still use the SimplePay TERS CSV export, subject to the few tweaks mentioned below.

To apply, go to https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19 and log in if you already have an account, or register if you are applying for the first time.

You can then follow the application steps that are laid out on the site. An application guide, along with a post application guide, can be downloaded from the application site by clicking on:

 Application info > Application Procedure > Click Here to Download Files

On the TERS application website, linked above.

Key Changes for May

There have been some key announcements made that change the picture of what COVID-19 TERS process looks like. Some of the key changes are detailed below. There is also a nice overview available in the latest media release from the UIF.

Distribution of the TERS Benefits

The UIF has announced that it will no longer be requiring employers or bargaining councils to act as conduits for the disbursement of TERS benefits to employees. Instead, the UIF shall be paying employees directly into their bank accounts.

The intention behind this change to the system is that it will hopefully result in employees getting paid faster. Employers are still expected to apply on behalf of their employees and will receive a payment breakdown from the UIF as confirmation of payment.

The options for the UIF to pay money to employers and bargaining councils remains open. However, the UIF advises selecting payment directly into the employee’s account to expedite the payment of employees.

Proof of Payment for Employers returning to Make a Second Claim

According to the UIF, employers who have claimed TERS benefits in April and are wishing to make a repeat claim for May, will be expected to submit proof that  payment was made to their employees. In the above mentioned media statement, it was stated that an electronic bank statement or letter of acknowledgement between the employer and employee would suffice. 

Bargaining Councils Applying on Behalf of Employers

In the main part, it is likely that applications to TERS are to be done by the employer on behalf of their employee for COVID-19 TERS benefits.

Alternatively, if you have agreed with your bargaining council and the UIF that they shall apply for TERS benefits for your employees, this agreement should be adhered to.

If you are in any doubt of whether it is you or the bargaining council who should make an application for COVID-19 TERS, we would recommend that you clarify this on the UIF hotline, on 0800 030 007.

Eligibility for Applying to COVID-19 TERS

The eligibility for applying to COVID-19 TERS has been a large subject of discussion in the past for some of our clients. The latest amendments to the Directive in May altered the wording, clarifying if an employer is eligible or not to apply on behalf of their employees. 

The take home of this new wording is that any employer who closes operations, to any extent, needs to apply to TERS for its employees. 

SimplePay TERS CSV Export

There are a few minor but noteworthy changes regarding to the TERS CSV export which we would like to bring to your attention:

  1. Date range

As this is the application for May, the columns labelled “Shutdown From” and “Shutdown to” should be completed to accommodate this. These columns will be blank on the CSV, so you will need to input the correct dates.

There has been no official guidance published on the date range to input if your business reopened part way through May. Therefore, in such cases we would recommend that you contact the UIF hotline on 0800 030 007 to confirm the correct date range for your bespoke set of circumstances.

2. Column Titles

In order to bring the SimplePay CSV export titles in line with the UIF online application table, we have changed the “Leave Income During Shutdown” column to “Remuneration During shutdown”

This column aligns with the column labelled “Remuneration For Work Done Or Work To Be Done in May 2020 (excluding Leave Income or Payment In Advance)”, found on the online TERS application portal. 

Employee Applications for TERS Benefits

Employees are able to apply for TERS benefits in very limited circumstances under this latest version of the TERS process. For an employee to be eligible to apply the employer must have refused or been unable to apply for TERS benefits, as well as other criteria being met. By and large this is not a recommended option in almost all cases.

We hope that this information proves useful for you in carrying out this month’s TERS application. For more information on TERS and other COVID-19 related subject matter, you can visit our dedicated help page.

We would like to emphasise that for applications for April, one of the key causes of delay was incorrectly inputted information. Therefore we would like to stress the importance of double or even triple checking that the information is both accurate and in the correct format, to maximise the chances of a smooth process.

If you have any questions on the information provided above and how it relates to SimplePay, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS: Foreign Workers Update

Update 27 May: the UIF has announced a delay in the opening of COVID-19 TERS applications for May due to a break in the communications link between the UIF’s office and the State Informations and Technology Agency (SITA). Read the media statement here

The following information is taken from a Q&A Webinar with the UIF, presented by the UIF’s Directors for provincial support and stakeholding.

As mentioned in our previous blog, linked here, it has become apparent that there are some issues for foreign employees in receiving their TERS benefits. We have now gained further information from the UIF on the most reliable way forward for UIF to process TERS applications for foreign employees, as we shall explain below.

The Likely Problem

Through the information garnered from the above mentioned webinar, as well as our own investigations, which included several phone calls with the UIF, it seems that the problem with these claims stemmed from a mismatch between the various systems used by the UIF to receive and process information. In order to validate if an employee is eligible for TERS benefits, the UIF needs to link the employee’s UIF contributions to the claim made. In the application process, this phase could have failed for a number of reasons, with some possibilities being:

  • The employer had registered for the payment of UIF with SARS, but not with the UIF itself.
    • In order to be compliant, employers need to ensure they submit their monthly declarations to the UIF, as well as make payment of UIF contributions to SARS when submitting their EMP201.
  • The UIF Reference numbers were inputted incorrectly.
  • An initial incorrect application for TERS was submitted and rejected, but the UIF reference numbers of the employees were captured. This means if a second application is made, it will automatically be rejected as the UIF numbers are already on the UIF Claims system (this is a safeguard put in place to avoid double payment).

To try and widen the resources from which to validate TERS applications, the UIF requested SARS cross check applications against their records of contributions to the UIF. In order for this step to be passed, the submitted application had to be a perfect match with respect to the UIF number, PAYE number and ID number on the SARS system, otherwise payment would not be processed. These increased validation measures resulted in fewer than expected applications being validated, in particular those by foreign employees.

Throughout the above processes, it is possible that the use of a passport number as opposed to 

a South African ID number was problematic. We have been informed by the UIF that for May applications, they believe that they have addressed the underlying cause(s) of the issues encountered with foreign employee’s TERS applications.

Suggested Way Forward

The latest from the Department of Labour and UIF is that for foreign workers, declarations should be made through uFiling to increase the probability of successful submissions. We appreciate that this is an added administrative load for you and does result in you needing to manually input information, in comparison to the SimplePay direct submission from our site. Nonetheless, the UIF recommends you record these foreign workers on uFiling for this period, as it will hopefully make the claim process faster.

You will continue to be able to submit your UIF declarations directly to the UIF on SimplePay for your foreign workers, as this is still an accepted method. This means that if you are not able to submit declarations via uFiling, your foreign employees’ declarations should still be sent successfully through SimplePay. The uncertainty comes in at the point where the UIF needs to match contributions to applications and this is apparently where using uFiling increases the likelihood of successful claims.

When registering or signing in on uFiling, it is possible that you will already have some or all of your foreign employees listed. If this is the case you must search for any omissions or errors in information. It is equally possible that none of the employees have been pulled through from the direct submission due to the strain put on uFiling over this period. If this is the case, please input the foreign employees in question.

When TERS applications for May do open, it is worth noting that the TERS CSV export from SimplePay will remain with the foreign employees listed. We are awaiting confirmation on when May applications will open and what the final process will be. We anticipate that you can continue to use our CSV but will confirm as soon as we know for sure. During the Q&A sessions the UIF representatives indicated that significant work has been done on the TERS system to resolve the issues experienced with claims for foreign employees. We sincerely hope that this is the case and that May’s applications will go far more smoothly for you.

If you are already registered, it is important that you check that your foreign employees are registered under your company, as this will then allow the employees to be matched to the TERS claim, thus triggering payment.

You can register or log into uFiling by clicking on the relevant link at https://www.ufiling.co.za/uif/.

It is possible that for May it will not be necessary to carry out this step as the UIF system will have been updated to accommodate foreign employees. However, having your foreign employees registered on uFiling still sounds like the most reliable way forward at this stage.

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]

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Recap Blog #5

Update 27 May: the UIF has announced a delay in the opening of COVID-19 TERS applications for May due to a break in the communications link between the UIF’s office and the State Informations and Technology Agency (SITA). Read the media statement here

Update 25 May: As mentioned in previous blogs, such as the Employment Tax Validation blog, SDL contributions for the months of May to August 2020 have been set to zero in line with the legislation. This will be reflected on your EMP201s and you do not need to do anything on your end.

After having a week off last Friday, we’re back to business with the consolidatory blog for the past fortnight! Without further ado, let’s get straight into what’s been covered this week.

This Week’s Blogs

As per every week, here’s the list and summary of this week’s blogs, just in case you missed them!

Annual Employer Reconciliation Period Deadline blog contents:

  • Extended deadline remains 31 May
  • Information on individual tax returns

Repo Rate Change blog contents:

  • New rate of interest cut by 50 basis points

TERS for Foreign Employees and OID Comp Return of Earnings blog contents:

  • Steps to follow to receive TERS Benefits for foreign employees
  • OID Comp Return of Earnings, delayed deadline
  • Relief measures to support employers with respect to their Return of Earnings

Submitted Files for UIF Declaration Now Available blog contents:

  • UI-19 declarations submitted through SimplePay can now be downloaded for personal records
  • Information how to open the file in spreadsheet format

UIF Submissions Update: 18/05/2020 blog contents:

  • Update on the turnaround times for UIF submissions, as well as the amount of backdating
  • Link to original update blog on 14 May.

COVID-19 TERS Update blog contents:

  • Department of Labour’s post application support document for employers who applied for TERS benefits and are looking for further guidance
  • A note for employers who are wanting to apply for TERS in May

New SARS Codes and System Item for Disaster Relief Funds blog contents:

  • Tax Treatment of disaster relief payments
  • New “COVID-19 Disaster Relief” system item on SimplePay

Employment Tax Validation Process blog contents:

  • Summary of the tax validation process
  • Process to follow for over and under deductions
  • News on SDL payment holiday
  • News on the expansion of parental leave benefits

Take-Home Highlights

Employer Annual Reconciliation Period

As mentioned in our blog published earlier today, the deadline for IRP5/IT3(a)s is 31 May, in a little over a week’s time.

We have made all the necessary changes to our system, so all that is left to do is to ensure you get your returns submitted on time!

COVID-19 TERS

It has come to the point where no blog really feels complete without a nod to COVID-19 TERS.

The situation as it stands with TERS is that applications for May have still not opened. We are periodically checking the UIF website for a change (https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/), but so far to no avail.

Hopefully the application downtime is being used wisely, whereafter a streamlined process will emerge for the remainder of the scheme.

In the meantime we are all at the mercy of Government timelines and process; unfortunately we have no insight into or influence on these, but will do our best to keep you informed as and when we know more.

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]

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

TERS for Foreign Employees and OID Comp Return of Earnings

The blog today has an update for you on the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) relief, and its annual return of earnings. Additionally, we have received a clarification for employers who applied to COVID-19 TERS for their foreign workers.

Foreign Workers: COVID-19 TERS

It has become apparent that foreign employees who have been enrolled for the Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS) have had their applications rejected. This appears to be due to the TERS system not being able to recognise passport numbers. If this is the case for you and your foreign employees have not received payment, you must simply submit proof to the UIF of the employee’s contributions to UIF, where they shall then process the payments on their side.

For each foreign employee who has not been counted in the scheme, you need to send:

  1. The employee’s UI 19 Form (Information on where to find this can be found on our help site page, linked here).
  2. The consolidated UI 19 Form, submitted monthly by the employer.
  3. Proof of payroll for the period between January to March 2020. This could be met by the UI 19 form mentioned in point 2, but to be safe we would recommend payslips for the employee also.

All of the above information needs to be sent to [email protected].

Return of Earnings Submission Deadline

In our previous blog on 11 March, we informed you that the deadline for completing your Return of Earnings, or W.As.8, was pushed back from 31 March to 31 May. We can now inform you that this date has been pushed back further still to 30 June 2020.

Relief Measures in Light of COVID-19

To help lessen the financial burden on employers during this period of economic uncertainty, and to encourage compliance with COIDA, the Compensation Fund has announced the following measures:

1. Normally, late payment of assessment results in penalties and interest accruing until the amount is settled. The Compensation Fund has announced an exemption from penalties and interest for a 6 month period, between 29 April and 30 September 2020. 

Note: This does not alter any amounts due, it merely exempts employers from penalties and interest for overdue payments of assessment for the period.

2. For employers partaking in an instalments arrangement, the standard requirement of an upfront 20% deposit has been lifted.

If you wish to partake in an instalment arrangement, you can do this by sending a request to [email protected]

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].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

UIF Submissions Update: 18/05/2020

Last week we posted a blog update covering electronic UIF submissions turnaround times. Thankfully it seems that in the interim they have started clearing the backlog and are processing newer submissions more quickly. With this in mind, we wanted to provide an update on the current state of UIF submissions in relation to TERS claims.

We are currently doing everything we can to ease the burden on UIF and ensure that they receive all the necessary submissions for the processing of TERS. We’ve limited immediate submissions to the past six (6)  months because we’ve been advised that as long as the UIF has submission information for Jan to March 2020, TERS applications will be processed. At this stage, it appears that the majority of clients experiencing issues with UIF submissions have encountered them during the TERS application process.

Unfortunately, because of the sheer volumes of data and the massive backlog at the UIF, we are not currently processing resubmissions further back than Nov 2019. This is to ensure that we do not overwhelm their electronic submissions channel and prevent the processing of newer declarations needed for TERS claims. Once the dust settles, we will begin resubmitting these backlogged, older declarations. If you need to urgently resubmit declarations for periods prior to November 2019, we would recommend use of another channel such as email or uFiling, simply because this means of electronic submission appears to be overloaded and struggling due to increased volumes from the lockdown.

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]

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Recap Blog #4

Friday has come around again meaning, it is time for our blog rounding up the week’s events.

The contents of the blog today includes a summary of this month’s blogs to date, as well as some reiterations of key points that were made within these blogs throughout the week.

May’s Blog Posts to Date

Below you will find a list of the most recent blogs and their content, just in case you missed them!

8 May Update blog contents:

  • Clarification on COVID-19 TERS payout amounts, as well as the effect of additional payments made by the employer on the benefit amount.
  • UIF electronic submissions: new progress notification functionality to update you on your submissions.
  • SARS Updates: Note on the annual employer reconciliation period, as well as means to get updates directly from SARS.
  • ETI: Explanation as to how our system will be altered when the latest draft Disaster Management Tax Relief and Tax Administration Bills pass into law.

COVID-19 ETI relief blog contents:

  • Update on the amount of ETI an employer will receive for each ETI qualifying employee, during the period of 1 April to 31 July 2020.

Draft Disaster Management Bills summary blog contents:

  • Summary of the proposed amendment’s effects on ETI entitlements, SDL payment holiday and employer PAYE deferment.
  • Outline of the workplace requirements for employers reopening under lockdown level 4.

Summaries of the contents for the end of April’s blogs, as well as a COVID-19 TERS specific section can be found in our Lockdown Recap #3 blog

Alternatively, if you would like to see the full list of our blogs, including information about UIF claims, these can be found on our website.

Take Homes from the Week

Additions to the SimplePay Help Site

In order to help ease some of the confusion and concern around the lockdown, we have been very active in producing blog content dealing with the various measures to support businesses and employees. We have also created a dedicated COVID-19 Help section, which will be updated as quickly as possible as new information and requirements are made available.

If you have a query relating to COVID-19, we’d like to request that you consult one or more of the following posts and / or help articles (accessible from the two links above) as they contain the most up to date info we have and will hopefully resolve your query.

Annual Employer Reconciliation Period

SARS has not announced any extensions to the employer filing deadline of 31 May. We have made all the necessary arrangements on our end, so you can proceed with annual filing whenever you’re ready!

When can the Disaster Management Bills be relied upon?

As mentioned in previous blogs, the latest draft Bills are open to public comment until 15 May 2020. It therefore follows that soon after this date, they shall pass into law, possibly with minor changes made. 

A good indication of the progress of certain subject matter within the Bills can be gleaned from Government body websites and media platforms. An example of this being SARS’ twitter handle (@sarstax) today tweeted, that employer SDL contributions shall be defaulted to zero on their EMP201s, for the months of May to August. This therefore provides a strong indication of what will pass into law in the near future.

Calculation of the COVID-19 TERS Benefit 

COVID-19 TERS is a subject which has caused much confusion and media attention, not only in how to apply for this aid, but also how to distribute it to employers correctly.

As discussed in the 8 May Lockdown blog post, the Department of Labour has released an FAQ document, hopefully providing clarity on many of the questions you may still have around the subject.

Returning to Work – Lockdown Level 4

Coming to the end of the first week back for many businesses, it is important to know where your responsibilities stand to your employees and otherwise under lockdown level 4.

Our blog from 5 May helps outline what you as an employer need to do to remain compliant when reopening your workplace.

We hope that this information proves useful to you, and that the first 5-day working week in a while has been kind 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].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Recap Blog #3

Despite a shortened week caused by not one, but two public holidays, it has been yet another busy period. In this blog we shall recap and link you to the important news and updates from the past days.

Recent Blogs and their Content

To help address confusion surrounding everything to do with lockdown, we have been creating several blogs to both inform you on updates to support measures and let you know how SimplePay is making your life easier to access these. 

It is worth noting that the more recent the blog, the more up to date the information is, so it is advisable to work back from the most recent when looking for information. Equally though, the previous blogs are extremely useful for providing context and building a broad base of knowledge.

Below you will find a list of the most recent blogs and their content, just in case you missed them!

29 April Update Blog Contents:

  • Clarification on how the TERS Payout functions and the impact of employer additional payments; 
  • Expansion of applicability for the 35% PAYE deferment scheme; 
  • Delay to Tourism Relief Fund Payout; and 
  • Information on updates to annuity funds.

28 April Update Blog Contents:

  • Summary of the Minister for Finance’s speech on 23 April, notably listing prospective financial support measures

24 April Update Blog Contents:

  • Information on how TERS benefit is to be distributed to employees;
  • Increase in the amount of employers able to apply to TERS; and
  • TERS application tracker.

23 April Update Blog Contents:

  • Nature of TERS payouts;
  • Clarification on the dates for TERS CSV export; and
  • A summary of poignant parts of President Ramaphosa’s speech from 21 April. 

Blogs which predate the ones listed are linked in our previous two lockdown recap blogs (below). 

Lockdown Recap #2 Content:

  • PAYE tax deferment, TERS, ETI, Tourism and Industrial support, Interest Rate reduction, filing.
  • Details of changes that occurred between 6 and 14 April (+retrospective additions);

Recap Blog #1 Contents:

  • List of Governmental body contact numbers, FAQ’s on a variety of topics and an explanation of the options open to employers and their employees.
  • Details of changes that occurred between 27 March and 14 April.

Dedicated TERS Blogs

Update 7 May: The Department for Employment and Labour has not yet started accepting TERS applications for the month of May. They have requested that applicants continue to revisit the website until applications for May become live.

8 May Update blog: clarification on the manner in which you calculate TERS benefit payouts, as well as the effect of employer contributions on the TERS benefit amount.

New System Item: TERS Benefit Payout Contents:

  • Details of how you can record employee’s TERS payout on the payslip using SimplePay.

Update to TERS Application Channel Content:

  • New mandatory online application method (CSV Export is still utilised).

COVID-19 TERS CSV Export Content:

  • Details surrounding the TERS CSV export required when applying, which can be exported from Simplepay.

A full list of COVID-19 related posts, including information on UIF claims can alternatively be found on our website. 

Additional Updates

30 April: Lockdown Level 4

Following President Ramaphosa’s speech on 21 April, tomorrow South Africa will enter into lockdown level 4. This reduces the strictness of the measures that have been in place over the last 6 weeks, and provides opportunities for some businesses to reopen their doors.

The Government website provides information on what the changes that will come into place tomorrow are. A page on these measures can be found here.

Status of Changes from the Finance Minister’s Speech – 28 April

There was mention of an increase in the COVID-19 Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) amount from R500 to R750; When does this come into effect?

The increase in the amount of ETI will be given legal effect when the changes to the Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill and the Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill are passed into law. These were meant to have been released today, 30 April, but unfortunately appear to have been delayed.

If you have any questions on ETI in the meantime, a useful source is the SARS Question and Answer page, found here.

We are making good progress on finishing the necessary adjustments to our system for you with respect to ETI, in time for the 7 May deadline. If it does turn out that this increase of R750 per employee is retrospective to 1 April, and you have already completed your EMP201 submissions we shall endeavor to ensure that the ETI carries over to the next month. If this is not possible for whatever reason, we shall get in contact with you to request that you resubmit your EMP201s.

How will the Skills Development Levy Holiday Function?

As above with ETI, we are still waiting for the release of the Bills to know how this is going to function. 

This is a less pressing matter though as the initial drafts from SARS do not have the commencement of the payment holiday until 1 May, or in other words until your next pay run. We shall therefore get back to you as soon as we know more about this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I track the progress of my TERS application?

In our blog on 24 April, we mentioned the new TERS application tracker. This is likely the fastest way to follow the progress of any applications which you have. 

Alternatively, you can call the TERS hotline on 012 337 1997.

Something has gone wrong during my online application to TERS – HELP! 

Sadly we cannot express any special knowledge as to what may have happened during an online application to TERS. Therefore we would recommend that you persevere with trying to contact the TERS hotline on 012 337 1997. We understand that this is an incredibly stressful and frustrating situation and will continue in our endeavors to obtain and provide any additional information we can.

I have submitted a UIF application through SimplePay, but have not received a response yet; what should I do?

Having submitted an application for UIF using SimplePay, first you will receive a status reading “awaiting response”, which will then change to “confirmed”. 

At this moment in time it is taking a minimum of seven (7) days for a response to come back from UIF. Therefore, we would request that you wait a minimum of seven (7) days before contacting us with a query on this. If, after this period, your submission has still seen no progress please feel free to get in touch with our customer service team on [email protected]

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].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Lockdown Update – 24 April

Since yesterday’s blog, we have a few updates on the distribution of TERS funds and a means to track applications.

Additionally, changes have been made so that some employers who were previously unable to apply for TERS, are now eligible.

TERS – Employee Fund Distribution

Update 7 May: The Department for Employment and Labour has not yet started accepting TERS applications for the month of May. They have requested that applicants continue to revisit the website until applications for May become live.

As of last week, TERS payments have started to be distributed to employers to support their employees, however there has been no accompanying instruction on how this is to be distributed. This has made it impossible for the employer to correctly pay their employees the amounts due.

We have been informed that, for employers who have already received the funding, TERS will either issue, or make available a reconciliation report to instruct the employers on how to distribute the funds to their employees. For those still awaiting payment, a reconciliation report will be provided alongside payment, allowing for the correct amounts to be paid to employees.

TERS Access to Employers not Registered for UIF Benefit

Many employers are registered with SARS for UIF payment purposes, but have never signed up with the UIF. As TERS benefit claims require a UI Registration number, some employers have been unable to apply for TERS benefits. SARS is now assisting the UIF with registering all SARS-registered employers with the UIF. 

Once this is completed, the newly registered employer can submit back-dated declarations as far as possible, facilitating them in claiming the TERS benefit.

TERS Application Tracker

A useful tool to look out for if you are waiting to hear back from a submitted TERS application, is the new tracking functionality on the Department of Employment and Labour website. 

To track your application, you need to login at https://uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19/.

EMP201 Tax Liability Deferrals

To reiterate a point made in our Lockdown Recap #2 Blog, to claim the 35% deferment correctly, you must submit your EMP201 to SARS with the full liability recorded. SARS themselves will deduct the relevant amount to provide you with the amount due. You do not need to do anything on your end to benefit from the deferment.

TERS Benefit Payout

We are happy to announce that we have created a new system item to accommodate the payment of the TERS benefit to employees. More information can be found on our blog here.

Today, we had hoped to bring you more from the relevant Ministers of the subjects laid out in the President’s speech this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Government delayed the release of the speech by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni. We shall bring this information to you next week.

If you have any questions about this above blog, please feel free to get into contact with us at [email protected].

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

Update to TERS Application Channel

Over the past few weeks we have made multiple mentions of how employers should apply by email for the COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefit. We received an update today, 16 April, that this method of application is no longer available. 

Employers should now make use of a new online method on the Department of Employment and Labour website.

Through this new application process, employers will still be able to submit the same CSV file generated by SimplePay, which was previously used when applying via email. More information on downloading this CSV file can be found on our COVID-19 TERS CSV Export Help page.

Please note: We are currently waiting on feedback about an error with this new online application when the CSV file doesn’t contain the employee’s Termination Date. It would be best to wait a few days before making use of this online application process whilst any errors are being corrected with their system.

Should you have any queries over the content or processes to follow within this blog, please feel free to contact our support team via [email protected]

If your question is related to a step within the application process, or an error that has occurred within the process, we would encourage you to follow this up on the TERS hotline, on 012 337 1997.

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay

New Feature: COVID-19 TERS CSV Export

Update 23 April: We have received word that the termination date is in fact needed in the CSV (after being told to leave it out) and are doing the update as a top priority. In the meantime you can populate the termination date field before downloading the CSV and use our “copy down” functionality if the date is the same for all employees. We have received confirmation that the TERS benefit paid by employers to their employees will not be subject to PAYE, SDL or UIF. You may pay this amount off-system if you choose, but we recommend waiting until we have updated our system to include a new TERS benefit item. We will send out a notification when the system has been updated.

Update 8 April: We have made the change to include the additional “Preferred Payment Medium” column to the CSV file.

Update 7 April: The first paragraph has been amended to correctly reflect the situation regarding the Labour Centre closures during lockdown. It was reiterated on this morning’s news rather than announced as earlier stated. We sincerely apologise for any confusion or inconvenience the earlier version may have caused.

Our promised update of generating the CSV file required to claim the COVID-19 TERS benefit* is now live. With Labour Centres across the country being closed during the lockdown, the UIF’s capacity to process individual employee claims is under severe pressure. With this in mind, we’ve been advised that all employers who are able to apply for the COVID-19 TERS benefit, rather than having employees claim UIF, are urged to go the TERS route instead.*

*A quick note on COVID-19 TERS vs UIF

To the best of our knowledge and based on advice we received this morning (7 April), it seems that wherever possible, employers are encouraged to apply for TERS rather than having employees go through UIF. The benefit can be paid to the employer or Bargaining Council for distribution to employees. An audit will also be conducted at a later stage to ensure employees received their designated funds. As of this afternoon (7 April), the benefits can also be paid directly to employees.

This shift to TERS claims will effectively allow for consolidated claims on behalf of employees rather than many thousands of claims from individual employees, which will hopefully reduce strain on the UIF and allow for some measure of effectiveness in paying out benefits.

Any more detailed advice or queries are unfortunately outside the scope of our knowledge and expertise so we still recommend contacting the UIF call centre (0800 843 843) or TERS hotline (012 337 1997).

Back to the COVID-19 TERS CSV

Update 16 April: The email application is now obsolete. A new online application is now available. Read more here.

General information on the COVID-19 TERS initiative is contained in our 31 March post on Support for Business – COVID-19 TERS  – a reminder from this prior post that all the requirements for an application can be obtained by sending an email to [email protected]. *

One of the requirement that is contained in the above-mentioned email response, is the completion of a CSV file of employer and employee information. The CSV file can be downloaded from the COVID-19 Exports section of the Bulk Actions page.

Exporting from SimplePay

To complete the form and download the CSV, go to Employees > Bulk Actions. Then click on Temporary Employer / Employee Relief Scheme CSV under COVID-19 Exports.

You will note that we have pre-populated as much information as possible to speed up the process; however some manual inputs are still required. Most pre-populated inputs can also be edited if necessary. Please see the below table for details:

Note: “Preferred Payment Medium” is the additional field added by the DoL on 7 April, which will be included in our next update.

Ensure that you carefully complete all sections of this form, as the file will be rejected if there are blank fields. Any incomplete or incorrect sections will disrupt the UIF’s automated process, resulting in considerable delay


Please note that there is currently no validation process in place. It is important to verify all information is correct in both accuracy and format.

Once everything has been completed correctly, you can download the CSV File.

Submitting your Application

Update 16 April: The email application is now obsolete. A new online application is now available. Read more here.

Once you have completed and exported the CSV as above, you will need to ensure that you complete and collate all the other required documents.** All of these should then be sent via email to  [email protected] in order to submit your application.

Completion and approval

After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the Fund and its representatives. 

Once the MOA** has been signed off by both the Fund and the Employer, successful applications will then be concluded. Payment will only be made after this point.

**Required Documentation: due to the speed at which the Government is having to adapt and release updates, we are unfortunately unable to list the requirements here. You will need to either wait for a reply to your email to [email protected] or contact the TERS hotline (listed at the beginning of this post).

Should you have any queries over the content or processes to follow within this blog, please feel free to contact our support team via [email protected]

Keep well. Stay home. Stay safe.

Team SimplePay