The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has reiterated its commitment to honouring the payment of employees and employers affected by COVID-19 through the Temporary Employee/Employers Relief Scheme.
The UIF says, however, it expects the R40 billion set aside for the scheme to run out.
Briefing a joint meeting of the Labour Committees of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, Commissioner Teboho Maruping says they have so far paid over R27 billion for April and May. He says they will have to look at the fund’s other resources to honour payments for all three months, including June.
“Right now as far as COVID-19 is concerned UIF is in a tight corner. We are already going to go beyond the R40 billion. We anticipate more people will lose jobs. UIF is under pressure to pay ordinary benefit and also to make sure people go back to work as quickly as possible.”
Also briefing the Committee on Friday, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. The Minister explains that the relief offered by the fund has been unprecedented.
The UIF pays out around 15 billion to around 700 000 beneficiaries a year. Nearly 5 million people affected by COVID-19 have been paid since April.
During this time, the Fund has also had to deal with 75 fraud cases which the Hawks are investigating.
But Members of Parliament are concerned about the sustainability of the COVID-19 funds and
the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme.
And with TERS soon running its course, the question about whether it will be extended arose, especially since not all industries and sectors have reopened.