- The UIF has appointed auditors to look into companies accused of stealing the TERF payouts
- Reports have emerged that some companies are paying the money as loans or not paying the full amounts
- Nxesi said there are still 725 000 TERS applications with missing information
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has appointed auditors after reports of companies stealing Covid-19 payouts meant for workers.
Workers who are put on leave, have been laid off temporarily or whose employers cannot afford to pay their full salaries due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus are entitled to the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) payouts.
The minimum amount workers can get is R3 500 and the maximum they can get is R6 730 if they earn more than R17 700.
While employees can apply directly for the money from the UIF if their employer did not apply, typically the money is paid via the employer. Since April, the UIF has paid out more than R21 billion to 3.6 million workers.
Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi has noted the reports around companies not paying the TERS money to employees and some employees being given the money as loans. He said:
"It is alleged that there are companies that have not paid the workers what is due to them. We are aware of some companies allegedly loaning employees the money and that is not legal. We are also aware of other companies that are allegedly paying part of the money and not the full amount, as well as companies using the money for something else other than the intended purpose."
Nxesi has also urged companies to come forward and confirm the details of more than 725 000 workers who have not yet been paid out to date. The UIF said the applications of those employees are still missing some key information.
UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping said there is an unwillingness from companies to come forward and declare their employees and UIF cannot process any claims unless an employer/employee relationship is confirmed.
Nxesi added that there are companies who have not been contributing to UIF and yet have also been allowed to claim. These companies will have to pay their UIF debts.
The auditors have been instructed to "follow the money trail".
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