The Unemployment Insurance Fund has announced a further extension to the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme benefit payments until September 15.
This means that the government will offer lockdown relief funds to qualifying sectors by placing cash in the hands of workers during the lockdown period.
The UIF warned, however, that those companies who had outstanding claims for March to June, had up to September 15 to file their applications, while those who were applying for August to September 15, had up to October 30 to make their submissions.
No submissions would be entertained beyond those dates, they said.
The UIF said the decision was taken at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) after negotiations with stakeholders.
Since the lockdown, the UIF has paid more than R41 billion to over 825 000 employers after the country went into lockdown because of the pandemic.
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi signed the directions extending the Ters period.
“With the lockdown for some industries extended to September 15, it only makes sense for us to continue to shield workers from the worst effects of the pandemic by extending the relief payments which have placed much-needed cash into the hands of ordinary workers in this country," said Nxesi.
The UIF-Ters benefit was instituted in April.
It was aimed at ensuring workers were not prejudiced by the lockdown.
Employers had to make the applications on the behalf of employees.
But the scheme has been abused, with the auditor-general uncovering that Ters funds were also channelled to dead people, people in prison, people who work for the UIF, people who were receiving state grants, students receiving National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) payments, public servants and minors.
This led to the suspension of the UIF’s top management, including the commissioner and senior top management – the chief financial officer, the chief operating officer and the head of the supply chain.
Meanwhile, the UIF said it would continue to receive applications for the period March 2020 to July 31, 2020 until September 15, 2020. No applications would be accepted beyond that date.
The UIF said Ters applications for the period August 2020 to September 15, 2020 would close on October 30, 2020.