The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has urged employers to pay contributions and declare their workers every month, as required by law, to avoid delays with benefit applications and payments.
Speaking at an employer advocacy session held in Durban, UIF Provincial Support Director, Allan Ragavaloo, said the majority of normal benefit payments, including the special COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID-19 TERS), were delayed due to the lack of up-to-date declarations by employers.
“If employers are 100% compliant with the fund’s legislation, as well as paying contributions and declaring their workers monthly, we would not experience significant delays with paying claims.
“The majority of the COVID-19 TERS payments were delayed due to the abundant lack of declarations by employers. If all employers had declared their workers to the UIF prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns, we would not have experienced delays with COVID-19 TERS payments,” Ragavaloo said.
Ragavaloo highlighted the error codes that impede COVID-19 TERS payments, which include incorrect identity and passport numbers, failed bank verifications, no declarations and salary discrepancies.
“I am encouraging employers to log into the COVID-19 TERS portal on uifecc.labour.gov.za/covid19, and if you have any errors, please look at the solutions on the system and rectify the errors so we can process and pay the claim,” Ragavaloo said.
He also stressed that employers who are aggrieved about their claims being rejected are entitled to follow the fund’s appeal process.
UIF’s Acting ICT Director, Viwe Gqoli, said the fund had a responsibility to pay all valid COVID-19 TERS claims that are currently on the system.
However, Gqoli said the onus is on the employers to correct the errors because the fund is not permitted to implement corrections on their behalf.
Employers urged to finalise claims
Gqoli said the UIF is trying to close the COVID-19 TERS system and advised employers to finalise their claims.
“Currently, we do not have a backlog on new COVID-19 TERS applications in the system. Instead, we regularly re-run claims that are already in the system hoping that errors have been corrected, but we receive the same outcome of errors. Therefore, we suggest that you correct them before we close the system,” Gqoli said.
He also revealed that the UIF had disbursed R9.2 billion through COVID-19 TERS and R15 million for Workers Affected By Unrest (WABU) in KwaZulu-Natal respectively, bringing relief to thousands of workers affected by COVID– 19 lockdowns and the July 2021 unrest.
Protect uFiling login details
Meanwhile, Deputy Director: Fraud, Sibongiseni Mpanza stressed that employers must always safeguard their uFiling login details.
“Giving your uFiling credentials to third parties or other people is similar to people having your bank card and pin because they may commit fraud which could lead to your company being blacklisted by National Treasury,” Mpanza warned.
The next employer session will be held on 28 July 2022 at the Ascot Wedding and Conference Venue in Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, from 9am. – SAnews.gov.za