On this first day of the National Lockdown, further information has become known, however to simplify the understanding for our clients, we will be revisiting some of the earlier communications we have made to date:
Temporary Lay-Offs, Unpaid Leave or Paid Leave during the Lockdown:
While responses from government in this regard has been mixed and decidedly unclear, various legal opinions have been obtained by various Companies and provided by some of the most respectable law firms in the Labour Law field. While it remains a case of one size does not fit all, we do make mention of the simple facts as they are currently known to us asfollows:
- Company’s that can afford to pay salaries are encouraged to do so in order to mitigate the impact on workers and the Economy as a whole.
- Employees who can continue to work remotely and/or are Essential Services should be allowed to work in that manner without any interruption to their remuneration and benefits.
- Company’s that cannot do so, can ask their Employees to apply for Annual Leave, however where an Employee does not want to apply his/her Annual Leave, that Employee can be placed on unpaid leave and/or Temporary Lay-Off for the duration of the Lockdown.
- Temporary Lay-Off, with the exception of some of the Industries that have their own Main Agreements, can only be done by consent and as an alternative to Retrenchments through the mechanisms provided for in terms of Section 189 of the Act, however under the current lockdown, compliance with these requirements have understandably been difficult.
- Finally, the principal of No-Work-No-Pay is a well-entrenched legal principal and in the case of the Lockdown, force majeur measures can reasonably include the application of this principal on the basis that it is not the fault of either the Employee or the Employer that the Employee could not work.
UIF, TERS, Small Business Funding:
Government has indicated that various mechanisms are being put in place to assist Businesses to pay their Employee’s Salaries. Through the UIF TERS scheme, Employers will be able to claim a portion of their Employees’ Salaries in order to pay this directly to Employees without the need for the Employees themselves to claim these funds from the UIF.
In order to apply for this, Employers are required to submit an email to Covid19ters@labour.gov.za and will receive instructions from them. We have done so and while the turnaround time was around 16 hours, find here the instructions received from the Department of Employment and Labour for your convenience and in order to assist you to start the claims process as a matter of urgency:
Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (Act 63 of 2001), as amedned
Unemployment Insurance Fund response to the Corona Virus
C19 TERS: Payment of benefits to employees who suffer a loss of income due to the closure of the employer’s business as a result of the national lockdown
The request for financial relief under the C19 TERS scheme is acknowledge. Kindly note easy aid to assist the employer to access the employee benefit during the closure period
The key documents to submit or complete
– Letter of authority
– Prescribed template
– Bank Confirmation Letter
– Bank statement
Al documents are attached and please allow for a smooth process by completing all information and documents needed.
Please, take care when indicating the National Minimum wage. It is crucial and incorrect stated values might result in serious delays in the processing of the benefit payments
The means to payment is critical and provide banking details as per the mode selected, example, if the payment should go to the employer, then the employer special banking account should be given.
However, proof of payment is required to satisfy that the payments indeed went to the employees. This is also critical, if further payments are required
Please note the enquiry telephone to enquire on the claimsed lodged: 012 337 1997
With reference to the prescribed template;
Below information in the table are mandatory. The file should be exported in CSV format with Pupe delimiter (|) from the payroll system. Indication of Header and Footer should be made as highlighted below.
UifReferenceNumber|Shutdown From (DD-MMM0YYY)ONLY|Shutdown Till(DD-MMM-YYYY)ONLY|Trade Name|PAYE number|Contact Number|Email Address|IDNumber|First Name|LastName|Remuneration(Monthly)|Employment Start Date|Employment End Date|Sector Minimum wage per month|Leave Income(During Shutdown)|Bank Name|Branch Code|Account Type|Account Number
##Filename should be in the following format
##File should have a header record (1st line) as under
H|DATE DDMMMYYYY UNEMPLOYMENT INSRURANCE ACT 63 OF 2001. EMPLOYERS DECLARATION FOR SHUT DOWN/SHORT TIME DUE CORONA VIRUS FOR MONTH OF – ——. APPLICATION UNDER NATURAL DISASTER BENEFICIARY FUND
## each file should have footer record as under
Here 2050 is the actual number of record to be loaded into database, between header line and footer line
All the fields must be separated by pipe | sign
If file doesn’t have header/ footer record then it will be considered discarded as incomplete dataset.Unemployment Insurance Commissioner
The Following Files were attached to the Email:
Furthermore, businesses are required to register for Small Business Rescue funding at the website set up for that purpose at www.smmesa.gov.za which was non-functional for all practical purposes until around 14h00 on the 26th of March 2020 when some of our clients have been able to register to date.
Essential Services and Permits:
Businesses who are essential Services as per the published regulations can and should be able to operate at Essential Services levels during the Lockdown, these businesses include Mining, Safety and Security and various other businesses and, by extension, where necessary their suppliers and sub-contractors. In order to qualify, you need to comply with the following:
- If your business is an Essential Service (Which you can confirm in the Regulations sent earlier in this regard at Annexure B), you need to ensure that you provide the following Documents:
- Copy of your CIPC Permit as an Essential Service which can be requested at www.bizportal.gov.za by scrolling down on the home page to Our Services (3rd Paragraph), Clicking on the first option for Company Registration and then clicking on the red icon which reads COVID-19 Essential Services. You then simply enter your Company Registration Number and populate the fields. A copy of the certificate will then be emailed to you within 48 hours, in our experience this took around 12 hours. A Copy of this should accompany your Employees and may also be provided to your suppliers and sub-contractors who should then apply for one in their own name.
- Copy of the Essential Service Permit as per Annexure C of the Regulations which should be an original document, containing the signature of the Head of the Business as well as a Company Stamp and should be provided to any Employee who is required to work in order to render an Essential Service.
- Ensure that Employees who are issued with these documents are also instructed to be in possession of a valid Photo ID to prove that they are the person in the Permit and that only original permits will be accepted, signed by the Head of the Institution (Business) and affixed with a Company Stamp.
- If your business renders an Essential Service to another business or forms part of their Essential Service, all the Documents contained above for your own business as well as a letter from the client stating that you are part of their Essential Services.
- If your business is not a defined Essential Service, but you need to ensure that Communications remains online and/or that your Business premises are safe and secure in instances where you do not make use of a Private Security Provider, you need to establish which aspects of your business are Essential as per Annexure B of the Regulations (Care-and-maintenance, Security, Communications) and follow the same procedure as outlined above to comply with the Regulations of the Lockdown.
As already stated, HR City will continue to render its’ services, both Electronically and Telephonically as well as, in the instance of Essential Services for which HR City has been registered, to the extent allowed under those terms.
Eben van Deventer 082 412 2845 firstname.lastname@example.org
AJ van Niekerk 079 890 4411 email@example.com
Elri de Bruin 082 753 5695 firstname.lastname@example.org
Conrad Luus 072 624 3410 email@example.com
Please do not hesitate to contact us. We will continue to post updates on developments as they become known to us during this time.
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