Department of Employment and Labor dispels myths on relief claims deadline

Director General, Mr Thobile Lamati

Employers should continue applying for lockdown relief benefits

The Department of Employment and Labour has dispelled myths that it has reached deadlines f0r the lockdown claim for COVID-19 relief scheme administered by the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Director-General, Thobile Lamati, said the Department had not reached the deadline yet.  “The period will depend on the Memorandum of Understanding signed, but it shall not exceed the period given for the Covid-19 relief benefit, which is three months.”

“This means in all intents and purposes, employers should continue applying for lockdown relief benefits for the foreseeable future until the department indicates otherwise,” the Director-General said.

The last two days have seen a spike in the Department of Employment and Labour’s online traffic with resultant slowness of the entire system as people seem to be chasing the lockdown claim deadline for COVID-19 relief scheme.

The Fund has also improved the functionality of the online system to enable employers, employees and organized labor to be able to see which companies have been paid. In the past, the UIF received a number of queries where workers have been unable to determine if their companies have applied for and or received payment on their behalf from the Department of Employment and Labour COVID-19.

Since April 16, 2020, UIF has paid out R 4 473 126 648.12 in lockdown relief scheme for the benefit of 1 110 729 workers.

“We are however still worried that there are 384 239 workers who may be disadvantaged because their details on our systems are missing and therefore cannot access the relief. More than one and a half billion rands (R 1 574 564 427.30) is being held by the Fund as it awaits further particulars from employers,” said Mr Lamati.

The Fund continues to pay normal benefits with over R 1 014 780 488.86 paid to 62 213 claimants for the month of April. This has been broken down as follows:

  • Unemployment benefits for 49 770 recipients to the tune of R 811 824 391.09
  • Maternity benefits to 9 332 recipients to the tune of R 152 217 073.33
  • Dependent benefits covering 1 866 beneficiaries to the tune of R 30 443 414.67
  • Illness and Adoption benefits for 1 245 beneficiaries to the tune of R 20 295 609.77

There is a rise in averaging four percent (4%) in payments as well as the number of claimants.