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LET'S TALK COVID-19 Labour Law & UIF Benefits

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

The state announced lockdown has brought about a feeling of financial angst to both employers and employees. What follows is a summary of the various UI benefits available to alleviate the harmful economic and social effects of unemployment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.

National Disaster Benefit

Employers who implement a temporary lay-off by closing their business and sending employees home for a period of time may apply for the “National Disaster Benefit” from the UIF.

The benefit is de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefits and will be the equivalent of the minimum wage (R3,500 per month) per employee for the duration of the shut down or a maximum period of 3 months, whichever period is the shortest.

If the temporary lay-off exceeds 3 months, then normal UIF benefits will apply.

Reduced worktime

If an employer implements reduced or short time then the employer may access benefits equivalent to the difference between what the employer pays and normal UIF benefits payable should an employee lose employment.

Illness benefits

An employee who has been self-quarantined (without prior consultation with a medical practitioner) for 14 days may apply for illness benefits through the normal process.

A letter of confirmation from both employer and employee that they have agreed to the 14 days’ special leave must accompany the application and no medical certificate will be required.

Should the quarantine extend beyond 14 days then a medical certificate from a medical practitioner is required.

Required processes & forms

The Department of Employment and Labour has published an Easy-aid Guide for Employers to access these UIF benefits.

Forms you may need:

Contact our Labour Law professionals for further information or assistance.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.

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