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Even workers who are not registered with the UIF can now get Covid-19 payouts

| Economic factors

Workers who haven’t been registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) can now also get the special Covid-19 payouts, following new regulations that were gazetted on Tuesday.

By law, employers must register their part-time or full-time domestic workers with the UIF if those workers are employed with them for more than 24 hours per month. 

 

But many workers – particularly domestic workers and farm labourers – have not been registered with the UIF. These workers have so far not been able to get the so-called Covid-19 Temporary Relief (TERS) payments.

Workers who are put on leave, have been laid off temporarily, or whose employers can’t afford to pay their full salaries due to the coronavirus crisis are entitled to the UIF payouts. The maximum a worker will get is R6,730 a month (if you earn more than R17,700) – while the minimum amount is R3,500.

The new regulations mean that employees who have never been registered by their employers - and stand to lose out from TERS benefits as a result – can now apply for the TERS payments, says Makhosonke Buthelezi, director of communication and marketing at the UIF. 

Previously, only workers who were registered with the UIF could apply for the TERS payouts. But the TERS payouts still exclude many self-employed and freelance workers - you have to work for a single employer for more than 24 hours a month to qualify. 

So far the UIF has paid out more than R15 billion in Ters payments, covering the period since lockdown started to the end of April.

 

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