In a webinar held on 27 July 2021, the Tourism Business Council of South Africa hosted an information session to address the challenges experienced by the business events and hospitality sectors in accessing Unemployment Insurance Fund and Temporary Employment Relief Scheme benefits.

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s (TBCSA) session with the Department of Labour’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on 27 July 2021 kicked off with Natalia Rosa, managing director at Big Ambitions, moderating and posing questions from the audience to Allan Ragavaloo, UIF director for provincial support.

One of the very first and most pressing questions asked was what the reason is for the delays in receiving benefits from the Temporary Employment Relief Scheme (TERS).

Explaining where the UIF is with receiving and processing claims, Allan noted that, “You’ve got to take into account that we are now looking at 10 payment periods… With 10 iteration periods, this means that we have to do 10 payments almost weekly. In terms of what is happening at the moment, new applications are being processed and in addition to that, the previous months’ iterations are being reprocessed.”

Reprocessed claims, says Allan, include rejected claims that were corrected, either by the claimant or the UIF, and resubmitted. Many of these are the declaration of employees by employers, which was highlighted as a challenge by the UIF in its previous session with the TBCSA.

The UIF has said it will put together a schedule of what months are being processed when to give applicants a clearer idea of when they can expect payments for specific periods claimed.

Latest iteration
Industries affected by lockdown have welcomed the latest extension of TERS, which runs from 16 March to 25 July 2021. Allan explains this will run in three parts and cover two annexures, Annexure A and Annexure B, as well as comorbidities. Annexure A, in particular, pertains to:

  1. Venues hosting auctions;
  2. Venues hosting professional sports;
  3. Venues where social events are held;
  4. Venues hosting concerts and live performances;
  5. Any industries that form part of the value chain of the above as per the discretion of the UIF.
In closing, Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa affirmed the TBCSA’s commitment to ensuring that everyone who is eligible to receive benefits is able to do so.

“We will make sure we keep at this and discuss this as much as we can,” he concluded.

The full recording from the session can be viewed below.

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