Covid-19 Ters relief payments halted pending an investigation by the auditor-general.
BUSINESS for South Africa (B4SA) said on Wednesday that the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) decision to halt Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) payments was unfair to those who lodged legitimate claims.
This comes after the organisation learnt that the Ters payments were halted pending investigations by the auditor-general owing to “system integrity” challenges.
The Covid-19 Ters payment was introduced as a financial support mechanism to employers and employees.
“The unilateral halting of all payments, and the very poor communication of the situation by the UIF leadership, is grossly unfair to all employees and their employers who have legitimate claims,” said Robert Legh, chairperson of the B4SA labour work stream.
“That the UIF system is incapable of remedying the relatively small number of fraudulent claims without disadvantaging the millions of legitimate claimants is an indictment on the UIF system.”
B4SA was established shortly after the outbreak of the coronavirus in South Africa, to help mitigate the health, labour market and economic impact of the coronavirus.
Legh said B4SA has urged the UIF to resume payments as soon as possible despite the unclear time frame of the investigation.
“The continued delays and lack of transparency from the UIF in regard to their capacity challenges has had the unintended consequence of creating mistrust between employers and employees,” Legh added.
“B4SA further notes that the UIF call centre capacity has been radically reduced as of last week and that this will undoubtedly create additional challenges for the resolution of queries.”
Legh said that a team from B4SA has approached the UIF to aid with the process on a pro bono basis; however, their offer of help has not been taken up.
“Urgent intervention is required,” said Legh.
– African News Agency (ANA)