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Amended Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme: Notice 240 Of 2020
We still receive a number of queries pertaining to the UIF benefits and wish to bring to your attention the latest notice issued in this regard, download it here, that provides some clarity in respect of the following issues:
- ‘temporary closure of business operations’ includes both the total or partial closure;
- where an employer, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, closes its operations or part thereof for a three-month period (or a shorter period), the affected employees shall qualify for the COVID-19 benefits;
- the salary to be taken into account in calculating the benefits is capped at R17 712.00 per month per employee (on the normal income replacement sliding scale as provided for in the Unemployment Insurance Act);
- in the scenario where an employee’s income, in terms of the income replacement sliding scale, falls below R3 500.00, such employee will receive a replacement income of R3 500.00;
- the general principle is that an employee is not entitled to claim benefits under both the COVID-19 temporary relief scheme and by means of similar types of provisions provided by a bargaining council (subject to certain restrictions);
- the required memorandum of agreement’s application has been simplified; and
- an employee is not entitled to utilise the COVID-19 benefit so as to earn more remuneration than he or she would ordinarily have earned.
It is apparent that government initially took the viewpoint that vaccination against Covid-19 should not be compulsory. However, it appears that the recently-promulgated Consolidated Directions on Occupational Health and Safety Measures (‘the Directions’) signifies a very different approach.