Non-Registered UIF Workers Can Apply for Special COVID-19 Payouts


Workers who haven’t been registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) are now eligible to get the special COVID-19 payouts, this follows new regulations that were gazetted on Tuesday.

“The new regulations mean that employees who have not 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. 

The maximum a worker will get is R6730 per month (if you earn more than R17 700) and the minimum amount is R3500.

With previous regulations, only workers who had been registered with the UIF could apply for the TERS payouts. Sadly, the TERS payouts still exclude many self-employed and freelance workers as you have to work for a single employer for more than 24 hours a month in order to qualify. 

By law, employers are obligated to 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. Yet a large number of workers, more so domestic workers and farm labourers, have not been registered with the UIF. These workers have so far not been able to get the COVID-19 Temporary Relief (TERS) payments.

Workers who have been 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 also entitled to the UIF payouts. 

To date the UIF has paid out more than R15 billion in TERS payments, covering the period since lockdown started to the end of April.

Applications for May payments have reportedly opened at midnight on Tuesday.