UIFBL Premium reports that the government has offered a measure of relief in response to the looming Covid-19 crisis, indicating it will use the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to ease the burden on employees and employers.  

This has been made possible by the UIF’s expected surplus of about R3.6bn over the next three years.  Department of Employment & Labour (DEL) Minister Thulas Nxesi told Nedlac’s executive committee on Monday that distressed companies would receive a period of reprieve from UIF contributions and would be helped to avoid lay-offs through the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme.  The scheme, formerly known as the Training Layoff scheme, suspends the employment relationship and pays workers 75% of their salary to receive training for up to six months.  Employees of companies that have ceased operations for a short time as a precautionary measure will be able to use the short-term UIF benefit, usually meant to provide support for additional sick leave when employees have exhausted their statutory allowance.  If an employee has to be self-quarantined for 14 days, such leave will be recognised as special leave, Nxesi said.

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