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Home Publications COVID-19 UIF benefits due to COVID-19

UIF benefits due to COVID-19


There are a variety of options to apply for in respect of the different situations faced by employer and employees during the National Lockdown as a result of Covid-19.

Employees and Employers can apply for four different types of relief listed below. We have broken down each one into more detail for better practical application.

UIF benefits due to COVID-19

  1. Illness Benefits
  2. Death Benefit
  3. Reduced Work Time Benefit
  4. Covid19 Temporary Employer Relief Scheme

1. Illness Benefit

What happens if I had to self-quarantine as a result of Covid-19?
You can apply for an illness benefit from UIF.

How does this work?
An employee must complete the following documents:

  • UI2.2 form
  • UI2.8 Confirmation of banking details
  • Employee identity document

The employer must assist the employee completing the following documents:

  • UI 19 form
  • UI2.7 form

A confirmation letter from the employer to prove that both parties have agreed to the 14 days “special leave”.

You can apply one of two ways:

  1. On the ufiling website online- Please refer to link here below on the procedure:
  2. You can e-mail or fax the application to the nearest UIF processing Centre.

What if the quarantine exceeds 14 days?
If the quarantine exceeds 14 days, a medical certificate from a medical practitioner must be submitted with the Continuation form UI.3.

What happens if I am diagnosed with Covid-19?
Normal sick leave entitlement will apply as per the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

2. Death Benefit

What if I pass away or a family member passes away?
The death benefit can be applied for through UIF.

How does this work?
Persons eligible to apply are the spouse, life partner, children, and nominated persons. Benefits are paid to the beneficiaries of the deceased.

The deceased employee’s family must complete the following documents:

  • UI 2.5 form
  • UI 2.6 form
  • UI 2.8 Confirmation of banking details
  • Death certificate
  • Employee identity document

The employer must assist the deceased family in completing the following documents:

  • UI 19 form
  • UI 53 form

Refer to the above on how to apply.

3. Reduced Work Time Benefit

What happens if my employer reduces my working hours or places me on short time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
If a company shuts down for a certain period or implements reduced work time/short time. The benefit payable is the difference between the amount the employer pays and the normal UIF benefits payable should the employee lose employment.

How does this work?
An employee must complete the following documents:

  • UI2.1
  • UI2.8 Confirmation of banking details
  • Employees ID document

The employer must assist the employee completing the following documents:

  • UI-19
  • UI2.7
  • Letter from the employer confirming there is reduced work time as a result of Covid19 pandemic.

Refer to the above on how to apply.

4. Temporary Employer Relief Scheme

PLEASE NOTE: The government introduced a Temporary Employers Relief Scheme late last year which is administered through the CCMA. The current Covid19 Temporary Employer Relief Scheme is not administered through the CCMA and is being managed by the Department of Labour.

What is Covid19 TERS?
The Unemployment Insurance Commissioner, after consultation with Unemployment Insurance Executive, has also developed a Corona Virus Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (COVID19TERS) to contribute to the containment of the Corona Virus and its impact. Employer/s that have to enforce lockdown as regulated and who might require financial assistance from the UIF should access information regarding available funding through a dedicated mailbox:

Which employers qualify for this benefit?
This new Covid19-TERS Scheme and any other normal UIF benefit is only applicable to employers who are registered with UIF and make monthly contributions as required by the Contributions Act of 2002.

Should an employer as a direct result of Covid19 pandemic close its operations for a 3 (three) months or lesser period and suffer financial distress, the company shall qualify for a Covid19 Temporary Relief.

Will the UIF apply to employees with limited UIF credits?
This benefit will be de-linked from the UIF’s normal benefit structure and therefore the normal rule that for every 4 days worked the employee accumulated 1 credit day and maximum credit days payable is 365 for every 4 completed years will not apply in this instance.

Is there a cap of the amount that can be claimed through Covid-19 TERS?
The salary benefits will be capped to a maximum amount of R17 712, 00 per month, per employee and an employee will be paid in terms of the income replacement rate sliding scale (38 % -60 %) as provided in the UI Act.

It must be noted that employees are not guaranteed the amount of R17 712 per month and this figure is the maximum that may be paid out for an employee. The benefit will be subject to a calculation and a replacement rate sliding scale which is anything between 38% to 60% of your current income which is capped.

Should an employee's income determined in terms of the income replacement sliding scale fall below the minimum wage of sector concerned, the employee will be paid a replacement income equal to minimum wage of the sector concerned.

Who must apply for the Covid19 TERS, the employer or employee?
The employer would make the application for the Covid19 TERS benefit. Employees are only able to apply for the three UIF options mentioned here above.

Please NOTE: The employer may attend to a bulk UIF submission to the Department of Labour for Reduced Work benefits on behalf of all employees. It is recommended that Employer liaise with employees to inform them of their intentions to make an application.

Where do I get the documents to apply for COVID19 TERS?
Employers will e-mail and they will be sent all the relevant documents and templates mentioned below:

The employer needs to complete these documents:

  • Letter of Authority, on an official company letterhead granting permission to an individual specified to lodge a claim on behalf of the company (generally i.e. the HR manager or payroll administrator)
  • MOA (completion of the agreement between UIF, Bargaining Council and Employer)
  • Prescribed template that will require critical information from the employer
  • Evidence/payroll as proof of last three months employee(s) salary(ies)
  • Confirmation of the company bank account details in the form of certified latest bank statement.

All documents submitted will be subject to verification.

How do I submit the documents?
Submit/transmit all documents as required above to UIF via the dedicated mailbox:

NB: If the template is complete; valid and accurate, it will “dumped” into an automated calculator to produce the benefit amount due to the beneficiaries and the total amount to be transferred to the employer or bargaining council or whichever method agreed.

When will payment be made?
On conclusion of the MOA between parties. Payment will only be effected after MOA is signed off between the Fund and the Employer/Bargaining Council.

What if I need more information or guidance on my employer application?
The UIF will provide a dedicated line that will assist all employer/employees/Bargaining Councils on COVID19TERS. The contact number is 012 337 1997.

Can employees apply for UIF and the employer apply for Covid19 TERS at the same time?
If the employer has not applied for the COVID19 TERS, the employee may apply for the normal benefits and relief through UIF. This is in the case where the employer has closed the business and the employee has been retrenched.

Both benefits cannot be applied for at the same time.