UIF TERS benefits offer relief to employers who are not able to pay employees during the lockdown period. However, a big (and unfortunate) limiting factor is that only UIF contributors who are UIF compliant would qualify. Therefore, if someone has not filed the necessary UIF returns or has not made payment of UIF contributions, TERS would not be available.


The UIF released an amendment to the directive on 25 May that opens up the scope of persons that would qualify for TERS benefits. The proposed amendment reads as follows:

“Worker” means

(a) A contributor;

(b) An employee as defined in the UI Act who should have received benefits under this Directive but for circumstances beyond that employee’s control, namely that the employer failed to –

  • Register as an employer in contravention of section 10(1) of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act;
  • Provide details related to the employees in contravention of section 10(3) of that Act and accordingly not registered as contributors; or
  • Pay the contributions contemplated in section 5(1) of that Act

It therefore seems like employers who have failed to register with the UIF, will be able to claim TERS for its employees. Even in the case where declarations have not been submitted or contributions not paid, TERS will be available to employees.

This provides great relief for many employers and employees who are still impacted by the lockdown by effectively disregarding the compliance history and allowing more to claim. It is evident that the above amendment underlines the eternal South African spirit of Ubuntu, while the country finds itself in waters uncharted and desperately seeking financial relief for those who need it most.

Webinar Commentary

For answers to the most common questions posed by members and stakeholders about TERS provided by the Office of the UIF Commissioner access our Webinar-on-Demand here:


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