The coronavirus crisis and lockdown have left many businesses and their employees  without an income. The majority of South African small businesses generating less than R200,000 are at a risk of collapsing as they struggle to secure emergency cash, despite government’s efforts to cushion the economic blow.

The UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, after consultation with UIF’s Executive and the Board developed the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme to contribute to the containment of the pandemic.

UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, says the UIF is ready to assist affected workers and companies. “First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone who has contracted the virus a speedy recovery and urge people to continue adhering to the health and safety measures from the Department of Health to limit the spread of the virus.”

Maruping also conveyed his gratitude to the employers who are caring and recognise the relationship and contribution of their employees for topping up the UIF contribution. He also thanks employers who are paying a full salary during the lockdown.

“As a caring organisation, we will continue monitoring the situation and assist workers and companies to limit the negative financial impact of the Covid -19 on workers, business and our economy. I would also like to caution workers and companies that submitting a fraudulent claim is a criminal act that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” says Maruping.

The UIF announced on Wednesday that the allocated fund would only pay workers whose salaries have been docked until the end of the lockdown. The UIF said that out of the R30 billion available for payouts this financial year, R10 billion has been allocated to deal with COVID-19 lockdown cases.

‌When should your workers claim?

  • If a worker has lost a job can claim an unemployment benefit from the UIF,
  • If their employer has reduced their working hours,
  • If you have put your employee on unpaid leave,
  • If your employee has been laid off temporarily,
  • If you can only afford to pay a part of your salary – your employee may get  a special payout from the UIF, as part of the Covid-19 Temporary Relief scheme, also known as the special Temporary. Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS).

For the coronavirus benefit, you can’t apply – your employer has to. Businesses need to mail to register their companies for the payout. The UIF hotline for the coronavirus benefit is 012 337 1997.


  1. I was supposed to have submited my forms on the 30th of March but due to lockdown. I am still unemployed, how do I submit confirmation? This is now taking a toll on me.

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