The Minister’s visit to the centre on Monday, comes as the country marks day 25 of the nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
In an effort to provide income support to workers who have been temporarily or permanently, sent home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the UIF has launched the COVID-19 temporary employee relief scheme (Ters).
The scheme provides funds to distressed companies unable to pay the full salaries of workers who are permanently laid off or sent home, temporarily due to COVID-19 and the lockdown.
So far, about R30-billion has been set aside for this.
“The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health care crisis to a financial one, closing non-essential businesses, leading to job losses, and sending economies to recession worldwide. Many South Africans are filing for unemployment insurance fund and compensation fund,” said the Ministry of Employment and Labour.
The UIF Call Centre has been experiencing system failures due to the influx of calls, by laid-off workers and employers in distress.
Working with Harambee the UIF Call Centre has now been expanded, and new recruits have been brought on board to handle as many calls for claims as possible.
“The current Call Centre telephone system can handle one hundred calls, and due to large volumes of calls, the lines are often busy resulting in calls unable to go through. The UIF is beefing up its telephone system to handle a minimum of 350 calls,” said the Ministry.