So. Africa: Labour Minister instructs department to track and trace domestic workers for UIF benefits

Author: IOL (South Africa), Published on: 27 May 2020

“UIF pays out over R55 million in Covid-19 relief aid to domestic workers” 17 May 2020

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) figures show that 14,113 domestic workers have benefited from the coronavirus (Covid-19) special lockdown benefit to the tune of R55,572,870 as of Saturday, according to Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. The quest to ensure that more vulnerable workers benefitted from the Covid-19 TERS scheme was beginning to bear fruit, with a number of domestic workers being paid directly, he said in a statement on Sunday. The figures further showed that 10,092 employers had lodged claims on behalf of their domestic workers.

“Certainly, we are beginning to ensure that the spirit and letter of our intervention is reaching the most vulnerable of our society. "While we are happy that the efforts are beginning to bear fruit, we are worried that this still represents a drop in the ocean in terms of domestic workers on our systems whose number is almost a million. “We need more employers of domestic workers to apply on their behalf so that they benefit from the relief scheme that government availed to ensure that we mitigate the worst effects of the lockdown,” Nxesi said.

…"I have instructed the department to do everything possible to track and trace workers in these groups to ensure that to the extent possible, no worker is left behind or falls through the crack of the social net we are providing,” Nxesi said. The payments to domestic workers came hot on the heels of the UIF also ensuring that where possible, workers were paid directly, speeding up relief by placing the money directly in the hands of the workers and not through their employers. However, employers with all the tools at their disposal were still urged to claim on behalf of their workers.

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