The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling upon the government to publish a daily dashboard of claims received and processed in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)’s Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) benefit.
A clear and accessible communication channel providing daily updates will constitute an important monitoring and evaluation tool to assess whether the UIF is coping with the immense administrative stress it is under. A daily dashboard will enable additional resources to be deployed swiftly to the UIF if necessary. And it will also help to ease the disquiet of many employers and employees who are concerned about whether they will be able to put food on the table at the end of the month.
A vast number of small business owners, in particular, are unable to pay their workers’ salaries during the 21-day national lockdown. UIF’s Covid-19 Ters benefit, which pays towards the salary costs of employees on a sliding scale, is the only hope and salvation of many employers and workers alike.
Many employers are confused and uncertain about the application process. The UIF is under huge pressure on account of the high volume of applications, and it is unclear whether claims are being received and processed as expeditiously as they should.
A daily dashboard, hosted on the Department of Employment and Labour’s website, or the portal https://www.gov.za/Coronavirus, will go a long way to creating a clear and professional line of communication.
It will also help to establish very quickly whether the UIF is fit for the purpose of processing and disbursing the benefit, or whether – as it has been reported might happen – this function should be transferred to the South African Revenue Service to administer.