Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
18 Mar 2020
12:12 pm

Government will reprieve businesses affected by Covid-19 outbreak – Thulas Nxesi

Citizen Reporter

Thulas Nxesi says to ensure that employees do not lose their jobs, the Funds Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme will be used.

Minister of Labour and Employment Thulas Nxesi.

The department of employment and labour announced on Tuesday that the government is set to reprieve businesses suffering from the Covid-19 outbreak.

The department said measures are being put in place to contain the spread of the virus and its effect on businesses.

“To assist the distressed companies, a period of reprieve will be considered in order for companies not to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF),” said the department’s minister, Thulas Nxesi, in a statement.

The minister said to ensure that employees did not lose their jobs, the Funds Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme will be used.

“In instances where companies decide to close for a short period as a precautionary measure, the short term UIF benefit will kick in. If a company contemplates a short term shut down, they are required to inform the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Our team will visit these companies to provide assistance with the processing of the claims,” said Nxesi.

Nxesi said special leave will be granted and fully paid if an employee has to be self-quarantined for 14 days.

However, on condition that the reason for the quarantine meets the requirements and that employees can apply for UIF benefits.

“In an event that an employee is required to be quarantined for longer than 14 days as a result of having travelled or been in contact with an infected person, such leave will be recognised as special leave and that employee will be eligible to apply for unemployment insurance benefits,” he added.

The minister urged employers to conduct a health and safety risk assessment in consultation with the workers, while ensuring that measures were put in place to ensure a healthy workplace for the workers as required by law.

“Employers are required to provide necessary protective equipment and put in place systems to deal with the outbreak, as well as including all mitigating measures that are to be put in place until the outbreak has been dealt with,” Nxesi concluded.

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