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BCHC: Covid-19 temporary employee / employer relief scheme – consolidated directives

On 26 March 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour issued the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme Directive in terms of the National Disaster Regulations, creating a special benefit under the UIF for a period of three months from 26 March 2020 for employees who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 8 April 2020 and 16 April 2020, the Minister published amendments to the Directive.

BCHC has been briefed by the Department of Employment and  Labour to assist in drafting the Covid-19 related Directives and to advise the Minister.

We have compiled a consolidated version of these Directives to make it easier for employers and employees to read. Please click here to view it.

The most important amendments to the original Directive include the following:

  • The requirement for employers to prove that the business is in financial distress due to the Covid-19 pandemic before their employees qualifying for the benefit has been removed in the 8 April 2020 amended Directive;
  • In terms of the 16 April 2020 amended Directive, all employers must apply for this benefit on behalf of their employees if the employer closed its operations or a part of its operations for a 3 month or lesser period due to Covid-19 pandemic. The employees to be included in the application for the benefit are those who have lost income (i.e. did not get paid or only got partially paid) and those who have been required to take paid annual leave during this 3 month or lesser period.
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