The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) paid out close to R6 billion in claims for Covid-19 aid in May. The number of claims is also slowly increasing, the Department of Labor and Employment said.
“May’s payments amounted to R5 893 080 491 [almost R6 billion] to 1 440 757 individuals to help them cope with the worst effects of the seclusion period. 448 claims were submitted directly to the Compensation Fund, as well as by Rand Mutual [Assurance] and Federated Employer’s [Mutual]. ”
The payouts are part of the government’s basket of services it provides to various industries in an effort to reduce the effects of the seclusion period, which has led to the closure of many businesses and left millions of people without income. For some people, the payouts could help at least plug a few holes so that they could look after their families at least, the department said.
Since April 16, the UIF has paid out a combined R23 billion to more than 3.6 million workers represented by 322 422 employers.
However, the payouts to domestic workers are far less than expected and this is extremely worrying, TFAho Maruping, UIF’s commissioner, said.
Between April 16 and June 17, a combined amount of about R128 million was paid to just over 35 000 domestic workers.
“We did something, but it may not be good enough. We and we still contact employers to apply for May payments on behalf of their workers, especially those in vulnerable sectors – such as home and farm workers. However, when you look at the numbers, it seems that not enough people are seizing the opportunity, ”Maruping said.
A total of 154 310 workers’ payments were paid directly into their bank accounts. Since April, this amount has been a combined R679 million, which means workers get their money much faster.
The main concern now is the number of jobs lost and its effect on the future liquidity of the fund. Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced Wednesday that even more people will now be allowed to resume their operations.