COVID-19 > COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) > My business is closing temporarily during lockdown, what UIF code should I use?

It is possible to claim UIF for employees for  temporary closure of your business, however this requires that each employee has an individual application completed.

To the best of our knowledge and based on advice we’ve received, it seems that wherever possible, employers are encouraged to apply for TERS rather than having employees go through UIF. The employer will then distribute the allowance to their employees.

This will effectively allow for consolidated claims rather than many thousands of claims from individual employees, which will hopefully reduce strain on the UIF and allow for some measure of effectiveness in paying out benefits.

For any queries more detailed than this, we still recommend contacting the UIF or TERS phone lines.

The options available for employees were discussed in our first COVID-19 Lockdown Blog, published on 26 March, as well as being outlined in the email we sent out on the same date. To recap:

  • Healthy employees may be put on annual leave or have their service ended with code 17 if the time off must be unpaid. 
  • Employees who are ill with COVID-19 are entitled to 14-day UIF Illness Benefit and should have their service ended with code 10.
  • Employees who are ill with anything other than COVID-19 are treated as usual, i.e. they must be put on sick leave, or annual or unpaid if there’s no sick leave left.
  • Employers are also always able to grant employees additional paid leave should they wish to do so.

You can find a handy overview of the forms and contact details required for the various UIF claims in our COVID-19 UIF Quick Reference Guide.

  • Expansion of the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI);
  • The COVID-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS);
  • Deferred tax liabilities for certain businesses on which SARS has published a Disaster Management Tax Relief FAQs document
    • Contents of note within this document are:
      • An outline of the requirements to be able to claim employee’s tax relief 
      • An outline of the expansions made to the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI)
      • A worked example of how the employees’ 35% tax deferral will work
    • Please note that there is also information on provisional tax deferral. We regret to inform you that this is beyond our scope of services and so we are not able to assist with this scheme.
  • Various financial support and relief measures for SMMEs, including;
    • Debt Relief Finance Scheme; and
    • Business Growth and Resilience Facility.
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