Domestic workers whose employers contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund are entitled to receive a special Covid-19 benefit during the lockdown period.
As part of the Covid-19 Temporary Relief scheme (TERS), workers who are put on unpaid leave, have been laid off temporarily or whose employers can’t afford to pay their full salaries are entitled to the special payout from the UIF.
So far, the UIF has paid out R2.2 billion in Covid-19 benefits. The minimum amount paid is R3,500 a month during the lockdown period.
A spokesperson for the UIF, Lungelo Mkamba, says 673,940 domestic workers were registered with the UIF.
Employers must register their part-time or full-time domestic workers with the UIF if those workers are employed with them for more than 24 hours per month. Employers who don’t register their domestic worker could be fine or jailed. The employer must contribute 1% of the domestic worker’s salary to the UIF, and the domestic worker must also contribute 1%. The domestic worker can claim these benefits when they are left without a job, on maternity leave or unable to work.
Employers of domestic workers have to apply online on the Ters platform to register for the payout. The UIF hotline for the coronavirus benefit is 012 337 1997.
According to the new regulations for Level 4 of lockdown, domestic workers can return to work from May 1 – provided they are employed by those who are allowed to work in Level 4. All live-in staff can also return to work.