COVID-19: Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Benefit Online Application Process

By Peter Cottrell

After our comprehensive update on Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) yesterday, we now share some practical information on the online application process that has been opened.  There are still some questions around which UIF option is best.  In most circumstances, the TERS benefit will be the most effective method of getting benefits into employees’ hands without requiring physical forms to be signed and/or a visit to the UIF offices.

Having noted some of the practical difficulties being experienced yesterday, it is pleasing to report that the Department of Labour and the UIF have made outstanding progress with the development of an online application system, and this is now be our preferred route for registration.  The site is easy to use and information can be captured directly onto the system without the need for the complex CSV import files referred to in our previous update.

The online application process is summarised as follows:

  1. Register as an employer on the web site – 
    • Visit
    • If you represent more than one employer, a separate application will need to be prepared for each employer.
    • The UIF number of the employer entity will end up being the primary identifier (username) for future login purposes.
    • Please note that the UIF number to be captured is the employer reference number issued by the UIF Commissioner, not the number that appears on the SARS Employees’ tax return
  1. Capture employer banking details onto the system.  Note that this supersedes the CSV upload of banking details and the form for capture of information is very easy to follow.
  2. Next, the Memorandum of Agreement will display on the screen.  It is recommended that the document be downloaded and saved for record purposes.  Once the document has been read and understood, then the employer will simply click on a button to accept the terms.
  3. The letter of undertaking will then display.  Once again, this should be downloaded and saved for record purposes.  Once the document has been read and understood, the employer will click on a button to accept the terms.
  4. The employer will be required to upload proof of banking details.  The system indicates that a bank statement will be sufficient for these purposes.
  5. The final step is to upload the details of the employees who will be requiring the TERS benefit.  It is worth gathering the required information before commencing with the application process – see NOTE A below.  There are two methods to upload the employee details:
    • The employee details may be captured using an online form.  The form is easy to understand and, for employers who only have a few employees requiring the benefit, this will be the preferred route.
    • The Excel template as provided by the Department of Labour may be populated and then converted to CSV format, noting the strict criteria as per yesterday’s guidance.  
  6. Once this information is uploaded, a screen will appear stating that the employee details have been successfully uploaded and that you will receive an email when the TERS Application is processed.

NOTE A: Employee details form

The following details will be required in order to populate step 6:

    • Employer UIF number (as issued by the UIF Commissioner)
    • Shutdown dates
    • Employer Trade name (per UIF / SARS registration)
    • Employer PAYE number
    • Employer contact telephone number
    • Employer email address
    • Identity number
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Normal monthly remuneration *
    • Employment date
    • Employment end date (if applicable)
    • Sector minimum wage
    • Remuneration received during shutdown period (applicable if an employee has received a part of their remuneration, including leave pay) *
    • Banking details
      • Bank name
      • Branch code
      • Account type (current / savings / transmission
      • Account number
    • Preferred Payment method (generally will be “Pay to Employer”)

The online process is intuitive and should go a long way to resolve the practical issues that were previously being experienced.  The above declarations are made at point in time and it is expected that further declarations will be required to UIF once the application has been processed, particularly to qualify for benefit in the months ahead.

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