The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) PWV Region is relieved that after numerous engagements with the construction company Wilson Bayly Holmes WBHO, workers are set to be paid their Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
Earlier this year, the NUM PWV Region demanded an immediate approval of the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) application by the Department of Labour so that WBHO workers could receive what was due to them.
Thousands of WBHO workers were left in the cold during the lockdown period, unable to access assistance from the government.
The TERS benefit was introduced in March last year to help workers affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. It was introduced as the government’s wage protection scheme that could provide relief to workers who did not receive much-needed money during the first five months of the lockdown. It was initially set to run for three months, from April to June. The government then extended the scheme to run from August 16 to mid-September. In November, it was extended for another month, until October 15.
Our members did not get their December leave payment because TERS did not approve the application by WBHO.
Few days before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced lockdown level 5 in March 2020, the NUM and WBHO agreed that annual leave days will be used to pay employees during the lockdown.
This agreement was done before the announcement of TERS by the Department of Employment and Labour.
The WBHO paid full salary to our members during the period of lockdown, and after the announcement of TERS by the Department of Labour, WBHO applied for TERS, so that workers did not forfeit their leave days.
A green light has been given by the Department of Employment and Labour through the Office of the UIF Commissioner. We are happy with the process so far. The only delay that could be expected is that of verifying workers’ bank accounts. We were to meet with the UIF commissioner a week ago, due to the Commissioner’s unavailability the meeting was rescheduled for a date which the commissioner would be available.
“We are currently awaiting for the payments to reflect on our members’ accounts. We would like to appreciate the patience demonstrated by our members. Our members trusted us, and we would keep updating them”, said NUM PWV Acting Regional Secretary Isaac Kazi.
For more detailed information, please contact:
Isaac Kazi, NUM PWV Acting Regional Secretary, 064 752 5828