R55 million paid out to 14,000 domestic workers in South Africa

Employment and labour minister, Thulas Nxesi, says that the country’s more vulnerable workers are benefiting from the Covid-19 TERS scheme, including thousands of domestic workers.

As of Saturday, 16 May 2020, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) figures showed that 14,113 domestic workers have benefited from a R55 572 870 payout –  an average of just under R4,000 each.

The figures further showed that 10,092 employers have lodged claims on behalf of their domestic workers.

“While we are happy that the efforts are beginning to bear fruit, we are worried that this still represents a drop in the ocean in terms of domestic workers on our systems whose number is almost a million,” said minister Nxesi.

“We need more employers of domestic workers to apply on their behalf so that they benefit from the relief scheme that government availed to ensure that we mitigate the worst effects of the lockdown.”

The minister announced last week that a private company, Interfile has agreed to join forces with the Department to help trace domestic workers through their mobile numbers and other forms of communication to ensure that they receive their necessary benefit.

Employers with all the tools at their disposal are still urged to claim on behalf of their workers, Nxesi said.

The payments over the weekend has brought the total amount the department has distributed since April 16, 2020 to around R13.3 billion – which has been placed at the hands of 2 401 973 workers, he said.

More than R2 billion that could possibly benefit 535,587 workers, remains unpaid however, as the UIF awaits further particulars from 74,401 employers.

“For us, this is a source of great worry because workers who could stand to benefit have not received this relief. A further 26 793 workers have not been paid as the supplied details have failed bank verification.

“I appeal to these 2,319 employers to ensure that the bank details are correct so that the department can swiftly hand over the funds,” Nxesi said.

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R55 million paid out to 14,000 domestic workers in South Africa