The Department of Employment and Labour is relaxing some of its processes in order to avoid long queues at its centres in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through its entity, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the department in the Eastern Cape — one of the worst affected provinces — has set out key interventions to address service delivery issues and reduce the number of clients visiting labour centres.
The large scale shedding of jobs in the economy, clients submitting continuation forms, UIF enquiries, credit days and payment dates have all been identified as contributing factors to long queues, which could possibly lead to the spread of Coronavirus.
To cut the red tape and reduce queues at Labour offices, the UIF will now deal directly with employers, who are retrenching, for the collection of documents and taking/capturing of UIF employee applications.
Clients, who are receiving unemployment benefits, are not expected to go to the department on a monthly basis to sign a continuation form, but will be paid by the UIF as per pay sheet, using statistics of the previous month.
There will also be the use of a SMS-functionality to inform clients of the status of their application so that they do not visit the department for such enquiries.
The UIF will also implement an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) functionality from 30 January 2021, which will enable clients to follow-up on their claims.
“Occupational Health and Safety remains the core business of the department. In protecting both employees and clients, the department will put the necessary measures in place to reduce the spread of Coronavirus by allowing claims to be paid without the mandatory source documents, pending that everything is verified and correct,” said Chief Director: Provincial Operations, Nomfundo Douw-Jack.
In the unfortunate event of an employee contracting Coronavirus as a direct result of work, a manual or online claim can be lodged using the following details: Compensation Fund: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0860 105 350 or CompEasy (www.labour.gov.za).
Clients are also encouraged to make use of the department’s online services by logging on to www.labour.gov.za.