The President has on the 15 March 2020 declared the Covid -19 pandemic a National Disaster and announced several extraordinary measures to combat this grave public health emergency. The National Disaster has been declared in terms of the National Disaster Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) ( “the Act “). As a result of this declaration, the Minister of Cooperative Governance (COGTA) has made Regulations in terms of section 27 (2) of the Act. In terms of Regulation 10(8), the Minister empowers various Ministers to issue Directives with regard to the National Disaster in respect of matters falling within their respective mandates.
On the 23rd March 2020, the President announced the national lockdown in order to curb the spread of the Covid -19.
In view of the declaration of the National Disaster, in terms of Regulation 10(8), the Minister of Employment and Labour has issued a Directive called Covid-19 Temporary Employee / Employer Relief Scheme (C19 TERS).
During this period of lockdown, companies will have to shut down and employees laid off temporarily. This means that employees are compelled to take leave, which is not out of choice. We therefore anticipate that employees may lose income. Employers are encouraged to continue to pay employees, but where this is not economically possible; we have created a special benefit under the Unemployment Insurance Fund as per the Directive Covid -19 Temporary Employee / Employer Relief Scheme.