Bogus employers are reportedly using job seekers’ identity numbers to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
This is so that the bogus companies can claim for the COVID-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme (TERS) or unemployment benefits.
LABOUR DEPARTMENT RECEIVES COMPLAINTS
The UIF has received a surge of complaints from the public regarding bogus employers, said the Department of Employment and Labour.
Most of the complaints emerge when several people apply for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
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But their claims are declined since they are registered with the UIF, the department said.
“These are mainly learners/students, who are recruited for ‘learnerships’ and their studies are allegedly sponsored for R3 500. This amount was never paid to the learners but ended up being labelled as their monthly salary when claiming UIF.”
Department of Employment and Labour
BOGUS EMPLOYERS DEFRAUDING UIF IDENTIFIED
But the bogus employers have already been identified. This was due to the multiple investigations by the Labour Department’s provincial risk management units, UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping said.
“However, the fund is not at this stage able to mention them as investigations are still underway. We can mention, however, that some of these companies are in KwaZulu-Natal and others around the country.”
The UIF has also introduced a payment verification process to check the validity and existence of employees to assist in tracking down the bogus employers.
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But the UIF will commence with a phase 2 of the TERS benefit this month. This means that all employers that have declared false employees will be prioritised as part of the project, said Maruping.
“The appointed audit firms will be conducting an end-to-end audit process for all employees on the payroll of the company against all UIF claims made by the company. Any company found ot be defrauding the UIF will be reported to law enforcement agencies and criminal cases will be opened with the South African Police Service.”