The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) will approach the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Department of Labour to address the issue of some in the industry being declined for Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) pay-outs.
The Department of Employment and Labour’s online portal for UIF TERS opened on Tuesday (March 2) for claims for the period October 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020 for affected sectors, including hospitality and tourism.
But SATSA raised the issue that a number of its members had been declined due to issues with South African Revenue Service (Sars) Sector Categories/SIC (Standard Industry Classification) codes.
In addition to elevating the issue via TBCSA for resolution, SATSA has approached specialists through its partnership with the non-profit organisation, COBRA, to see if there are other solutions.
COBRA was established in March 2020 as a direct response to the need to support distressed businesses that were/are impacted by the economic lockdown caused by COVID-19.
To date, COBRA has assisted close to 300 businesses in various ways. This includes restructuring, refinancing, accessing unemployment insurance for staff, pivoting core offerings, moving on to digital platforms, business rescue and business turnaround.
SATSA has, meanwhile, highlighted that SIC codes need to be supplied for the TERS application and the system will automatically check it against the Sars code.
These are some of the relevant codes (the full list can be obtained from Sars):
- Code 55 is relevant for accommodation
- Code 79 is the relevant division for travel agency, tour operator, reservation service and related activities.
- Code 93 is the relevant division for sports activities and amusement and recreation activities.