COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE NATIONAL BARGAINING COUNCIL FOR THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY OF SOUTH AFRICA AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND

By Stephen Khola, ECA(SA) National HR and Labour Director

In order to provide assistance to the electrical industry during the COVID 19 lockdown period, the NBCEI has taken a resolution to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the UIF. In terms of this MOA, the Council will act as a conduit for employers to submit information, as required by the UIF, to the Council’s email addresses which have been specifically set up for this purpose:

The Council will then submit claims to the UIF on behalf of employers and employees registered with the council. The UIF will pay the funds into a bank account that the NBCEI has opened specifically for the receipt of monies from the UIF. The NBCEI will make such funds available to participating employers who will, in turn, will make payment to their employees affected by the lockdown. As the applications will be per employer, employers are encouraged to also include in their claims those employees who are not required to be registered with the NBCEI, for example management, admin staff, security personnel, etc. The relevant forms to be completed by employer can be accessed on the website of the NBCEI or by clicking on the following links:

Please make sure that all accurately completed forms are sent to the NBCEI by no later than 10 April 2020.

Please note that registered employers who agree to participate in this COVID 19 relief process will automatically bind themselves to the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement ( (MOA).

It is important to note that we are all new to this situation and do not necessarily have the answers to all the questions that you may ask, but we are doing our utmost to get answers or provide logical guidance.

What gets paid or doesn’t get paid to the NBCEI during the lockdown?

  1. All employers and employees who are observing the current lockdown and who do not carry out any work are exempted from paying retirement fund contributions except risk benefit contributions (Disability, Death and Funeral).
  2. Secondly, there is no obligation to pay any staff salaries to any staff member not carrying out any work during the period of lockdown.
  3. In addition, all employers and employees referred to in point 1 above are also excluded from paying the SBF contributions, council levies as well as the CBL. All employers and employees who are working during the current lockdown shall make all normal contributions in respect of the retirement fund as well as the applicable payments towards the SBF, council levies and the CBL.
  4. Members of the Association who observe the lockdown and do not carry out any work are exempted from paying ECA levies for the period of the lockdown.
  5. Members of the Association who continue to work during the lockdown period shall pay the ECA levies for the period of the lockdown.
  6. Periods of sick leave falling within the period will not be paid by the Sick Benefit Fund.
  7. Periods worked must be paid.

NB: The boards of trustees of the retirement funds in regions A, B and D have resolved to grant employers a payment holiday from contributing to towards the risk benefit premiums (disability, death and funeral) for the month of April 2020 and will ensure that such contributions are paid on behalf on the employers. This is a very welcome gesture by the trustees during this difficult period.

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