UIF deals a blow

CityPress - - Business -

High­veld was dealt a fur­ther blow last week when the Un­em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance Fund (UIF) missed a dead­line for the com­pany’s stop­gap against re­trench­ments.

High­veld had paid 1 300 or so work­ers train­ing-lay­off stipends of R40 mil­lion out of its own pocket since Novem­ber, CEO Jo­han Burger said. The UIF was meant to cover this, but had de­layed pay­ment for so long that the deal lapsed, said Burger.

High­veld last year be­came the largest user of this scheme – cre­ated af­ter the fi­nan­cial cri­sis – putting work­ers on train­ing cour­ses rather than re­trench­ing them.

Train­ing funds were ap­proved and paid over by the Com­mis­sion for Con­cil­i­a­tion, Me­di­a­tion and Ar­bi­tra­tion but, ac­cord­ing to Burger, the UIF never came to the party with the stipends to pay the work­ers about R10 000 a month.

“The train­ing-lay­off agree­ment in­cluded a con­di­tion that UIF money has to come through by Fe­bru­ary 8, and has now lapsed,” said Burger.

How­ever, UIF spokesper­son Makhosonke Buthelezi said: “The UIF is in the process of trans­fer­ring funds to [man­u­fac­tur­ing and en­gi­neer­ing train­ing au­thor­ity] Merseta to pro­ceed with the pro­gramme.”

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