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HR 101 – UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) – Part 1

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Of late, I have been inundated with questions around the issue of UIF (and remember this applies to your domestic worker and gardener who work for you for more than 24 hours a month too), so here are a bunch of ‘cans and cant’s).

In order for someone to be entitled to claim from UIF, they have to be registered as an employee with the UIF fund and both themselves and their employers will have had to pay the monthly contributions into the fund.

It is incumbent upon the employer to deduct the employees portion of the monthly contribution from their salary (currently 1% of their gross salary) and then pay their employer  portion of the contribution (currently also 1% of the gross salary) as well as the employees portion over to SARS by means of the EMP 201.

It is also incumbent upon the employer to register themselves as employers and then to register their staff (as and when they are employed) as employees.

Whilst it is the responsibility of the employer to register the employee and to pay the monies across, the employee also needs to understand that if the money is NOT paid across, they are not covered.  So if, as an employee, you get a pay slip that does not show a deduction for UIF – you are not covered and your employer is in direct contravention of the law.  It’s as simple as that!

UIF does not only cover people who are unemployed, you can also claim for:
–    illness
–    maternity
–    adoption
–    death

Remember though, if you have resigned from your job, you cannot claim.  You can only claim the unemployment benefits if you have been dismissed, retrenched or if your contract has expired and it has not been renewed.

If you have been contributing to the fund for four years or more, you can claim up to, but not more than 238 days.  If you have contributed or been employed for less than the 4 years, then you can claim 1 day for every 6  days that you were employed and that you were contributing to the fund.

You can claim if you have been sick for a period that is longer than two weeks.

You can only claim for maternity benefits if you are pregnant and you are only covered from four weeks before the expected date of delivery of the child and up to (but not more than) six weeks after you have delivered the child.  You can only claim for a maximum of 121 days.

You can claim for adoption benefits provided that you legally adopt a child under the age of two and you leave work in order to take care of that child.  Be warned though – only one parent per adopted child can claim for this benefit.

Death benefits can only be claimed by the surviving spouse or a minor child.  Again be warned – this benefit can only be claimed if the person who dies was contributing to the fund at the time of their death.

Next week we will look at the ‘how to’ of going about claiming these benefits.