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HR 101 – What to do When . . . You Have to Pay the UIF

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practices.

It is said that there are three things in life that you can count on, they are:-

1) You will pay taxes;
2) Things will change; and
3) You will die.

Keeping this in mind, I am constantly amazed at the number of people who think that they don’t have to pay UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) for themselves and their staff members.

Here’s the thing, it is a legal requirement. If the Labour Department sends an Inspector to your place of business or even your home and they discover that you have staff members or that you have a Gardener or that you have a Domestic worker or that you pay yourself a salary and you do not pay UIF, you will be fined. There is a penalty.

Don’t be thinking that because you have had the same gardener for the last 20 years and he only comes in once a week, that you don’t have to pay UIF on his behalf. You do and please don’t come with the ‘he’s a casual’ story either!

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act is very clear on this. A casual worker is someone that you pick up on the side of the road and who does something for you on a ‘once off’ basis. You never see him again, you probably don’t know his name and you certainly don’t welcome him into your home or your garden on a weekly basis.

In fact, anyone who works for you for more than 24 hours a month (that 3 days people) is considered a permanent employee and is entitled to the benefits of a permanent employee irrespective of whether you have given them a letter of appointment or not!

So make sure that you have registered your business as an employer and make sure that you have registered yourselves as employees and register your Gardener and your Domestic worker and then register yourself.

It’s really not a big deal and the amount of money that has to be paid every month is really quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things. That said, the irritation, the inconvenience and the size of the fine that you will get if you do not comply is far greater than making the payment every month and with the introduction of e-filing, paying this is an absolute pleasure.