Jul 2009


The world-wide economic slow-down is also affecting South Africa. Government is putting plans in place to deal with problems facing our economy and to speed up economic growth. But in the meantime, many people have lost their jobs. The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is one programme which is coming to the rescue of such workers.

The UIF is a fund to which employers and workers contribute a small sum of money every month. The purpose of the Fund is to help workers who lose their jobs.

However, the UIF only pays out workers who are registered and who have contributed.

Benefits of the UIF

The UIF will pay a monthly sum to unemployed workers for a certain period of time. This gives the unemployed person time to look for another job.

The maximum period is eight months, but the length of time depends on how long the person has contributed to the UIF. The money that is due to a worker who has been contributing to the UIF is worked out on a four-year cycle. The UIF pays workers according to the number of weeks they have worked. For example, for every week that a person works they get one day credit with the UIF. A person who had been working for two years, gets 119 credit days. This means the UIF will pay the worker for four months.


All South African workers who work for a period of more than 24 hours a month should be registered with the UIF. It is the responsibility of both employers and workers to make sure that they are registered.

It is illegal not to be registered with the UIF. Therefore, all categories of workers, including domestic workers should be registered.

The only workers who do not have to be registered by the UIF are civil servants, people who work less than 24 hours a month, workers who are employed on a learnership basis only, and contract workers who earn their salaries on a commission basis.


The benefits of ensuring that workers are registered with the UIF are paying off. More and more workers who have lost their jobs are surviving on UIF payments during this difficult period in the country's economy.

Make sure that you are registered and make sure you register your workers.

- Mbulelo Baloyi

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