The UIF provides short-term financial relief to workers when they become unemployed, or are unable to work due to certain conditions. The Fund gets its contributions from workers and employers. One per cent (1%) from the worker and one per cent (1%) from the employer, the total contribution payable to the UIF by the employer must be two per cent (2%).
Workers who contribute to the UIF
Since 1 April 2002, all workers who work for 24 hours or more per month, must contribute to the Fund.
As from 1 April 2003, the Unemployment Insurance Act requires domestic workers and their employers to contribute to the Fund.
UIF offers the following types of benefits:
- Unemployment benefits
- Illness benefits
- Maternity benefits
- Adoption benefits
- Dependants (death) benefits
Workers who do NOT contribute to the UIF
- Workers who work less than 24 hours per month
- Public servants as defined under section 1(1) of the Public Service Act, 1994
- Workers who get a monthly state social pension, but excluding a disability or maintenance grant.
- Workers who have an employment contract with an employer for the sole purpose of entering a learnership agreement.
- Workers who are paid only on a commission basis.
- Currently, foreign workers who do not have a 13-digit bar-coded South African identity document, or who do not have a work permit.
UIF does not pay workers who resign and/or abscond (run away) from their employment. In other words those employees will lose their benefits.
All employers who employ any staff and pay them either in cash or in kind must register with the Fund as soon as they start activities as employers. It is the responsibility of the employer to register the business and deduct the necessary amounts from the workers' pay. Employers who fail to do this may be fined in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002.
All commercial and domestic employers must by law declare the status of employment of their workers, or any changes made regarding their workers' information. These changes must be made on a prescribed form UI 19. It can be obtained from Labour Centres in all the provinces.
If your employer refuses to register you with the Fund and does not make the required deductions, you may contact your nearest office of the Department of Labour.
When applying for UIF benefits, workers should give their own banking details to prevent fraud and corruption. Applicants should make their applications for the benefits within a period of six months after they lose their jobs. When workers start working again they should inform the Department of Labour.
Working and drawing UIF benefits at the same time is an act of fraud. It is an offence, which is punishable by law.