What is UIF?

UIF stands for Unemployment Insurance Fund and as the name suggests, is an insurance fund, setup by Government to provide short-term relief for workers who become unemployed or unable to work due to factors such as illness or maternity leave. Employers and Employees provide the finance for the fund through their monthly contributions and as the government is the underwriter of this Insurance Fund, it is required to provide further finance in times of high unemployment.

Does it apply to me?

Any employee from top management level to the lowest positions in a company must make monthly contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, regardless of what you earn.

There are exceptions however where the UIF act does not apply. These include:

  • Employees working less than 24 hours per month for a single employer
  • Any person who enters South Africa to carry out a contract, whether learnership, service or apprenticeship, where upon termination of that contract, they are required to leave the country.
  • Employees and employers in the provincial and national spheres of government
  • Employers who are under a learnership agreement registered in terms of the Skills Development Act, 1998 and receive remuneration for this. This also includes their employers.

If you are an employer, you are required to register with the UIF. This registration must be completed within 2 weeks of becoming an employer and you will need to complete a UI-8 form.

How does UIF work?

Employees are liable to pay 1% of their salary toward the UIF while employers need to add an additional 1%, making the total UIF contribution 2% of the value of the employee’s salary per month.

As an employer, how do I register for UIF?

As an employer, you are required to register with either SARS or the UIF office (whichever is applicable) for the payment of UIF contributions.

As an employee, when can I claim UIF?

Unfortunately you cannot claim UIF if you voluntarily resign but you are entitled to the benefits if your are unemployed for more than 14 days as a result of situations including:

  • Your employment contract was terminated
  • Your employer was declared insolvent
  • You were dismissed

You may also claim UIF in these cases:

  • Illness
  • Maternity leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Dependent’s death benefits

What is important to note is that you must apply within six months of ending work and you will only be paid from the date of your application, not before.

If you need advice on UIF, have a SARS related question or any other financial matter, contact Brett from Dirmeik Consulting on 021 421 4444.