Unemployment insurance


ANY South African citizen who is employed for more than 24 hours per month must be registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), which is there to bridge a loss of income related to maternity, adoption, illness, unemployment or death for a defined period.

It is an employer’s responsibility to first register for UIF with the Department of Labour using the UI-8 (or UI-8D in the case of domestic workers) within 14 days of becoming an employer. Once the employer receives a registration number, employees must then be registered using a UI-19 form submitted to the Department of Labour.

Both the employer and the employee contribute to the fund. 1% is deducted from the employee’s salary and a further 1% is contributed by the employer to the fund. A total of 2% is thus paid over to the fund on a monthly basis. For example, if an employee is earning R1 000 per month, R10 will be deducted from the employee’s salary and the employer will also contribute R10, paying a total of R20 to the fund.

An employee who qualifies for benefits will receive between 38% and 58% of their monthly remuneration. An employee can accrue up to a maximum of 238 days paid benefits known as “credits” if they have worked for four continuous years. An employee may not claim more than once in a period of four years, unless the claim was for maternity benefits.

An employee who resigns or absconds may not claim for UIF benefits. Employees who receive a State Pension or any benefit from the Compensation Fund or any fund established in terms of the Labour Relations Act may also not claim for UIF.

Interestingly, a recent case showed UIF benefits become payable when a domestic worker’s income falls below a given level of what he/she was usually earning when employed by multiple households. For example: a domestic worker works for three households and the total income is R1 200. The employee loses the income from one employer of R400. The employee qualifies for benefits because she/he lost R400 as income. Each employer is responsible for registering the domestic worker for UIF separately.

A claim should include the submission of the following documentation:

· 13-digit bar-coded ID or passport;

· Form UI-19 (completed by employer);

· Form UI-2.7 (completed by employer);

· Form UI-2.3 (application form). This is a yellow form and needs to be completed and submitted in yellow as the Department of Labour will only accept the “original” form;

· Form UI-2.8 (for banking details). This form has a section that will be required to be completed by your bank to verify your account to which the money will be transferred to;

· Form UI-4 (follow-up form); This is a yellow form and needs to be completed and submitted in yellow as the Department of Labour will only accept the “original” form; and

· Medical certificate from a doctor or birth certificate of the baby (in the case of maternity benefit claims).


A request for the documentation may be sent to me or to the Department of Labour.

Terri Stander is an independent labour law and human resources consultant and may be contacted on 078-397-3894, or e-mail terri@hrsmail.co.za.

Leave a Reply

Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment moderation policy. Your email address is required but will not be published.