Being laid off from a paid job can be a very difficult time for anybody financially, especially if you were not putting necessary measures in place to prepare for such times. Saving something tangible out of your monthly salary in preparation for times when you may be unemployed or temporarily out of work may not be very easy, especially if your salary is almost not enough to take care of your daily needs. This is where UIF Payments come in to help.
Becoming a contributor to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) helps you save one percent of your monthly income every month. The fund also demands that your employer saves 1% of your monthly income for you without deducting his share of the 1% from your income, making it two percent every month. Depending on what your monthly income is, you may feel 2% is small, but not until it accumulates for years and you finally come into a situation where you need it.
UIF Came Into Operations On The First Of April 2002
The South Africa Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is governed by the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001, and the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002. The Act which came into operation on the 1st of April 2002 provides the opportunity for contributors to pay in some amount of their income for a period of time, and when they need it, they can also collect it back.
UIF is a short-term relief for workers who are unemployed or have to take a temporary break from work for maternity, adoption leave, or illness. Although all employees in South Africa are eligible to become UIF beneficiaries, not all categories of workers or employees are qualified to participate in the contributory fund.
Who Is Not Eligible For UIF Payments?
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is open to all workers and employers except:
- The President, Deputy President, Ministers, a permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces, Deputy Ministers, Members of the National Assembly, Members of an Executive Council, Members of a Provincial Legislature, and Premiers.
- Employees who have not been working for their employer for less than 24 hours in a month.
- An employee who receives remuneration under a contract of employment as stated in section 18 (2) of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No.97 of 1998).
- An officer or employee who works in the national or provincial sphere of government.
- A worker who came into the country for a contract, apprenticeship, or for the purpose of learning. Especially, if after the contract, period of learning, or apprenticeship, the law or work agreement requires that the worker leaves the country.
- Traditional leaders, Members of a provincial House of Traditional Leaders, Members of the Council of Traditional Leaders.
Steps You Must Take To Become A UIF Contributor
To become a UIF beneficiary, an employer has to register with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for Employees’ Tax. He or she will also have to register to pay UIF contributions. Employers who fall under the following category will have to register at the Unemployment Insurance commissioner’s office:
- An employer who is yet to register with SARS for employees’ tax.
- Those who are yet to voluntarily register with SARS as an employer.
- An employer who can contribute on a monthly basis to the unemployment insurance fund and is liable to pay remuneration to an employee.
How Much Do Contributors Need To Pay For UIF?
UIF contributions are clearly stated for both employers and employees and employers are mandated not to deduct their part of the contribution from the employee’s monthly income. The employee is expected to contribute 1% of their monthly remuneration that is paid by the employer, but when the employer is remitting this fund to UIF, he is expected to contribute a total of 2% of the employee’s monthly remuneration. This is because aside from the 1% contributed by the employee, the employer is also expected to also contribute 1% of the remuneration that he or she is supposed to pay the employee for the month.
The contribution does not apply to so much of the amount the employer pays the employee. As of the 1st of October 2012, the maximum earning celling was R14,872 per month or R178,464 per annum, and employees who earn more than R14,872 will calculate their contribution using the maximum earning ceiling amount. This means that even if they earn above R14,872, their contribution will still be R148.72. With effect from the 1st of June 2021, the maximum earning celling will not exceed R17,712 per month or R212,544 per annum.
Besides the point explained above, here are other basic things to know about the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions:
- Excess payment above the maximum earning celling should not be included as an amount deductible for UIF.
- The employer is expected to make the total payment to SARS every month by completing the monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201). This is a declaration that shows the total payment that is located to SDL, UIF, PAYE, and Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) (when applicable)
- To link payment with the relevant EMP201 payment declaration, a Payment Reference Number will be attached to the EMP201 in advance, note that each Payment Reference Number (PRN) is unique.
How To Pay UIF Contributions
Unemployment insurance fund payment can be done via efiling, electronic fund transfer (EFT), or at any branch of banking institutions that are approved for UIF payments.
Payments must be made within 7 days after the month has ended and contributions have been deducted. If the last payment day within this window period falls on a public holiday or weekend, then you should make payments on the last working day before the weekend or public holiday.
How Do I Claim My UIF Fund?
If you have been making payments into the unemployment insurance fund and get into a situation like unemployment, illness, maternity, or adoption leave that puts you in a situation where you need to claim your funds, then you should apply at the Labor office or online. After your registration date, you should start receiving your fund within eight weeks and then every four weeks until your benefits have been exhausted.
And every time you are paid, you will receive a payment slip showing how much you have been paid and how much you have left to claim. The requirements for claiming the funds differ, depending on the one you enrolled for.
To claim your unemployment benefits, you will need:
- 13 digit bar-coded identity document.
- Copies of the last six payslips you received before losing your job.
- UI-19 (employers details).
- Service certificate issued by your employer.
- A proof that you have registered as a job seeker.
- Completed registration form.
To claim your Illness benefits, you will need:
- Copy of your bar-coded identity document.
- UI-19 contains your employer’s details as supplied by him or her.
- Copies of your payslip for the past six months.
- Proof of banking details.
- Service certificate from your employer.
- Proof of income or benefits you still receive from your employer during your stay away from work.
- Completed registration form.
- Medical report showing your diagnosis.
To claim your Adoption benefits, you will need:
- Adoption order.
- Copy of the child’s adoption certificate.
- Identity document.
- Details of your employer on UI-19.
- Financial statement of the amount your employer is willing to pay you for the period of time you may be away.
- Proof of banking details.
- Copied of your payslip for the last six months.
To claim your Maternity benefits, you will need:
- Bar-coded identity document.
- Banking details (form UI-2.8).
- Copies of your last six payment slips.
- UI-19 (information to be supplied by your employer).
- Proof of banking details.
- Form UI-2.7.
- Certificate of service.
- Completely filled application form (form UI-2.3).
- Birth certificate of the baby or medical certificate issued by the doctor.
- Completely filled follow-up form (form UI-4).
- Registration form.
- After registration, you will be given form UF92. It should be filled by your doctor.
- If you apply for UIF maternity benefits after giving birth to your child, you will be given Form UF95 which should be filled by the doctor who assisted you with childbirth.
How Long Do I Have To Contribute To UIF For Me To Claim My Benefits?
To get full benefits from UIF, you must have been a contributor for up to four years, this makes you eligible for credit for up to 238 days which is about eight months. But if you have not contributed for up to four years, then you will be paid for one day out of six working days.
Generally, the percentage of the payment you receive as a benefit will depend on your income while you were a contributor. Usually, it ranges from 38% and 60% of your total payment while you were still a contributor and low-income contributors usually get a higher benefit payment percentage.
How Much Will UIF Pay Me?
If you want to know how much payment you can claim from UIF, then you will have to calculate it depending on the number of days you worked and contributed. But note that the maximum UIF that can be paid per day is 58% of what you earn daily while you were a contributor. To calculate the amount you can claim, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Calculate how much your daily payment is.
Let’s say you receive R11,000 monthly. To calculate your daily payment you will multiply R11,000 by 12 then divide by 365.
i.e. 11,000 x 12 = 132,000
then 132 000/365 = 361.64
This gives us a monthly payment of R361.64.
For your benefits, you are expected to receive payment for one day out of six working days. Let’s assume that as a contributor, you contributed for 9 months, which is about 270 days and your daily rate as we calculated is R361.64 for a monthly remuneration of R11,000.
Step 2: To calculate your claims, you will divide the number of days you worked and contributed by six.
i.e. 270/6 = 45
Step 3: Now to get your total claim, multiply 45 by your daily remuneration.
i.e. 45 x R361.64 = R16 273.8
Therefore, R16,273.8 is the total amount you can claim as benefits for the period of time you will receive benefits from UIF.
Normally, the maximum number of days you can receive benefits for UIF is 238 days and that is only if you have contributed for up to four years, and we have already established that you cannot receive more than 38% to 60% of your income as a contributor.
So, if we assume that you were a contributor for up to four years and are eligible for the 238 days payment that is eight months, you will receive about R2,034.225 as your monthly benefits. If you are eligible for less than 238 days, then the benefit percentage may be higher.
If you earn more than R12,478 as a contributor, you will receive a fixed amount of R 4250- 4550 per month as benefits because the higher you earn, the lower the benefit.
How To Fill A UIF Salary Schedule
To download and fill the UIF salary schedule form, follow the procedures below:
- Visit the UniCare salary schedule form download page
- Download the form on your device
- Print out the form
- Provide your name, employee reference number, period of service, employee ID number, remuneration per month, number of hours you work per month and amount of salary you receive, and for what period of time.
You may have to submit the form at the Labour office.
UIF Offenses And Penalties
The following offenses as regards the UIF can result in a fine or imprisonment for up to two years:
- Submit a certificate or statement that is false.
- Failure to let UIF know of any change in submitted details.
- Refusal or neglect to take an oath, or make a solemn declaration.
- If you neglect:
- Neglect to submit any SARS form.
- Or to issue a document to a person as required like your doctor in the case of maternity leave.
- Failure to keep records.
How Do I Contact UIF?
If you have any issues regarding UIF contributions or benefits and wish to make inquiries, you can contact UIF via call on 0800 030 007 or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to send website-related queries, you can send a mail to uFiling@alteram.co.za
Note that UIF call centers are available from 7:30 am to 4 pm from Mondays to Fridays only. If you have to send a query any time outside this time, then it may be best you send an email.