UIF is one of those things that doesn’t seem quite so important until you actually lose your job. UIF is a safety measure put into place to protect workers in the event they lose their jobs and need assistance while they search for other work. Here are the most commonly asked questions when it comes to your unemployment insurance fund.
Who is allowed to claim UIF?
If you are fired, or your contract ends, you can claim UIF. If your company dissolves or goes bankrupt, you are also eligible for UIF. For domestic workers, UIF is payable if they earn their income from several different people, and then lose one of those jobs, or else one of their employers passes away.
However if you quit your job, refused to take the necessary training or advice on offer or if you were found guilty of committing fraud, you will not be able to claim anything. Be sure to claim within 6 months of leaving your job, because if you wait longer than that you may forfeit your UIF support. The labour department may also refuse you UIF access if you can be shown that you refused to accept a job that was offered to you.
How can you apply for UIF?
It is your employer’s responsibility to pay into you UIF fund for the duration of your employment, but it is your responsibility to apply for access to it after your employment ends. Contact a labour centre to ask what documents you’ll need to submit, then make sure you provide any supporting information along with your application.
You’ll need your green ID book or passport, Form UI-2.8 to declare your banking details (the funds will be paid directly into your account), Form UI-19 fo officially declare that you no longer work for your employer and some form of evidence that you are seeking work, for example being registered at an employment agency.
How long can you claim for?
Though you have up to six months to apply for your UIF, you can retroactively receive funds from the day you ended your employment. You will stop receiving payments either when the funds are exhausted or when you find another job, in which case the onus is on you to officially notify the department so you can stop the payments.
What if I don’t agree with the commissioner’s decision?
It is possible to appeal the labour department’s decision. To do this, you will need to fill out the required forms at the Head Office.
Who has to pay into a monthly UIF?
If you are employed for more than 24 hours a month, you are required to pay UIF. Your employer is legally required to deduct a small amount each salary. The amount equals around 1 percent of your salary before deductions, plus 1 percent from your employer, with an upper limit of around R250 a month.
How else can I get UIF benefits?
There are a few ways. For a maximum of 238 days, you can claim if you are ill and unable to work. You can also claim if you need time off to adopt a child under 2 years of age or you go on maternity leave (maximum 121 days) or have a miscarriage (42 days). If your spouse passes away, it is also possible to claim their UIF benefits. Since payouts will differ for each person, it’s best to speak directly to the labour department to calculate your UIF and get to work getting back on your feet.