The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) gives short-term relief to workers when they become unemployed or are unable to work because of maternity, adoption and parental leave, or illness. It also provides relief to the dependents of a deceased contributor.
The Unemployment Insurance Fund provides benefits to people who lost their jobs as a result of Illness, Maternity leave, Adoption leave, and Parental leave. Benefits are also provided for employees who had reduced work time.
What is the Unemployment Insurance Fund (“UIF”)?
- The UIF is a fund created to lighten the effects of unemployment for a short period of time.
- An employer and their employee must each contribute 1% of the employee’s salary to the UIF monthly (“contributions”) in exchange for UIF payments (“benefits”). It is the employer’s responsibility to register an employee and pay these contributions over to the UIF.
- When an employee (“contributor”) becomes unemployed or is unable to work, they may claim benefits from the UIF. Also, when an employee dies, the dependents of that employee may claim benefits from the UIF.
Can Temporary or Casual Employees Claim UIF Benefits?
Employers often forget to register their temporary/casual employees for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). UIF legislation stipulates that any employee who works for more than 24 hours in a month must contribute to UIF.
When employers have not registered and contributed towards UIF for these casual/temporary workers, the casual worker cannot claim UIF.
This creates risk for the employer when a casual worker brings a claim against their employer, because they are unable to receive their benefits.
The following employers and employees are not covered by the law relating to unemployment and may not claim from the UIF:
- an employee that works less than 24 hours a month, or
- independent contractors.
To qualify for UIF, you must register as a work seeker and apply as soon as you become unemployed or within six months of the termination of your employment.
It is equally important to note that you can only apply for and receive UIF benefits if you have been contributing to the UIF while you were employed.
You cannot claim if you have resigned, been suspended or absconded from work. You may claim if the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) considers the resignation as constructive dismissal.
UIF claims can either be submitted at a labour centre or through the uFiling website online.
You will then be notified regarding the outcome of your claim after it has been processed. Benefits are paid based on the contributor's available credits.