The Unemployment Insurance Fund provides short-term relief for workers who lose their jobs, or are unable to work due to illness, maternity or adoption as stated by the South African Revenue Services (Sars). This short-term relief fund falls under the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 and the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002. Dependants of the deceased, which in this case would be a person who was working, have the right to claim for the UIF.

The employer is responsible for registering their employee with the UIF. Although not all employees are eligible for receiving or registering for the UIF The following do not qualify for UIF:

  • Someone who is employed by the employer for less than 24 hours a month
  • Receives remuneration under a contract of employment as contemplated in section 18(2) of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No.97 of 1998)
  • Is employed as an officer or employee in the national or provincial sphere of Government
  • Entered the Republic for the purpose of carrying out a contract of service, apprenticeship or learnership within the Republic. If upon termination, the employer is required by law or by the contract of service, apprenticeship or learnership, or by any other agreement or undertaking, to send home that person, or if that person needs to leave the Republic
  • Is the President, Deputy President, a Minister, Deputy Minister, a member of the National Assembly, a permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces, a Premier, a member of an Executive Council or a member of a provincial legislature or
  • Is a member of a municipal council, a traditional leader, a member of a provincial House of Traditional Leaders and a member of the Council of Traditional Leaders.

How much contribution is needed for UIF?

Both the employer and the employee are responsible for contributing one percent of the salary paid to the employee. But, the above only applies for employees who earn R14 872 per month or R178 464 annually, for those who earn above this amount, the contribution is calculated using the maximum earnings ceiling amount. The maximum contribution for those who earn above R14 872 per month is R148.72.

Non-registered employees

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UIF has opened its doors for those employees who were not registered with the UIF. This however is termed the Covid-19 Temporary Relief (TERS) payments. The minimum payment for the UIF is R3,500 and it is capped at R6,730 if you earn more than R17,700.

You can apply for the Covid-19 relief funds here

To apply for the UIF you need Your valid 13 Digit South African ID number, your e-mail address where all correspondence will be emailed and cell phone number mandatory.

For more information about the UIF or the Covid-19 temporary relief funds (TERS) you can:

  1. Contact or visit the nearest Department of Labour’s office.
  2. Visit the Department of Labour website.
  3. Call the UIF on 012 337 1700