Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) – A Complete Guide To Register

UIF in its simple definition stands for the Unemployment Insurance Fund and it makes provisions by giving short-term relief for workers who for reasons such as maternity, adoption, parental leave, or illness become suddenly unemployed or unfit to take up any job to earn a living. 

The Unemployment Insurance Fund also makes such provisions for the dependents of someone who contributed when they are alive but are now dead.

This insurance system is governed by the following legislation in South Africa;

  • The Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (The UI Act)
  • Unemployment Insurance Contribution, 2002 ( The UIC Act)

The acts come together to make sure that contributors are given what is fairly due to them when it is time to make claims. The UIF came into full operation on April 1st, 2002.

When Was The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Established?

The UIF which came into full operation in 2002 was funded because it aids in the deliberate alleviation of poverty in South Africa by providing the unemployed with relief funds and other benefits. 

How Is UIF Funded?

It is funded by the contributions of the employer and the employee. The employee pays 1% on his or her monthly salary and the employee pays 1% also making it 2% each month. The employer has to make sure the employees are registered on UIF and the employees need to see that their employer is paying the monthly deductions.

Who Qualifies For The Unemployment Insurance Fund?

All employees qualify for the UIF. However, for an employee to fully enjoy the benefits that come with the UIF, they must first;

  • Register with UIF as someone who is seeking a job
  • Apply to UIF the moment you become unemployed or within six months of becoming unemployed
  • When your employer terminates your appointment, you can equally apply for UIF

Who Does Not Qualify For The Unemployment Insurance Fund?

As previously stated, all employees may qualify for UIF except for the following;

  • If the employee works for less than 24 hours in a month
  • If the employee is an officer or works for the government
  • If the employee is either a president, deputy minister, or a member of the national assembly
  • If the employee is a traditional leader, a member of the municipal council, or part of the members that make up the traditional council

Who Benefits From The Unemployment Insurance Fund?

In as much as many people can apply to the UIF, it is only those who continually paid their contributions while they were still working that can benefit from the fund.

How To Check If Registered for UIF South Africa?

To check if you are registered on UIF South Africa, follow these steps;

  • First and foremost, you will have to visit this link https://ufiling.labour.gov.za/uif/ to get to the official website of UIF
  • Once there, click on register and follow the instruction they will send that is whether you choose to email or SMS
  • You will then be asked to answer the UIF verification questions to ascertain whether you are indeed who you say you are
  • Proceed to fill in the personal details they will be asked by providing only the right answers
  • Once that is done, go back to the landing page and log in with your unique password and username
  • You can now access your profile by tapping on it and seeing all your contributions as well

What Do I Need To Apply for UIF Online?

To apply for the Unemployment Insurance Fund online, you will need these;

  • A valid South African identification card with your 13 digits ID number
  • An active email address where most of your information will be emailed to
  • A working cellphone number to reach you when the need arises

How To Apply For UIF Online?

Follow these steps to apply;

  • Visit this link https://ufiling.labour.gov.za/uif/
  • Once there, accept all terms and conditions to proceed
  • You then have to confirm your banking details
  • The next step is to complete and verify all of your details
  • You can now enter your occupation and qualification
  • Once this is done, you can now confirm that you are seeking a job

Alternatively, you can apply in person by;

  • Visiting the nearest labour office you find
  • You will be asked to sign the unemployment register and asked to sign that same unemployment register on your next visit
  • If you remained unemployed, you will then be required to sign the register every four weeks and given a white card which will be marked every time you sign the register
  • Once everything checks out, you will receive your benefits eight weeks after registering with the unemployment insurance fund.
  • If you do not receive the benefits after that eight weeks, you can issue a complaint at the office

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UIF Claim How To Claim Benefit

If a contributor is ready to make claims, they can either visit the nearest Labour Center where they will be asked to register in the unemployment book. They will then be told when they can come back for the same process and when they can start earning their benefits.

Or they can register online and wait for everything to check out to receive their benefits.

Requirements For Claiming UIF?

To make claims, you need to have the following in possession;

  • A copy of your bar-coded document
  • Copies of your last six payslips
  • Provision of information by your employer
  • A certificate of service from your employer
  • A registration proof as a job seeker
  • A filled and completed registration form

In What Instance Will An Employee Not Be Able To Make Claims?

The Unemployment Insurance Fund is only available for workers who made sure to contribute when they were still working. It means that if you did not make the contributions, you cannot make claims. 

Also, you cannot make claims if;

  • You subjectively resigned from your job
  • You have been suspended from your job
  • When you refused to listen to advice or undergo a designated training
  • When you receive other benefits that were equally enacted by the Labour Relations Act

Are There Other Benefits You Can Claim From UIF?

The answer is yes and they include;

  • Illness benefits
  • Maternity benefits
  • Adoption benefits
  • Death benefits

How Much Does UIF Pay Out In South Africa?

The UIF payout is typically dependent on the salary of the contributor while they were still working. The highest that could be paid is estimated at 58% of what the contributor used to earn in a day.

How To Check My UIF Balance

To check your balance, follow these steps;

  • Visit the UIF official website at https://ufiling.labour.gov.za/uif/
  • Proceed to click on check balance
  • Enter the Captcha that has been displayed on the screen
  • Wait patiently to view what you have in your account

What Happens To My UIF Contributions If I Resign? 

The law clearly states that once you voluntarily resign, you cannot make claims. Nevertheless, you may be able to make your claims if the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration see resignation as a necessary evil, a constructive one.

How Much Are UIF Contributions?

  • For the employee, what he or she is to contribute is 1% of the remuneration paid by his or her employer
  • The employer on the other hand is required to pay 2% which is 1% of the salary of the employee and 1% from the employer. This is supposed to be paid within a designated period
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