In South Africa, the UIF has been established to allow workers who have contributed to the fund to claim compensation when their employer has become insolvent, when their contract expires or when they have been fired. UIF may also be claimed in the events of maternity or illness. It is important to note that UIF cannot be claimed in certain circumstances, such as when resignation has occurred on the part of the member, or the employer has terminated the member’s contract due to fraud.
Members who wish to claim from the UIF can either do so by applying online or visiting a labour centre. These are the crucial steps that need to be completed in order to claim successfully.
1.) Have the necessary documentation
Before visiting a labour centre or applying online at https://www.ufiling.co.za/uif/register, the member would need to have an;
- ID document or passport that contains a 13 digit bar code,
- a U.I-2.8 form (can be found on the South African Labour Department website) signed by the member’s bank with a stamped bank statement.
- This UI-19 form has been filed by the previous employer, showing employment history, proof of registration as a work seeker,
- two latest payslips. (Schnetlers Inc, 2016)
If the member is claiming maternity benefits, she should have two extra documents, namely the birth certificate of the baby and form U.I-4 — a follow-up form. Similarly, in illness, a form U.I-2.7, as well as a medical certificate and medical report from a doctor, would be needed. The member should ensure that he/she has all these documents as this will prevent unnecessary extra trips to the labour centre.
2.) Go to the nearest Labour Centre/Register Online
Once all documentation has been completed, the member can visit their nearest labour centre, which can be found at http://www.labour.gov.za/contacts/contacts. At the labour centre, all the member’s documents will be processed, and further instructions will be given as to how payment will occur. This is the process of registration. It is important to note that it may be required for the member to undergo training or consultation, which is necessary to complete.
If the member wishes to apply online, this can be done by completing two registration forms. This includes forms for both employers of domestic workers as well as forms for commercial employers. Registration can also take place through phone or email instead of being physically present at the respective labour centre. Both physical attendance at the labour centre, as well as online, requires the filling in of forms with the required information. It is entirely at the member’s discretion whether they choose to apply online or in person.
Once registration has occurred, staff will issue the member with a checklist; this will include the venue at which payment will occur and on which day and time the respective payment will occur.