April 2003

2003 is flying past. We have already passed the first quarter of the year and so far it has been a very eventful year for the country and for the World. If the media is to be believed, we are in for some uncertain times.

Despite all this, the future for South Africa is looking better than it has done for some years and it is good to hear South Africans say that they feel safe here and perhaps the decision to stay was a good one.

Connold and Associates has grown over the last year and we welcomed Jenny de Villiers and Brent Lombard to our team. Sasha is taking a short break and is the proud mother of Luca.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND

As everyone should know, domestic workers have to be registered for Unemployment by 31st March 2003, extended to 30th April 2003, because the Fund could not cope with the applications being received. The first payment should be made by 7th May 2003.

We have been receiving a number of calls with regard to the requirements to register and these are some of the issues that commonly are discussed.

Do I have to pay for a domestic worker who only works for one day a week?

The Act says that you should pay UIF for a domestic worker who works more than 24 hours a month. It should be remembered that UIF covers unemployment benefits, ill health benefits, maternity benefits, adoption benefits and dependents’ benefits in the case of death. Fairness would then dictate that UIF should be paid for a person who is employed on a continuous basis, e.g. every Monday. Presumably the worker has other employers who should also contribute on his/her behalf.

Is there a maximum age for paying UIF contributions?

No, however, you may not contribute to UIF if you are receiving a Pension from the Department of Social Welfare. This provision does not apply to other pension or provident funds.

How do I treat accommodation and food in terms of contributions?

Contributions should include remuneration in payment or in kind for food and accommodation. These are valued at 10% of the salary earned. Remuneration excludes payment for pensions, annuities or commission payments.

What about the domestic worker who is not South African?

If the worker has a residence permit or valid work permit, UIF must be paid.

Must the domestic worker contribute as well?

Yes, it is illegal to contribute on behalf of an employee.

If you have any other questions, please contact us, and if we cannot answer them, we will contact the UIF office for information.

INCREASE IN UIF

There will be an increase in the maximum rate of earnings to the Unemployment Insurance Fund with effect from 1 April 2003. This means that those employees who earn more than R106 032-00 per annum will contribute an amount of R88-36 per month instead of R80-99 per month and the employer must contribute an equal amount. Employees earning below this amount will contribute 1% of actual earnings. Remember that in calculating UIF, payments for commission are excluded.

INCREASE IN EARNINGS THRESHOLD DETERMINATION

This was also increased with effect from 1st April 2003. The new threshold is R115 572-00. This amount has relevance to Chapter 2 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, with specific reference to Interpretation of Day, Ordinary Hours of Work, Overtime, Compressed Working Week, Averaging the Hours of Work, Determination of Hours of Work, Meal Intervals, Daily and Weekly Rest Period, Pay for work on Sundays, Night Work and Public Holidays. Section 6(3) states,

“The Minister must, on the advice of the Commission, make a determination that excludes the application of the Chapter, or any provision of it, to any category of employees earning in excess of the amount stated in the determination.”

SECTORIAL DETERMINATIONS

Four Sectorial Determination has been promulgated since August 2002.

These are :
Sectorial Determination 3 – Private Security Sector
Sectorial Determination 7 – Domestic Workers Sector
Sectorial Determination 8 – Farm Workers Sector
Sectorial Determination 9 – Wholesale and Retail Sector

Each legislates on the working conditions for that Sector and legislates minimum wages for the sector. Although generally the provisions are similar to the Basic Conditions of Employment, there are conditions specified which are peculiar to that sector and certain provisions which are more generous that the Act. For example, Family Responsibility leave for domestic workers is five working days and not three.

We have prepared a summary of the key points for the Domestic Worker Determination, and will forward a summary of the Agricultural and the Wholesale and Retail Determinations to clients in those industries. Should anyone else be interested in receiving the summaries, please contact Lynette at our office, or e-mail a request to us.

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