Category Archives: Update

Increased UIF Contributions

The increase in the UIF contributions which was promised in March this year has finally been gazetted and will be effective from the 1st of June 2021.  That means that all employees who earn more than    R14 872-00 will see a small drop in their earnings on pay day this month.

In April 2017, the Unemployment Insurance Fund increased the maximum level for benefits to R17 711-58 however, the responsibility for increasing contributions to match this with an increase in the contribution.  This responsibility lay with the finance minister and due to changes in Ministry at that time, no regulation in this regard was passed.

With effect from 1 June 2021 this will be corrected.  This means that while everyone still contributes 1% of salary and companies are required to match this, those employees whose earnings are above R14 872-00 will contribute more to UIF.  The maximum contribution level has now been set at R177.12.

What does this mean:

Example 1:  Employee earning R16 000-00 per month.

UIF 2020R148.72
UIF 2020R160.00
-R 11.28

Example 2: Employee earning R25 000-00 per month

UIF 2020R148.72
UIF 2020R177.12
-R 28.40

The benefit level remains unchanged which means that anyone claiming one of the eight benefits available from UIF, i.e.

  1. UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT
  2. REDUCED WORKING TIME BENEFIT
  3. ILL HEALTH BENEFIT
  4. DEPENDANTS BENEFIT
  5. MATERNITY LEAVE BENEFIT
  6. ADOPTION LEAVE BENEFIT
  7. COMMISSIONING LEAVE BENEFIT
  8. PARENTAL LEAVE BENEFIT

Will be entitled to benefits with a maximum benefit calculated as a percentage of R17 711-58.

Please advise affected staff of the change.

COIDA AND DOMESTIC WORKERS

On 10 March 2021, the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner published regulations with regard to Domestic Workers being covered by the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

This was in response to a Constitutional Court Order made on 19 November 2020 which declared that this means that Domestic employees will now be entitled for compensation in the event they are injured or contract diseases while on duty. In addition, the order has been made retrospective to 27 April 1994.

As per the COIDA Act:

the employee is a person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or of apprenticeship or learnership, with an employer, whether the contract is express or implied, oral or in writing, and whether the remuneration is calculated by time or by work done, or is in cash or in kind. Types of benefits paid in terms of the Act Compensation payable to domestic workers for occupational injuries and diseases.

Specifically covered by the act, other than permanent employees are:

  • Casuals
  • Directors
  • Members of Body Corporates
  • Employees provided by a Labour Broker

Domestic workers together with Members of the Armed Forces, Police Force and Independent Contractors were excluded until the new ruling.

The cover now provided to Domestic Workers who have been injured on duty or who have contracted a disease during the course of their duty, is the same as the benefit available to all employees and has been well described in the document published by the DOL as follows:

  1. Temporary total disablement (TTD)
    • The TTD is payable to an injured employee who is booked off for a period of 4 days and more by the treating doctor to recuperate from the injuries/condition in respect of the occupational diseases suffered at the time of the accident/diagnosis. The maximum period payable is 24 months.
  2. Permanent disablement lump sum
    • The permanent disablement lump sum is paid to an employee who has received a final medical report from the treating doctor indicating that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. The permanent disablement should be 1-30% for the Compensation Fund to pay this benefit.
  3. Permanent disablement pension
    • The permanent disablement pension is paid to an employee who has received a final medical report from the treating doctor indicating that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. The permanent disablement should be 31 -100% for the Compensation Fund to pay this benefit. Compensation payable to the dependants of employees who died as a result of injury on duty or occupational disease.
  4. Funeral expenses payable to dependents of a deceased employee with a date of death before the 1st of April 2019
    • The actual expenses incurred for the burial of a deceased employee are refunded to the dependants up to a maximum amount that is detailed in schedule 4 annually.
  5. Funeral benefits payable to deceased employees with the date of death of 1st April 2019 and after
    • The amount of R18 251.00 is paid as a lump sum to the dependants of employees who died as a result of injury on duty or occupational disease on and after the 1st of April 2019.
  6. Widow’s lump sum award
    • The surviving spouse of the deceased employee is paid a widow’s lump sum. This amount is split evenly to the spouses of the deceased employee in case of multiple surviving spouses.
  7. Widow’s pension award
    • The widow also receives a pension from the Compensation Fund. This pension is only terminated on the death of the widow.
  8. Child pension award
    • The children of the deceased employee are also paid a pension up to the age of 18 years or when they get married or financially emancipated. This pension may be extended for children who are still going to school after turning 18 years.
  9. Partial dependency award
    • This award is paid to the parents or siblings of the deceased employee if there is no surviving spouse or child. This is a once off lump sum that is paid to one individual.
  10. Wholly dependency award
    • This is a pension award paid to the parents or siblings of the deceased employee who were dependant on the income of the deceased employee. The award is paid if there is no surviving spouse or child. The pension is terminated by the death of the recipient or the expiry of the lifespan of the deceased employee.
  11. Orthotics and Rehabilitation
    • The following benefits are also available through the Compensation Fund for qualifying applicants,
  12. Bursaries for youth
    • The Compensation Fund provides bursaries for tertiary studies to unemployed youth, dependents of Compensation Fund pensioners and dependents of those who suffered fatal occupational injuries between the ages of 17 to 25 years.
  13. Return to work Programme.
    • The return-to-work programme provides skills development and facilitation of return-to-work for injured/diseased workers who are mainly persons with disabilities. Injured workers who have disabilities may apply for funding towards skills development that will provide equal developmental opportunities to maximise performance, employability, and participation in the labour market.
  14. Assistive devices
    • The Compensation Fund provides assistive devices such as wheelchairs and prosthetics to injured workers who have sustained a disability. The process of obtaining an assistive device is derived from the medical reports and is preauthorised to ensure that the beneficiary receives a device according to their medical requirements.
  15. Rehabilitation and re-integration
    • The Compensation Fund provides rehabilitation and reintegration programmes whose objective is to ensure all the needs of injured workers with disabilities are addressed. Case management ensures follow ups with workers who have sustained a disability with regards to their medical and social rehabilitation needs
  16. Medical Benefits
    • The following medical benefits are available through the Compensation Fund to qualifying claimants.
  17. Medical claims
    • The Compensation Fund will process reasonable medical expenses to gazetted Medical Service Providers and institutions that treated the employee.
  18. Re-opening of the claim
    • The Compensation Fund will re-open a claim for further treatment once the claim has exceeded two years from the date of accident and the employee still needs further treatment.
  19. Chronic medication
    • Chronic medication will be considered where an employee has contracted an occupational disease or injury that requires chronic medication. The treating medical practitioner must confirm the need for chronic treatment.

CLAIMS PRESCRIPTION PERIOD

A right to claim in terms of the Act shall lapse if the accident that happened or the disease that commenced on or after 27th April 1994 is not brought to the attention of the Commissioner or of the employer or mutual association concerned, as the case may be, within 12 months from 19th  November 2020.

IMPLICATION FOR DOMESTIC EMPLOYERS

This ruling means that all employers of domestic employees are obliged to register as employers with the Compensation Fund and submit the necessary returns as obliged.  All employers of domestic workers are therefore encouraged to register with the Compensation Fund without delay.

  1. Industry Classification In terms of the Compensation Fund’s Classification of Industries, domestic employers would be classified under Class XIX Personal Services, subclass 1910 at an assessment rate of 0.81.
  2. In terms of the new classification model to be introduced effective 1 March 2021, domestic employers will fall under its own class, Class M, subclass 2500 at an assessment rate of 1.04 for the 2021 year onwards.

Breaking News: EXTENSION OF TERS (2020/03/02)

New Directive extends TERS from 16 October 2020 to 15 March 2021

The Department of Employment and Labour published a new letter today explaining the process to be followed to claim TERS for the period 16 October 2020 to 15 March 2021.  The directives have not yet been published and the system is not yet open for applications.

The intention is that the TERS applications can be submitted in two applications, the first from 16 October 2020 to 31 December 2020 and the second tranche will be from 1 January 2021 to 15 March 2021.

However, only certain industries or categories of employees will qualify for the TERS offered:

  1. Employees who were required to self-isolate or quarantine.
  2. Employees who were required to self-isolate or quarantine.
  3. Employees who were required to self-isolate or quarantine.

Supporting documentation for these claims will be required.

In terms of qualifying Industries, two lists have been provided.

List 1:

  1. TRANSPORTATION & STORAGE (tourism and hospitality)
  2.  ACCOMMODATION (tourism and hospitality)
  3. FOOD AND BEVERAGE SERVICE ACTIVITIES (tourism and hospitality)
  4. RENTING & LEASING ACTIVITIES (tourism and hospitality)
  5. OFFICE ADMINISTRATIVE, OFFICE SUPPORT, AND OTHER BUSINESS SUPPORT ACTIVITIES (tourism and hospitality)
  6. TRAVEL AGENCY, TOUR OPERATOR, RESERVATION SERVICES AND RELATED ACTIVITIES (tourism and hospitality)
  7. OTHER PERSONAL SERVICE ACTIVITIES (tourism and hospitality)
  8. RETAIL SALE OF CULTURAL AND RECREATION GOODS IN SPECIALIZED STORES (Arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
  9. CREATIVE, ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT ACTIVITIES (Arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
  10. LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES, MUSEUMS AND OTHER CULTURAL ACTIVITIES (Arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
  11. GAMBLING AND BETTING ACTIVITIES (Arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
  12. SPORTS ACTIVITIES AND AMUSEMENT AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES (Arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
  13. RETAIL SALE OF CULTURAL AND RECREATION GOODS IN SPECIALIZED STORES (Arts, entertainment and recreation sector)
  14.  AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING (liquor sector)
  15.  MANUFACTURE OF BEVERAGES (liquor sector)
  16.  WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE (liquor sector)
  17.  TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE (liquor sector)
  18.  SECURITY & INVESTIGATION ACTIVITIES (Service providers who place employees into the above affected sectors: security services)
  19. EMPLOYMENT ACTIVITIES (Service providers who place employees into the above affected sectors)
  20.  SERVICES TO BUILDINGS AND LANDSCAPE ACTIVITIES (Service providers who place employees into the above affected sectors: cleaning services / maintenance)

List 2

  1. Cinemas
  2. Theatres
  3. Casinos
  4. Museums, galleries, libraries and archives
  5. Gyms and fitness centres
  6. Restaurants
  7. Venues hosting auctions
  8. Venues hosting professional sports
  9. Night clubs
  10. Swimming pools
  11. Bars, taverns and shebeens
  12. Public parks
  13. Domestic and international air travel
  14. Rail, bus services and taxi services
  15. E- hailing services
  16. Sale, dispensing and distributions and transportation of liquor
  17. Beaches, dams, rivers and lake
  18. Passenger ships
  19. Venues where social events are held
  20. Venues hosting concerts and live performance
  21. Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast, time share facilities, resorts and guest houses
  22. Conferencing, dining, entertainment and bar facilities
  23. International sports, arts and cultural events
  24. Professional services (cleaning and security) within regulated restricted sectors (e.g.: hospitality)
  25. Retails activities within regulated restricted sectors (e.g.: hospitality)
  26. Other services activities within regulated restricted sectors (e.g.: hospitality)

We are still working through some issues related to previous claims, but I think that future claims should be resolved quite quickly as systems have been improved.

If you require more information with regard to these claims.  Please contact the office for more information with regard to TERS claims.

Increased UIF Contributions

The Good News in the Budget Speech and amended tax regulations published on Wednesday 24 February 2021 was that our PAYE tax will be marginally less with effect from 1 March 2021 as the tax parameters have been changed a little and the rebates we can claim have been increased slightly.

However, the Bad News is that the contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Fund have at last been adjusted to the benefit level.

In April 2017, the Unemployment Insurance Fund increased the maximum level for benefits to R17 711-58 however, the responsibility for increasing contributions to match this with an increase in the contribution.  This responsibility lay with the Finance Minister and due to changes in Ministry at that time, no regulation in this regard was passed.

With effect from 1 March 2021 this will be corrected.  This means that while everyone still contributes 1% of salary and companies are required to match this, those employees whose earnings are above R14 872-00 will contribute more to UIF.  The maximum contribution level has now been set at R177.12.

What does this mean:

Example 1:  Employee earning R16 000-00 per month.
Tax Rate 2020R1 633.58UIF 2020R148.72Difference in earningsR14 217.70
Tax Rate 2021R1 571.00UIF 2020R160.00Difference in earningsR14 269.00
Tax Rate DifferenceR    62.58UIF Difference-R 11.28 R      51.30
Example 2: Employee earning R25 000-00 per month
Tax Rate 2020R3 880.83UIF 2020R148.72Difference in earningsR20 970.45
Tax Rate 2021R3 749.17UIF 2020R177.12Difference in earningsR21 073.71
Tax Rate DifferenceR   131.66UIF Difference-R 28.40 R     103.26

It seems the Minister gives with one hand and takes away with the other.  The benefit level remains unchanged.

Minimum Wage Regulations 2021

On 8 February 2021, the Minister of Labour and Employment passed new regulations increasing the minimum wage with effect from 1 March 2021.  As was the case last year, this regulation governs the minimum wages for:

  • All employees who do not fall into specific categories listed below (including casual employees)
  • Farm Workers
  • Domestic Workers
  • Workers employed in Public Works Schemes (cleaning verges Parks, Cemeteries etc.)
  • Learners

The Regulations also provide new minimum wages for

  • Contract Cleaners
  • Employees in the Wholesale and Retail Industries.

The increase in the minimum wage is 4.48% and both the Contract Cleaning and Wholesale and Retail Industries minimum wages have also increased wages by this percentage.  However, there have been substantial increases at the other levels.  See table below:

Minimum Wages 2021

Category of employeeHourly Rate 2020Hourly Rate 2021Increase AmountPercent IncreaseNew Monthly salary (45hrs per week)
Minimum WageR 20.76R 21.69R 0.934.48%R 4 266.30
Farmworkers WageR 18.68R 21.69R 3.0116.11%R 4 226.30
Domestic WorkersR 15.57R 19.09R 3.5222.61%R 3 719.69
Public Work EmployeesR 11.42R 11.93R 0.514.47%R 2 324.56
Contract CleanersR 22.84R 23.87R 1.034.51 %R 4 651.07

Learner Level 1 – 2

Credit amountWeekly RATE 2020WEEKLY RATE 2021INCREASE AMOUNTPERCENT INCREASENEW MONTHLY SALARY
0 -120 CreditsR 312.45R 326.51R 14.064.50%R 1 413.79
121 – 240 CreditsR 624.87R 652.99R 28.124.50% R 2 827.45

Learner Level 3

Credit amountWeekly RATE 2020WEEKLY RATE 2021INCREASE AMOUNTPERCENT INCREASENEW MONTHLY SALARY
0 -120 CreditsR 312.45R 326.51R 14.064.50%R 1 413.79
121 – 240 CreditsR 558.47R 614.95R 56.4810.1%R 2 662.73
341 – 360 CreditsR 963.38R 1003.73R 40.354.19%R 4 346.15

Learner Level 4

Credit amountWeekly RATE 2020WEEKLY RATE 2021INCREASE AMOUNTPERCENT INCREASENEW MONTHLY SALARY
0 -120 CreditsR 312.45R 326.51R 14.064.50%R 1 413.79
121 – 240 CreditsR 624.93R 653.05R 28.124.50%R 2 827.71
341 – 360 CreditsR 963.38R 1006.73R 43.354.50%R 4 359.14
361 – 480 CreditsR 1 405.98R 1 496.25R 90.276.42%R 6 478.76

Learner Level 5 – 8

Credit amountWeekly RATE 2020WEEKLY RATE 2021INCREASE AMOUNTPERCENT INCREASENEW MONTHLY SALARY
0 -120 CreditsR 312.45R 326.51R 14.064.50%R 1 413.79
121 – 240 CreditsR 676.93R 707.39R 30.464.50%R 3 063.00
341 – 360 CreditsR 1 012.83R 1 058.41R 45.584.50%R 4 582.92
361 – 480 CreditsR 1 426.85R 1 491.06R 64.214.50%R 6 456.29
481 – 600 CreditsR 1 822.56R 1 904.58R 82.024.50%R 8 246.83

The intention always was to bring domestic workers and farmworkers up to the national minimum wage within a four-to-five-year period, hence the large increase in the minimum level now. 

It is to be noted that there is no requirement to implement an increase if the employee is already earning more than the minimum salary.

COVID-19 LABOUR LAW OPTIONS

We are having a number of conversations with our clients with regard to the effect that the effective global shut down has had on the Country and the world with regard to this virus and no doubt viruses to come in future years.  I cannot think of a business that is not going to be negatively affected by this, even the health industry as products shipped from China and Europe will be delayed, but those involved in travel and eventing will be the most seriously affected initially.

Below I have given a number of the frequently asked questions with the advice that is being given by the Department of Labour and the Legal Fraternity.

HEALTH AND HYGIENE

The Department of Labour has issued a directive in terms of our responsibility as employers in answer to the question of what our responsibilities to our employees are.

The Department of Employment and Labour has appealed to employers to use the prescriptions of the OHS Act of 1993 in relation to Coronavirus Disease 2019 COVID-19.

The OHS requires the employer to provide as far as is reasonably practicable, a safe working environment which is without risks to the health of all employees.

Current risk assessments need to be reviewed and updated taking into account the new hazards posed by exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Employers who have not yet prepared for pandemic events are requested to prepare themselves for potentially worsening outbreak conditions.

The Department has developed a COVID-19 guideline which is based on infection prevention and occupational hygiene practices.

It focuses on the need for employers to implement the following measures:

Engineering controls:

Isolating employees from work-related hazards, installing high efficiency air filters, increasing ventilation rates in the work environment and installing physical barriers such as face shields to provide ventilation

Administrative controls:

Encouraging sick employees to stay at home; minimizing contact among workers, clients and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communications e.g. conference calls, skype etc; minimising the number of workers on site at any given time e.g. shift work; discontinuing local and international travel; developing emergency communication plans, including a task team for answering worker’s concerns and internet-based communications; provide workers with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors; training workers on how to use and wear protective clothing and equipment

Safe work Practices:

Provide resources that promotes personal hygiene e.g. no-touch refuse bins, hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 70% alcohol, promote regular hand washing

Personal Protective Equipment:

This includes the provision of gloves, goggles, face shields, face masks, gowns, aprons, coats, overalls, hair and shoe covers and respiratory protection.

Employers and workers should use this information to identify risk levels in the workplace and identify additional appropriate control measures. Additional guidance may be needed as COVID-19 outbreak conditions change.  In the event that new information about the virus and its impact is established, plans may need to be modified accordingly.

In the case of suspected exposure, contact the Coronavirus hotline in South Africa – 0800 02 9999

SICK LEAVE

The questions that are being asked of us are:

Does quarantine count as sick leave? 

If a doctor orders it then yes it does, but if a person voluntarily goes into isolation then it does not.  However, if the employer imposes quarantine on its employees, then that should be treated as special paid leave (not annual leave).

If an employee catches Coronovirus at work will it be a WCA Claim?

If the employee’s job is to work with affected or potentially affected people and it was acquired during the course of his work, then it will be a WCA claim.  In other circumstances, we will have to allow the Commission to decide.  It is going to be difficult with certainty to determine where the infection came from.

All other infected and ill employees will be entitled to normal sick leave.

ALTERNATIVE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

Many staff are requesting permission to work at home, particularly as schools have closed and alternative childcare may not be available. 

How do I monitor staff who want to work from home and what do I do if they cannot work more than 3 or 4 hours a day? 

Companies are going to have to look at this very seriously and improve their monitoring systems so that they can measure work done.  Maybe they need to agree an hourly rate for work done during this period.  It is going to have to be on a case by case basis.

What do I do with staff who cannot work from home?

They need to come to work or take annual or unpaid leave.  We will have to monitor what happens to public transport, but if hygiene factors are looked after, there should not be a problem with continuing to work.

What do I do with staff who choose not to come to work (childcare, immune system compromise, self-isolation etc.)

We have suggested to our clients that they have discussions with their staff about the hygiene factors and the real risks of the virus, but also about the effect that it is going to have on their businesses and seriously introduce the possibility of short time or requiring employees to take some of their annual leave.  They also need to discuss the “no work no pay” principle for people who choose for whatever reason to not come to work.

OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

For many of our clients, they literally have little or no business for the length of time that the global shut down is in place.  The following questions have been asked:

Can I lay-off staff or ask them to take unpaid leave?

The discussion is around what the Department of Labour calls Reduced Working Hours.  There are no guidelines to this in the Basic Conditions of Employment, but employees can apply for UIF benefits whilst on a Reduced Working Hours (Short Time) arrangement.  This is seen as an alternative to retrenchment and the consultation with staff would be in terms of how this could best be arranged.  Each Company would have to look at their particular circumstances.  To be fair and in line with Bargaining Council Agreements, reduced working hour arrangements must be applied to everyone in the business and there should be 5 days notice of the implementation of short time.

Can I retrench?

If the business requires it then you can, but you need to follow the process outlined in section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.  This requires consultation with staff on how to select employees to be retrenched, timing, severance packages etc.  Part of the process is to look at alternatives to retrenchment such as reduced working hours and to ask for volunteers.  It is a difficult process and really should only be considered if the company was contemplating retrenchments prior to the virus outbreak.

LABOUR COURT AND CCMA

We have received information that the Labour Court and the CCMA will effectively be closed.  The CCMA will not be doing any face to face meetings between 18th March 2020 and 14th  April 2020. They will only accept e-mailed applications for disputes and have postponed all arbitrations.  They will do telephonic conciliations where possible.  They will assist with large retrenchments, but only if it is held at the company premises and they can be assured that health and hygiene arrangements are adequate.  Otherwise, they are closed.

CONCLUSION

I think it is important not to panic.  80% of infected people will be mildly affected and have very light symptoms.  It’s the 20% who become critically ill that will overload the health system.  We need perhaps to have separate conversations with people who have hypertension, diabetes, HIV, respiratory conditions, cancer, cardiovascular disease, smokers and people with autoimmune conditions and find specific ways to protect them.

Particular advice:  Wash your hands when you go into a meeting and when you leave a meeting. Sterilize your phone with an alcohol-based sanitiser, don’t shake hands, hug or kiss anyone in the workplace.

A good source of information is Alanah Shaikh’s Ted Talk on Covid-19.  

Update on New Legislation

On the 17 February the Department of Labour gazetted new regulations.  The regulations have the purpose of:

Publishing a New Summary of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

The new summary has details of the new adoption leave, commissioning leave and parental leave provisions.  This means that we all have to get a new summary for our office walls.

The gazette also revises several forms for the internal use of Department of Labour.  This includes a compliance order which indicates the fines which may be imposed on an employer who fails to comply with the National Minimum Wages Act.

Revising the National Minimum Wage

The National minimum wage has been increased with effect from 1 March 2020.  The effective increase is 3.38% which is pretty much an inflationary increase.

The new minimum wages are:          

  • R20-76 per hour for General Staff
  • R18.68 per hour for Farm Workers
  • R15-57 per hour for Domestic Workers
  • R11-42 per hour for employees in municipal job creation projects

 Learnership allowances have also been increased.

Sectoral Increases

The gazette legislates minimum wages for the Contract Cleaning Sector which are effective from 1 March 2020 and corrected minimum wages for the Wholesale and Retail Sector which were effective from 1 October 2019.

A copy of the Regulations is available on the Website and from our office. If you have any concerns or questions or would like to order a copy of the new summary of the BCEA, please contact one of the associates or our office on 011 452 1707.

AMENDMENT TO LEGISLATION

The proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act which were first published in September 2018 has been forwarded to Parliament for approval.  The gazettes main focus is to allow the Minister of Labour to establish Sector Employment Equity Targets which companies in that sector must then plan to achieve.

The gazette also promulgates section 53 of the Employment Equity Act requiring that employers who want to do work with the state or parastatal companies must have a certificate of compliance.

The good news is that the intention is to do away with the turnover requirements for compliance with the legislation and going forward only companies with 50 or more employees will be required to comply with Chapter III of the Employment Equity Act.  However, the act has to still go to the Provinces and then to be promulgated.  Maybe they can manage that before 1 October 2020?

The Promulgation of New UIF Processes

On the 1st November 2019, the Department of Employment and Labour announced the long-awaited promulgation of Parental Leave with immediate effect.  Although the announcement only mentions Parental Leave, the Department has posted new forms on their website which address all the benefits which were passed in the amendment to the Act by the then President Jacob Zuma on the 19th January 2017 and we are assuming that applications for these benefits can be made with effect from 1st November 2019.

Below is a listing of the forms and the benefits for which they are applicable that have been posted on the DOL website:

UI 2.1 – Application for Unemployment Benefit in terms of Section 17(1) read with Regulation 3 (1)

This form is completed if an employee is dismissed, but still willing to work as a result of Dismissal for any reason including misconduct, retrenchment, incapacity or forced retirement.  This form must also be completed if the contributor is on short time and his earnings are less than he would receive from UIF if he was wholly unemployed. Payment while on Short Time is a new benefit.

UI 2.2 – Application for Illness Benefits

This form is to be completed if an employee is ill (for any reason) for more than seven days and has exhausted his sick leave.  He is eligible to claim the same benefit as if he had been unemployed until he recovers.  This benefit is available for 12 months.

UI 2.3 – Application for Maternity Benefits

This form is completed if the employee is applying for maternity benefits.  The employee is now able to make application as soon as she is aware that she is pregnant or on the birth of a child, the stillborn death of a child or a miscarriage in the third trimester. The benefit available in any one of these circumstances is payment of 66% of salary up to the maximum benefit level of R17 712.00 for four months.  This means that anyone earning more than R17 712-00 per month will be eligible for a payment limited to R 11689,92 per month.

UI 2.4 – Application for Adoption Benefits

Application for Adoption Benefits of 10 weeks can be made by either parent who has legally adopted a child under the age of 2 years.  The benefit available is payment of 66% of salary up to the maximum benefit level of R17 712.00.  This means that anyone earning more than R17 712-00 per month will be eligible to a payment limited to R 26 997,51 for the 10 weeks.

UI 2.5 – Application for dependent’s benefits by surviving spouse or a life partner

When a contributor dies whilst still contributing, the surviving spouse or life partner is entitled to claim the contributor’s UIF.  They will receive the same benefit as if their partner had been unemployed or ill and payment is usually made calculated on the full 12-month period (or depending on the credits available) in a single payment.

UI 2.6 – Application for dependents benefits by a child, children of deceased

In the absence of a spouse or life partner, the dependent’s benefit can be applied for by children of the contributor, the guardian of a minor child or the nominated beneficiary of the contributor’s estate.  This form can be completed in any of these circumstances.

UI 2.7 – Remuneration Received by the Employee Whilst Still in Employment

This is a statement made by the Employer who may be supplementing the income of employees who are claiming UIF Benefits for Parental Leave, Commissioning Leave, Illness Leave, Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave or Reduced Working Time.  The form asks for the employer to state how much was paid each month.

UI 2.8 – Authorisation to pay Benefits into Banking Account

To be completed by the Bank or Post Office of the Beneficiary in the case of benefits, other than unemployment where benefits can be paid to the beneficiary directly into the beneficiaries banking account.

UI 2.9 – Application for Parental Benefits

This form is completed by the father of a child (Replacing family responsibility leave for the birth of a child), one of the parents of a child who is being legally adopted and is under the age of two or one of the parents of a child who is born through a surrogate arrangement (commissioning leave).  The contributor is entitled to 10 days leave paid at a rate of 66% of salary up to a maximum of R17 712-00.  For an employee earning more than this amount, the maximum benefit is R5 394.35 for the 10-day period.

It would appear that this form can also be used to apply for the 10 weeks adoption and commissioning leave.  This is a little confusing as we have a separate form for adoption leave.

UI 2.9 P – Application for Payment of Parental Benefits

This would seem to be a continuation of benefits form, but it appears that it is incorrect and will need amending.

UI 3 – Application for continuation of payment for Illness Benefits

This form must be completed for each month that the employee is on sick leave in order to continue to receive benefits.

UI 4 – Application for continuation of payment for maternity benefits

This form must be completed for each month that the employee is on maternity leave in order to continue to receive benefits.

UI 53 – Payments to dependants/nominee of deceased contributors

Merely a follow-up form confirming details of the dependents of a contributor who has died.

UI 6 A – Declaration to confirm unemployment status in terms of section 17(4) read with regulation 3(3)

This form is completed when a contributor is receiving a benefit and is still unemployed or still in a short time.  It is a continuation of benefits form.

UI 7 – Payment Advice

This is the form which employers are required to use when submitting UIF payments for their staff.  This is really meant for the payment of UIF for Domestic Workers as Companies should be paying their UIF through the SARS EMP 201 payments.  Payments can be made online, but where this is not possible, this form can be used to make monthly or annual payments.

UI 8 – Application for registration as an employer

Again, this can be done online or by making a paper application.  It is the form to be used when initially registering a business as an employer.

UI 8 D – Application for registration as an employer of Domestic Workers

This form is only to be used for private households and is applicable to all domestic workers including gardeners, carers for children or the elderly as well as cleaners and housekeepers.  Part-time domestic workers must also be contributors to the UIF Fund even if they only work one day per week.

UI12 – Notice of appeal against a decision of a Claims Officer

This form must be completed by a claimant who feels that their UIF payments have been unfairly refused or are not what they should be.  The form requires that this form be sent to the newly established Regional Appeals Committee and must be submitted within 90 days of the receipt of a refusal or suspension notice.

UI 19 – Employer’s Declaration of Employees for the month

This form must be submitted monthly in businesses which are larger.  Smaller businesses and private households can do it annually or when an employee is terminated. 

The reasons for termination have been expanded to include Reduced Work Time, Commissioning and Parental Leave

Foreign Nationals

One of the major changes that we need to take note of is that all employees (who are employed for more than 24 hours) must contribute to UIF and employers must contribute on behalf of all employees, regardless of whether they are part-time, temporary or on fixed-term contracts.  This includes foreign nationals.  The Regulations are being amended to state:

Identity document means a 13-digit barcoded RSA identity card and non-RSA identity (card) document or a RSA bar-coded passport and includes valid foreign identity documents and passports, as well as permits and other identifying documents contemplated in or issued in terms of the Refugees Act, 1998 (Act No.130 of 199).

An amendment to the regulations with this clause as its only intent was published for comment on the 8th October 2019.  Employers must, however, be aware of the Department of Employment and Labour’s responsibility to work with the Department of Home Affairs where the employment of undocumented foreign nationals is detected.

Conclusion

The amendment to the acts greatly improves the benefits which can be received from the UIF Fund. 

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact one of the associates or our office on  011 452 1707.

2019 New Human Resources Legislation for South African Business

NEW POSTER REQUIRED FOR
THE BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ACT

2019 started with four new pieces of legislation in the Human Resource Space as well as new regulations for UIF and new rules for the CCMA.  Over the next few weeks Connold & Associates will be sending out information with regard to the new legislation in a series of blogs.  The intention is to inform you of the changes, particularly where changes need to be made to policies and procedures.

The legislation promulgated on 1 January 2019 is:

  1. The National Minimum Wages Act
  2. The Labour Law Amendment Act
  3. The Labour Relations Amendment Act
  4. The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act

We will begin with:

The labour law amendment act

&

the EFFECT ON THE BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT ACT

The Labour Law Amendment Act was introduced by a private member of parliament (Mrs C Dudley) and introduces new leave classifications in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act which are:

Adoption LEave

This is available for any employee who has adopted a child under the age of two years in an adoption process which complies with the Children’s Act of 2005.  The leave granted is ten weeks dated either from the day the adoption order becomes final or the day the child is handed over to the care of the employee by a competent court, pending the finalisation of the adoption. 

The employee must notify the employer one month prior to the adoption (or as soon as is reasonably practicable) of the date on which the employee will embark on leave and the date that they will return from leave.

Commissioning Leave

This is available for any employee who is a commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement in terms of the Children’s At of 2005. The leave granted is also ten weeks dated from the day the child is born. 

The employee must notify the employer one month prior to the anticipated birth of the child (or as soon as is reasonably practicable) of the date on which the employee will embark on leave and the date that they will return from leave.

Parental Leave

This leave replaces family responsibility leave for the reason of the birth of a child (paternity leave) which has been deleted from the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

10 days parental leave is granted to:

  • The father of a child
  • One of the adoptive parents of a child (the other parent will apply for adoption leave)
  • One of the parents in a surrogate motherhood agreement (the other parent will apply for commissioning leave).

In implementing this leave into the workplace, we need to consider the following:

  1. As with maternity leave, all this leave, including parental leave, is not paid by the company, but claims for payment can be made through the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
  2. If you have a policy that pays towards maternity leave, we need to consider how to fairly accommodate adoption and commissioning leave in a similar way
  3. Essentially, male employees are losing a three day fully paid paternity leave for an unpaid ten-day parental leave.  What is the fair way of accommodating our fathers going forward?

It is important to note that this leave is now in place and that employers need to include it in letters of appointment and in leave policies with effect from the promulgation date. We also need to update the posters on the wall.

Please contact our associates if you have more questions.

Skills Plans Submissions April 2019

By submitting your Skills Plans to the SETAs, levy paying companies are able to claim up to 20% of the paid Skills Development Levies from SETA for that period as well as an additional Pivotal grant for qualifying companies.

All training reports and training plans are to be submitted to the relevant Seta by the end of April 2019.

Companies who submit training plans and training reports become eligible for additional opportunities which exist for the training and development of both existing employees and the unemployed in order for the employers to gain funding.  These Discretionary grants are in the form of Learnerships, Apprenticeships and approved fundings as decided by the SETAs in line with their industry strategies.

If you would like Connold and Associates to process your Skills submission to the relevant Seta that you are registered with, please will you contact Tessa Lourens using the below form or at 011 452 1707 and we will then guide you through the process.