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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This would seem to be a continuation of benefits form, but it appears that it is incorrect and will need amending.
This form must be completed for each month that the employee is on sick leave in order to continue to receive benefits.
This form must be completed for each month that the employee is on maternity leave in order to continue to receive benefits.
Merely a follow-up form confirming details of the dependents of a contributor who has died.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.