Empower yourselves - Know your UIF rights.
All of us who work pay UIF - like it or not, at the end of the month, deducted from our pay are our contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Most of us don’t give it a second thought, assuming should we ever need to claim UIF we would be able to.
It’s only when we go on maternity leave, fall ill or adopt a child that the realisation of our UIF contribution comes to the fore. This is when we discover that if we are a Sole Proprietor of our own company we cannot claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. This is also true in the case of Foreign Nationals (only South Africa green bar coded ID books are accepted) even though it is compulsory they contribute to UIF.
The harsh reality is that there really is no compensation for a Sole Proprietor should they ever wish to apply for UIF. If you are the member of a Close Corporation or a Pty you will be entitled to claim UIF.
As a sole proprietor the financial implications could have such a detrimental effect on your business that it might take years to recover or could even fail. Not only would one not be entitled to claim from UIF, they would also have to employ another person to ‘run the company’ which would be another huge cost to factor into the business.
Workmen’s Compensation Fund would only benefit one if they were ill or disabled, however, not if you were to go on Maternity leave or adopt a child.
The budget speech on the 17th February 2010 gives us a good indication of South Africa's structural economic challenge: “One in four adults seeking work is unemployed, about 900 000 people lost their jobs”. There were no changes made to the Unemployment Insurance Fund Act in the 2010 budget.
Now imagine having to deal with all these problems as well as having a new born baby to add to the mix! The financial pressure has a huge effect on the family unit at such a special time.
The Mom-to-be not only has the stress of gathering all the required forms from the bank, employers and doctors but also has to keep checking their status with the Labour Department. She also has the daunting task of waiting in queues no less than five times during the term of her maternity leave. The soaring unemployment rates in SA result in lengthy queues at the Department of Labour, with hours and possibly days waiting, often to be told to return the following day due to an error on the form or additional forms that are required.
Luckily there are professional services such as UIF Maternity Matters available to help you deal with ALL aspects of Maternity UIF Applications. They are available to help moms throughout South Africa, and they handle the entire process for the Mom-to-be, ensuring the experience of claiming Unemployment is as painless as possible. No more waiting in long queues, wondering if you have the correct paperwork, they do it all for you.
Here are some hints and tips from UIF Maternity Matters:
- Know your rights – Contact them regarding any Maternity Leave query.
- Check your Employment Contract to know what you are entitled to.
- Ensure your Employer has registered you with the UIF
- Ensure you have a bank account in your own name
- Ensure the Department of Labour has your correct employment history
- Ensure you have your ID number available when contacting the Department of Labour
- UIF is only paid when you do NOT receive full remuneration from your Employer whilst on Maternity Leave
- You can only submit your application on the first day you DO NOT receive full pay from your employer.
Please visit www.maternitymatters.co.za for additional information.
Visit UIF Maternity Matters to find out more at the Durban SABC Education Baba Indaba taking place at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 19 – 22 March 2010. Doors open from 09h30 – 17h00 each day and the show is full of inspirational ideas, fun for the family, information from expert exhibitors and great bargains. Entry is R45.00 at the door for adults. Grandparents will be admitted free on Friday and kids under the age of 6 get free admission. Purchase your tickets online at www.babaindaba.co.za for R40 and save R5. MomsMatter are giving away 25 Aqua Balls every day to Moms who Matter at the show.