What benefits can employees claim in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001(UI Act)?
1. Unemployment benefits
Section 16 of the UI Act states that unemployment benefits are payable to an unemployed contributor who has been unemployed for more than fourteen days if the reason for unemployment is
- The termination of the contributor’s contract of employment by the employer or the end of his/her fixed-term contract;
- The dismissal of the contributor;
- In the case of a domestic worker, the termination of the contributor’s contract of employment by the death of the employer.
NB: Where the contributor resigns from his/her employment, s/he is not entitled to claim unemployment benefits, unless the contributor has succeeded in a claim of constructive dismissal at either the CCMA or a bargaining council.
Furthermore, the contributor is required to comply with the following:
- Apply within six months of the termination of the contract of his/her services;
- Must register as a work-seeker with a labour centre; and
- Be capable of and available to work.
2. Maternity benefits
In terms of section 25 of the UI Act, the application for maternity benefits must be made in the prescribed form at least eight weeks before childbirth.
The maternity benefit may not be more than the remuneration the contributor would have received had the contributor not been on maternity leave.
The maternity benefit is paid for a maximum period of 17.32 weeks. Where the contributor has a miscarriage during the third trimester or bears a still-born child, the maximum maternity benefit payable is six weeks after the miscarriage or stillbirth.
3. Illness benefits
These benefits are payable when a contributor has not been able to work due to ill health for a period exceeding fourteen days. The period of illness is calculated from the date that the contributor stops working due to ill health and an application for these benefits must be made within six months of this date. The illness benefit may not be more than the remuneration the contributor would have received from the employer had the contributor been at work.
In terms of the Unemployment Insurance Regulations, an employer is required to complete form UI 2.7 which serves as a statement in respect of payment made to the contributor who is still employed, but is unable to work due to illness, maternity or adoption of a child.
4. Adoption benefits
Adoption benefits are available to only one contributor of the adopting parties and only if the child has been legally adopted in terms of the Child Care Act 74 of 1983, the adopted child is below the age of two and the period that the contributor was not working was spent caring for the child.
The application must be made within six months after the date that a competent court has granted an order for adoption in terms of the Child Care Act.
The adoption benefit may not be more than the remuneration the contributor would have received from the employer had the contributor been at work.
5. Dependant’s benefits
In terms of section 30 of the UI Act, the surviving spouse or a life partner of a deceased contributor may apply, within six months of the death of the contributor, for the contributor’s benefits.
Any dependent child of a deceased contributor may apply for the dependent’s benefits if there is no surviving spouse or life partner or the surviving spouse or life partner has not made application for the benefits within six months of the contributor’s death.
The dependant’s benefit may not be more than the remuneration the contributor would have received from the employer had the contributor been alive.
- Contributor’s record card
- A certificate from the last employer in the form of and including the information called for in Annexure UF 128
- Dependant’s ID document
- Deceased’s ID document
- Form UI-19 completed by the employer
- Marriage certificate or evidence of a customary marriage
- Affidavit – for life partners
- Birth certificates – for children
- Proof of schooling – for children between 21 and 25
- Death certificate of the deceased contributor