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Everything you need to know about UIF Maternity Claims – Part One

This month, we’ll delve into the topic of applying for maternity benefits during unemployment. We will cover the most Frequently asked questions and how we can assist you.

Firstly lets talk about who can and cannot claim UIF maternity benefits?

All employees, as well as their employers, are responsible for contributions to the UIF. However, an employee is excluded from contributing to the UIF if he or she–

  • Is employed by the employer for less than 24 hours a month
  • Is employed as an officer or employee in the national or provincial sphere of Government
  • Is the President, Deputy President, a Minister, Deputy Minister, a member of the National Assembly, a permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces, a Premier, a member of an Executive Council or a member of a provincial legislature or
  • Is a member of a municipal council, a traditional leader, a member of a provincial House of Traditional Leaders and a member of the Council of Traditional Leaders.

How long will I receive benefits paid?

  • You can claim for a maximum of 121 consecutive days (four (4) months).
  • If you have been contributing to UIF for the last four years, you are entitled to four months of maternity leave. For every six (6) months worked, you can claim one (1) month of UIF maternity benefits from the Department of Labour.
  • The last four (4) years of your employment record is used to calculate the amount of credit days available.
  • You can only claim for the time you are actually on maternity leave i.e. if you take two (3) months of Maternity leave, you can only claim three (3) months of UIF maternity benefits.
  • The Department does on occasion pay the entire four (4) months in one or two payments.

Is there a time limit to when I can claim?

  • Your baby must be under twelve (12) months old. It is best to claim long before then to avoid any complications.

Can I claim if I my salary is paid in full?

  • No, only if you are earning part of your salary. The moment your employer does not pay you 100% of your salary, you can claim the balance from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Example: Your employer is paying you 75% of your salary p.m. while you are on maternity leave. You can claim the rest (25%) from the UIF. (Remember you cannot receive more than 100% of salary from the department and your employer combined).

Can I claim from the fund if I receive a portion of my salary?

  • Yes. If your employer does not pay you your full salary (i.e.: 100%) while you are on maternity leave, then you can claim the shortfall from the unemployment insurance fund. For example: If your employer pays you 60% of your normal monthly salary, you can claim the shortfall (i.e.: 40%) from the fund.

We hope this is helpful. Part two will cover some more FAQ’s regarding UIF Maternity benefits.