Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have questions regarding Domestic Employee UIF? We answer all of the main questions asked by employers below. Once you know if your Domestic qualifies for UIF, Register for UIF on our site. It’s that simple!

Who is a Domestic Worker?

A domestic worker is a gardener, driver or person who looks after children, the aged, sick, frail or disabled in a private household, but not on a farm. This is the view taken in the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002 (Act No. 4 of 2002).

What is the Unemployment Insurance Fund?
The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has been established to provide short-term relief to workers, subject to certain conditions, when they become unemployed, or are unable to work because of illness, maternity or adoption leave and also to provide relief to the dependents of deceased contributors.
Should all workers contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund?

1) As from 01 April 2002 all workers who work for 24 hours or more per month must contribute to the fund.

2) As from 01 April 2003, the Unemployment Insurance Act requires domestic workers and their employers to contribute to the fund.

3) The following categories of workers are excluded from contributing to the Unemployment Insurance Fund:

  • Workers who work less than 24 hours per month;
  • Public servants as defined under section 1(1) of the Public Service Act, 1994;
  • A worker who enters into an employment contract with an employer for sole purpose of entering a learnership agreement as contemplated in section 18(2) of the Skills Development Act of 1998;
  • People who enter the Republic of South Africa for the purpose of carrying out a Contract of Service, Apprenticeship or Learnership, or by any other agreement or undertaking, to repatriate that person, or that person is so required to leave the Republic;
  • Workers who are remunerated solely on commission basis.
Must all employers contribute to the UIF?

1) All employers who employ any person and in return provide them with remuneration in either cash or kind must register with the fund as soon as they commence activities as an employer. It is the responsibility of the employer to register themselves and their employees and make the necessary deductions from the remuneration of the workers. If the employer fails to do this there are severe penalties that will be applied in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002. If any employer refuses to register with the UIF and does not want to make the deductions, workers are advised to contact the nearest office of the Department of Labour.

2) Employers are urged to comply with the provisions of the Act, as the UIF provides relief to their ex-workers who are left with limited means or no means of support due to their services being terminated.

What is regarded as remuneration?
All monies received from the employer, whether in cash or in kind. This includes overtime and bonuses, and contributions must be based on this. In addition, all allowances that are received are regarded as remuneration. Examples of allowances are traveling allowances, entertainment allowances as well as food and accommodation allowances.
How much should be contributed to the UIF?
A worker should contribute 1% of his/her monthly remuneration. In addition to the 1% that is paid by the worker, the employer also contributes 1% his/her employment. The total contribution that is paid is therefore 2% for instance, if a worker earns R1000.00 per month, the employer must deduct 1% of the R1000.00 which is R10.00. In addition the employer must pay R10 in respect of this worker who is in his/her employment. The total of R20 must therefore be forwarded to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Contributions must be deducted for the current month only and the employer is not allowed to deduct more than one month’s contributions.
When and how does the employer pay this contribution to the UIF?
The employer pays these contributions to the Fund before the 7th day of every month. Where the 7th day is not a “business day”, payments must be made on or before the last “business day” prior to the 7th day. “Business day” means any day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.
What happens if the employer fails to pay contribution?

1) It is the responsibility an employer to make necessary deductions from the remuneration of the worker.

2) Contributions must be paid either monthly or annually.

3) Late or non-payment of contributions attracts penalties and interest.

4) Non–compliance may be punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.

If a business is already registered with the UIF can the same reference number be used to register a domestic worker?
No, the domestic worker should be registered separately.
If the domestic worker works for three different employers, do they all have to register with the UIF?
Yes, all three have to register with the UIF. Domestic workers should insist that all their employers register with the UIF.
The following points should also be noted:
The Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002 (Act No. 4 of 2002) defines a “domestic worker” as a worker who performs domestic work in the home of his or her employer and includes a gardener, person employed in the household as a driver of a motor vehicle and a person who takes care on any person in that home.

In terms of the aforementioned Act, domestic workers and their employers became liable to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund from 1 April 2003. Registration cannot be backdated.

Where one household employs more than one domestic worker, only one domestic employer registration is necessary.

If a domestic worker is employed by more than one employer each employer must register separately and ensure that the domestic worker is registered. The aforementioned also applies to agents or bookkeepers administering the affairs of more than one domestic employer.

Separate registrations are also required in cases where a commercial employer is also a domestic employer. Registration and payment of contributions of domestic workers may not be included in that of a commercial enterprise.

People employed by businesses that are run from private households are not regarded as domestic workers.

People employed by corporate entities as gardeners or cleaners in housing complexes are also not regarded as being employed in private households.

Companies, Close Corporations, Partnerships and any other Corporation Bodies are not domestic employers.
It is deemed fraud when beneficiaries who are receiving benefits return to work, but fail to inform the Fund about their new status and continue to draw benefits.

Hours of Work, Leave and Dismissal
According to the legislation, domestic workers should work no more than 45 hours a week, and should not work more than nine hours a day if they work a five-day week, or more than eight hours a day if they work for more than five days a week.

Domestic workers should work no more than 15 hours a week overtime, and no more than three hours on any one day. They should also receive double pay on Sundays or public holidays.

Employers whose domestics live on the property may deduct 10% of their salary for accommodation, providing the accommodation complies with the minimum standards laid down in the legislation.

An employer wishing to dismiss a worker must give a week of notice if the domestic has been employed for six months or less and four weeks’ notice if he or she has worked for more than six months.

Domestics are also entitled to severance pay of one week for each year of service, as well as four months’ unpaid maternity leave.

All employers must register their employees for the Unemployment Insurance Fund, and are advised to sign an employment contract with their domestic worker.

Sick Leave
Workers may take up to 6 weeks of sick leave on full pay in a 3-year period. However, during the first 6 months of employment, workers are only entitled to 1 day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked. Employers may insist on proof of illness before paying a worker for sick leave.

A medical certificate may be provided by a:
Medical practitioner
Clinic nurse
Traditional healer
Community health worker
Psychologist

An employer may require a medical certificate before paying workers who are absent for more than 2 consecutive days or who are often absent (more than twice in an 8-week period). Fees that are paid for medical treatment by an employer may be deducted from the workers’ pay.