A guide to claiming UIF for maternity leave

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A guide to claiming UIF for maternity leave

This guide to claiming UIF for maternity leave is based on shared experiences of other working moms. We hope it helps you as you navigate an often complicated process.

On a happier note congratulations, we are so happy to hear that you are joining our community of working moms if this is your first baby.


Start early when claiming UIF for maternity leave

There are a million things to prepare before the little one arrives and we recommend that you start the process of claiming UIF for maternity leave as soon as possible. That way, you can focus on the more pleasant baby arrival preparations.

If you speak to anyone about claiming from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), you are sure to get a story on what a challenge it is. Even though we do not know any shortcuts, we hope this article will help guide you through the UIF claiming process.


Who can claim UIF?

Anyone who receives less than their normal wage during maternity leave

Women are entitled to four months unpaid maternity leave in South Africa and many companies opt for this as their maternity leave policy. Thus, should you receive no income during the four months and you and your employer have contributed to UIF, you qualify to claim. Should your employer decide to give you your full salary, for say two of the months or if they pay seventy-five percent of your salary for the full four months, you qualify to claim UIF.


Women who have contributed to UIF for longer than three months (13 weeks)

If you are unsure if you have contributed to UIF or not, you can check under the deductions section on your payslip or ask your employer as they are legally obliged to pay this to to SARS on your behalf.


What forms do you need to submit a UIF maternity claim?

Document checklist

  • UI.19 Barcoded
  • UI.2.7
  • Salary schedule
  • Declaration letter
  • UI2.3
  • UI2.8
  • UI4
  • 1 x payslip
  • Certified copy of your ID
  • Certified copy of baby's birth certificate

Find out more about what each document entails, who should fill it in and tips on how to fill them out correctly below. You can find the latest versions of the documents on the Department of Employment and Labour website or simply do a search for the form name on Google.


Forms to be completed by your current employer

  • UI.19
    • Termination date in the case of maternity leave is the day you go onto maternity leave. Code 9 on this form is the reason for the termination.
  • Barcoded UI.2.7
    • The dates must be filled in by calendar month. Thus if your maternity leave starts on the 12th of the month, it will look like this: 12 January to 31 January 1 February to 28 February 1 March to 31 March 1 April to 30 April 1 May to 12 May
  • Salary schedule
    • It must start with the first day of employment up to the current date and reflect any increase in salary that you have had during this period of employment.
  • Declaration letter
    • A letter of explanation is required from your employer to confirm that you are employed by them and that they contribute to UIF on your behalf. It has to be on the company letterhead and signed by the CEO. This letter must confirm your commencement date, dates of current maternity leave and any previous maternity dates, and the date you are expected to return to work. See an example template of this letter below.

Declaration letter example

To whom it may concern I, CEO NAME, CEO and Founder of COMPANY NAME declare to the Department of Labour, that we pay the salaries to our employees before the 7th of each month. I confirm that COMPANY NAME pays UIF directly to SARS on a monthly basis.

I confirm that YOUR NAME, YOUR ID NUMBER, has been employed by COMPANY NAME since EMPLOYMENT START DATE.

This is the first time YOUR NAME has taken maternity leave since being employed at COMPANY NAME. The maternity leave will commence on DD/MM/YYYY and end on DD/MM/YYYY.




Other UIF forms to be filled in

  • UI2.3
    • This form needs to be signed by your medical practitioner.
  • UI2.8
    • This form needs to be stamped and signed by your bank.
  • UI4
    • It is not necessary for this form to be signed by your medical practitioner, even though there is a space for them to sign.


Supporting documents to be submitted with UIF claim

  • 1 x payslip (within the last three months)
  • Certified copy of your ID.
    • Back and front on the same page if it is the new ID card.
    • This has to be certified by SAPS.
  • Certified copy of baby's birth certificate (if claiming after the baby is born).
    • This has to be certified by SAPS.


What should your employer do?

Your employer needs to be a registered taxpayer and pay your UIF contribution to SARS before the 7th of each month. Furthermore they need to have a UFiling account and have registered all their employees on the system. Lastly, they will need to fill in the forms as stipulated above.


When should I submit my maternity benefits UIF forms?

You have to be on maternity leave before submitting your documentation. This can be before the baby is born or after.

The latest you can submit your claim is six months after the birth of your child.

READ: Maternity leave in SA: What to expect


How to claim UIF maternity benefits

You have to visit the nearest labour centre to apply in person. If you are physically not able to do so, you can ask someone to go on your behalf.

There is also an option to apply online via the UFiling system.

We would strongly advise that you get assistance from someone who has done this before or a company that specialises in claiming for UIF to assist you.

Once your application has been submitted, you need to call this number after two weeks to follow up on your claim: 0800 030 007. There is no guarantee that you will receive anything and it can take months before you receive your money, so it is best to not rely on these funds being available during your maternity leave period.

Claiming UIF for maternity leave is often a tedious process, but we encourage you to keep going as it is your right to claim this money. Bureaucracy and lack of will to help women should not stop you from getting what is owed to you.