If you employ a domestic worker in South Africa for 24 hours or more a month, you are required by law to register your employee with the Unemployment Insurance Fund – or face stiff penalties. But don’t stress. You can do it all – repeat, all – over the telephone or electronically via the Internet.
The labour department has set up a UIF call centre to speed up the registration process. Employers can call the number – 012 337 1680 – from 8am to 6.30pm on weekdays, and from 8am to 12 noon on Saturdays, to register their domestic workers for UIF in South Africa.
All domestic workers who put in 24 hours or more per month – including seasonal workers, gardeners, and workers who work for more than one employee – are due to be registered.
Failure to register a worker with the fund, on the other hand, could see employers facing a R5 000 fine or possible jail time.
Employers can register their workers at any labour centre, UIF offices or multi-purpose community centre countrywide – or simply by phoning the UIF call centre or logging on to the UIF web site (click on “Domestic Employer Registration”, and don’t be put off by the lengthy legal disclaimer!).
The entire process of registering can be completed telephonically or electronically, after which the department of labour will send each employer a letter with a reference number, along with instructions on how and where to pay monthly UIF contributions.
More convenient six-monthly or 12-monthly advance payments can also be arranged.