Comprehensive Guide to Registering for Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) in South Africa

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) in South Africa provides short-term relief to workers when they become unemployed or are unable to work due to maternity, adoption leave, or illness. This guide outlines the steps for registering for UIF, the necessary documentation, and additional information about the benefits provided by UIF.

1. Understanding UIF

Purpose of UIF:

  • To provide short-term financial assistance to workers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work due to specific reasons such as illness, maternity, or adoption.

Who Needs to Register:

  • Employers must register their employees with UIF.
  • Employees must ensure they are registered by their employers.


  • Both the employer and the employee contribute 1% of the employee’s monthly salary to the fund, totaling a 2% monthly contribution.

2. How to Register for UIF

For Employers:

  1. Registering Your Business:
  • Online: Visit the UIF e-Services portal to register your business online.
  • Forms: Alternatively, complete the UI-8 (declaration of a new employer) and UI-19 (information of employees) forms.
  • Submission: Submit these forms at your nearest Department of Labour office or via email to the UIF office.
  1. Obtaining a Reference Number:
  • Upon registration, the employer will receive a UIF reference number, which must be used for all future UIF transactions and declarations.

For Employees:

  1. Confirming Registration:
  • Employees should verify with their employer that they are registered with UIF. Employers are responsible for registering employees and making monthly contributions.
  1. Personal Registration:
  • If self-employed or a domestic worker, you can register online via the UIF e-Services portal or by submitting the required forms at the Department of Labour office.

3. Required Documentation

For Employers:

  • Completed UI-8 form
  • Completed UI-19 form
  • Copies of the company registration documents
  • Proof of employee salaries and contributions

For Employees:

  • A copy of the employment contract
  • Completed UI-2.8 form (declaration of previous earnings)
  • Copy of ID or passport
  • Completed UI-2.7 form (banking details)

4. How to Claim UIF Benefits

Types of Benefits:

  • Unemployment Benefits: For workers who have lost their jobs.
  • Illness Benefits: For workers who are unable to work due to illness.
  • Maternity Benefits: For workers who are on maternity leave.
  • Adoption Benefits: For workers who have adopted a child.
  • Dependent Benefits: For the dependents of deceased contributors.

Steps to Claim:

  1. Register as a Job Seeker:
  • Register at your nearest Department of Labour office or online at
  1. Submit Application:
  • Complete the relevant forms (e.g., UI-2.1 for unemployment benefits) and submit them along with the required documents to the Department of Labour.
  1. Required Documentation:
  • UI-19 Form: Information of your employment history.
  • UI-2.8 Form: Declaration of previous earnings.
  • UI-2.7 Form: Banking details.
  • UI-2.1 Form: Application form for the specific benefit being claimed.
  • ID Document: A certified copy of your ID or passport.
  1. Follow Up:
  • Regularly check the status of your application through the UIF e-Services portal or by contacting the Department of Labour.

5. Checking UIF Status and Contributions

Online Status Check:

  1. Visit the UIF e-Services Portal:
  1. Login/Register:
  • Login using your credentials or register if you are a new user.
  1. Check Status:
  • Navigate to the section where you can check the status of your claims and contributions.

Contacting UIF:

  • Call Center: Call the UIF toll-free number 0800 030 007 for assistance.
  • Email: Send an email to

6. Common Issues and Solutions

Why is My Claim Taking Long?

  • Reason: Delays may occur due to incomplete documentation, high volume of claims, or verification processes.
  • Solution: Ensure all documents are complete and follow up regularly.

Incorrect Banking Details:

  • Reason: Payment may be delayed if banking details are incorrect.
  • Solution: Update banking details via the UIF e-Services portal or by submitting a UI-2.7 form at the Department of Labour office.

Unregistered Employee:

  • Reason: If the employer did not register the employee, claims cannot be processed.
  • Solution: Contact the employer to confirm registration and ensure contributions are being made.


Registering for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is crucial for both employers and employees in South Africa. This ensures financial assistance during times of unemployment or inability to work due to specific circumstances. Following the steps outlined in this guide will help ensure a smooth registration and claims process. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, refer to the official UIF website or contact the Department of Labour directly.