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Thread: Maternity leave pay and UIF

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    Maternity leave pay and UIF

    Hi there,

    Please excuse my ignorance, however need advice on the following:

    My worker (cleaner) at home works on average 60 hours per week and we have never had a contract with her. She nor I have been paying UIF either.

    She is now pregnant and is due in February but wants to go on maternity leave now and is demanding that I pay her maternity leave pay. I know that this is not compulsory however fear that she may go to the CCMA about this and the UIF situation as she would like to claim UIF whilst on maternity leave.

    I obviously want to protect myself, however would like to assist her.

    What do I do about the UIF situation and if she takes me to the CCMA about this?

    Thanks

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    Gold Member Martinco's Avatar
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    Deborah,

    I fear you have a problem and I am not sure of the way out !

    By law, you HAVE to register your worker/s for UIF and have a contract.

    Maybe somebody has a "work around"
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    You do have a problem. You now have to negotiate with her. A small point in your favour is that in order to pay UIF, you need to deduct half the payment off her wages, which you obviously haven't done so far.

    If she has not been paying her share of the UIF how can she expect to receive the benefiits?

    That said, seeing that you have both been ingnoring the labour law, I can't see you having much protection. I can't see how CCMA can get involved in this, but stand to be corrected. The dept of labour will have an issue with it and I suspect may fine you for the arrears. That money though goes to them, not her.

    The onus is somewhat unfairly placed on the employer to get all these bureaucratic issues in place. So the only way out for you is to negotiate a settlement with her and get your employment contract and uif registration done now.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post
    If she has not been paying her share of the UIF how can she expect to receive the benefiits?
    Unfortunately the employer is considered responsible for the employee's share if the employer hasn't been deducting...

    I see two options:

    Suck it up and pay out what UIF would have for this pregnancy - and of course register for UIF going forward, or

    (probably worth a shot)

    One of the provisions with UIF in the domestic worker situation allows for payments to be made annually. Register and pay up for the last year.

    It might just wriggle you through the system.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    You dont have to pay the UIF, but she may mean that she wishes to claim for UIF during her maternity leave.

    This is not a big issue, irrespective of which body she goes to, be it Department of Labour or CCMA(who does not have an inherent jurisdiction on this). Register now and either pay the arrears or use the yearly method. You should not be looking at a huge sum of money and it will at least allow her to get some income while on maternity leave.

    On an aside - she cannot work 60 hours a week, that exceeds the overtime allowed, so you need to address that going forward..
    Anthony Sterne

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    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  6. Thank given for this post:

    BusFact (14-Dec-10), Dave A (11-Dec-10)

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    Full Member Ann Williams's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Please pay UIF

    Sorry, but I really don't get why householders refuse to get off their butts and pay UIF for their domestic workers who usually work for low pay and no other benefits anyway.

    I am not surprised she is upset. If you, your spouse, a family member or a colleague were retrenched, resigned, got pregnant etc, you would be highly irate if you were not able to access these funds because your employer hadn't bothered to get UIF sorted out.

    Not only that, but what is she and her family going to live on for the months that she is on maternity leave? Is she supposed to starve during this time?

    These benefits are there because the employer is not obliged to pay the employee during the up to four months maternity leave she - by law - is not only entitled to, but 10 weeks (4 before and 6 after) of which she is REQUIRED to take.

    And you are obliged to keep her job open for her when she returns if she wants it. You may not coerce into leaving or make her feel in anyway that she should leave, because then she definitely can take you to the CCMA for wrongful dismissal - and believe me, you don't want to go there.

    Please, get the UIF sorted out, pay the amount and any fine that you may need to so that she may get benefits; and so that you may rebuild your relationship with your staff member. And please get it sorted out before she actually takes her leave - usually four weeks before her due date (or earlier if a doctor/midwife thinks that it is necessary).

    Either that, or see if you can make some private arrangement with her to pay her in full (including any cash equivalent if she is 'live-in') for all of the months that she is away; AND start her UIF asap as well.

    ps. I pay on an annual basis which is much less of an adminstrative burden. (I also pay for both parts; and I include her annual bonus in the amount so that if I do retrench her at any stage she will get a slightly bigger pay out from UIF until she can find other work.) My maid is an integral part of my household and is treated with the respect that she deserves, and which she in turn willingly gives us. Our maids are our staff, please look after them.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I love your attitude, Ann

    Just to point out for clarity in case anyone gets the wrong idea from this bit
    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Williams View Post
    (...and I include her annual bonus in the amount....)
    UIF contributions are calculated on taxable remuneration nowadays anyway, so including the annual bonus in the calculation isn't an option - you have to include the annual bonus in your calculations.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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