About Commercial Employment

Who is an employer?

A legal entity that controls and directs a servant or worker under an express or implied contract of employment and pays (or is obligated to pay) him or her salary or wages in compensation.

Who is an employee?

An individual who works part-time or full-time under a contract of employment, whether oral or written, express or implied, and has recognized rights and duties – Also called worker.

When should an employer register his or her business and employees for UIF?

Employers must register themselves and their worker(s) as soon as they employ someone. Employers must also inform the UIF of changes (e.g. new workers appointed or changes in salary) before the 7th of every month.

Do employees get their own UIF number?

Employees do not get their own UIF registration number. Employees fall under the employer who registers them for UIF. The employer is the only one that gets a UIF registration number.

How will an employer know if his or her employees are registered for the UIF fund?

Once you have sent your employees UI19 (declaration form to the Department of Labour), you will receive a confirmation of receipt.

Can your employee claim from the UIF fund if he or she has resigned?

No your employee cannot claim if he or she has resigned from the job. He or she can only claim unemployment benefits if he or she has been dismissed or retrenched or if the contract has expired.

How much must be paid towards UIF contributions?

Employers must pay the 1% they deducted from workers, together with 1% from themselves (the Employer) to the UIF or SARS before the 7th of every month.

Does UIF registration apply to me?

Any employee from top management level to the lowest positions in a company must make monthly contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, regardless of what you earn.

There are exceptions however where the UIF act does not apply. These include:

  • Employees working less than 24 hours per month for a single employer
  • Any person who enters South Africa to carry out a contract, whether learner ship, service or apprenticeship, where upon termination of that contract, they are required to leave the country.
  • Employees and employers in the provincial and national spheres of government
  • Employers who are under a learner ship agreement registered in terms of the Skills Development Act, 1998 and receive remuneration for this. This also includes their employers.

If you are an employer, you are required to register with the UIF. This registration must be completed within 2 weeks of becoming an employer

Official Public Holidays

  • Human Rights day
  • Good Friday
  • Family Day
  • Freedom Day
  • New Years Day
  • Freedom Day
  • Youth Day
  • Day of Reconciliation
  • National Woman’s Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Day of Goodwill
  • Heritage Day


There are different types of leave that an employee should know about. They are the following:

Annual Leave:

Annual leave may not be less than three weeks per year for full-time workers or by agreement, one day for every 17 days worked or one hour for every 17 hours worked.
The leave must be granted not later than six months after completion of the period of 12 consecutive months of employment. The leave may not be granted concurrent with any period of sick leave, nor with a period of notice of termination of the contract of employment.

Sick Leave:

During every sick leave cycle of 36 months an employee is entitled to an amount of paid sick leave equal to the number of days the employee would normally work during a period of six weeks. During the first six months of employment, an employee is entitled to one day’s paid sick leave for every 26 days worked.

The employer is not required to pay an employee if the employee has been absent from work for more than two consecutive days or on more than two occasions during an eight-week period and, on request by the employer, does not produce a medical certificate stating that the employee was unable to work for the duration of the employee’s absence on account of sickness or injury.

Maternity Leave:

The employee is entitled to at least four consecutive months’ maternity leave. The employer is not obliged to pay the domestic worker for the period for which she is off work due to her pregnancy. However the parties may agree that the domestic worker will receive part of or her entire salary/wage for the time that she is off due to pregnancy.

Family Responsibility Leave:

Employees employed for longer than four months and for at least four days a week are entitled to take five days’ paid family responsibility leave during each leavecycle when the employee’s child is born, or when the employee’s child is sick or in the event of the death of the employee’s spouse or life partner or parent, adoptiveparent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild or sibling.

Procedures to be followed in termination of employment

Whilst the contract of employment makes provision for termination of employment, it must be understood that the services of an employee may not be terminated unless a valid and fair reason exists and fair procedure is followed. If an employee is dismissed without a valid reason or without a fair procedure, the employee may approach the CCMA for assistance.

Pro-rata leave and severance pay might be payable. In the event of a domestic worker being unable to return to work due to disability, the employer must investigate the nature of the disability and ascertain whether or not it is permanent or temporary. The employer must try to accommodate the employee as far as possible for example, amending or adapting their duties to suit the disability. However, in the event of it not being possible for the employer to adapt the domestic workers’ duties and/or to find alternatives, then such employer may terminate the services of the domestic worker. The Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 sets out the procedures to be followed at the termination of services in the Code of Good Practice, in Schedule 8.