Hemel & Aarde Village

c/o R43 & R320, Shop 3B, Hemel and Aarde Road, Hermanus, 7201

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 16:00

Saturday: 9:00 - 13:00

Maternity leave: do the Admin!

Share this article

Before you think about putting in maternity leave, there’s some admin that needs to be taken care of, claiming maternity benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

The UIF has reminded women who apply for maternity benefits to ensure their surname has officially been changed at the bank.

The fund said, ‘if the surname used in your claim documents does not match the one on Bank Records, the processing of your claim will be delayed until you have been updated at your bank’.

To help you get started, here is everything you need to know to make the process as seamless as possible.

Who can apply for maternity benefits?

Maternity benefits are exclusive to women who are employed and actively contributing to the UIF as part of their monthly payroll deductions.

While some companies offer women a percentage of their salary, some South African employers do not offer any form of paid maternity leave.

Qualifying Conditions For UIF Maternity Benefits.

  1. The application must be made prior to the birth of the child or within 12 months of the child being born. 
  2. The contributor must be receiving less than the normal remuneration whilst on maternity leave 
  3. Benefits are payable at a flat rate of 66% for the period of confinement or period after the child’s birth
  4. In the event of a stillbirth or miscarriage benefits are paid for a maximum period of 121 days 
  5. The contributor must have been employed for at least 13 weeks before the date of the application 

When can I commence maternity leave?

Pregnant employees are legally entitled to four consecutive months of maternity leave. Businesses can offer longer leave periods at their discretion.

Maternity leave can be taken any time from four weeks before the birth—or earlier if a doctor recommends it. Legally, you cannot return to work before six weeks postpartum (after the baby is born). You can return to work between six weeks and four months postpartum if your doctor approves it.

How much maternity leave can I take?

You can claim a maximum of 121 consecutive days (four months) of maternity leave.

This will depend on how long you have worked before submitting your application.

The Department of Labour uses the last four years worked to calculate how many credit days you get. For every six months you have worked, you receive one month’s benefits, up to a maximum of four months.

How do I get my maternity money?

Once on maternity leave, you can apply for benefits at your nearest Labour Centre—either in person or by proxy (i.e. someone applies on your behalf). Take all the required documents with you, or you’ll make the trip twice.

Forms and links to download required for applying for maternity benefits:

  1. Your identification document, card, passport or asylum seeker’s permit.
  2.  Download Completed UI-2.8 Form (banking details) This form has a section your bank must complete to verify the account into which the money will be paid.
  3. Download Completed UI-2.7 Form (completed by employer) remuneration received by you whilst still in employment.
  4. Download Completed UI-2.3 Form (Application form) This is a yellow form that needs to be completed and submitted in its original format (i.e. no copies allowed).
  5. Doctors letter confirming the expected date of birth or birth certificate of the child
  6. Download Completed UI-4 From (Application form) This is also a yellow form that needs to be completed and submitted in its original format.

These forms are available on the Department of Labour website (www.labour.gov.za) and at provincial offices and Labour Centres.

You can either visit the Labour Centre yourself or send someone to submit the application on your behalf. The staff at the Labour Centre will check the documents and guide you through the process.

Be sure to follow the instructions of the Labour Centre staff. This might mean revisiting the doctor or returning to the centre every month. If you don’t follow these instructions, you might not be able to claim your maternity benefits.

How much can I claim?

If your employer does not offer maternity benefits, you will receive less than your regular wages while on maternity leave. As a UIF contributor, you qualify for a maternity benefit of between 38% and 58% of your salary, depending on your earnings.

For example:

  • If your salary is R12,478 or more, you’ll get R155.89 per day or R4,676 a month.
  • If you earn R5,000, you’ll get around R72.96 per day or R2,188 a month.
  • If you earn R3,000, you’ll receive roughly R47.62 per day or R1,428 a month.

If you are paid by the hour, add up the last six months’ salary and divide it by six. Then do the same with your UIF contributions. These respective figures are the monthly salary and UIF contribution amounts to use on the UI.19 and UI2.7 forms.

If your company pays a percentage of your salary, you can apply for the balance from the UIF. You cannot claim more than 100% of your salary from your employer and the UIF combined.

When will I receive my maternity money?

Approval of the application and first payment takes about three to six weeks from the submission date. Payment will only be made for the days that proof of maternity leave can be provided. This will need to be done every month.

Who can’t claim maternity benefits?

Certain people cannot claim maternity benefits. These include:

  • People who work less than 24 hours a month
  • Public servants
  • Foreigners working on contract
  • Learners
  • Workers who get a State pension
  • Workers who only earn commission

Maternity leave management

Use cloud payroll software, contact Bookkeeping Services Overberg.


Forms to download:

Completed UI-2.8 Form (banking details) 

Completed UI-2.7 Form (Remuneration, completed by employer)

Completed UI-2.3 Form (Application form)

Completed UI-4 From (Application form) 

We wish new moms all the best on this journey!

Please note: These are just guidelines and the facts may change. Please contact us to keep up to date.



Follow us for the latest news and trends.