Can foreign citizens working in RSA claim UIF benefits?
04 February 2015
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
Author: SAIT Technical
Q: Do Zimbabweans and other non-residents who have a work permit
(but not an RSA ID book) have to pay UIF? An abstract regarding this matter
from the Sage VIP Payroll Pocket Guide reads "all employees must
contribute irrespective of residency or citizenship, but only those
contributors with an RSA bar-code ID number will be able to claim benefits.”
This does not seem fair.
A: You are correct that UIF contributions would be payable as the
contribution is based on "remuneration” per the Fourth Schedule of the Income
Tax Act, which does not take cognisance of the residence or citizenship of the
employee.However, section 4(1)(d) UIF Contributions Act 4 of 2002 does
exclude foreign employees who enter SA for a contract of service,
apprenticeship or learnership of fixed duration and on termination of such
service or learnership must return to their home country by law or per the
As to the claiming of benefits, the UIF Act does not
specifically exclude non-residents in section 14 and the benefits seems to apply
to all "contributors” in section 12 and 16 who comply with the provisions
of the UIF Act. A "contributor” merely being defined in section 1 as a natural
person, who is or was employed, to who the Act applies and who have made
contributions. It is our view that exclusion can only be in terms of the
prescribed requirements in section 16, however we know of no legislative
prohibition for permanently employed foreign nationals who have a passport,
relevant working permits and are UIF contributors to claim UIF benefits.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as
constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for
advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even
though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do
not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this
query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant
primary resources when taking a decision.