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Can foreign citizens working in RSA claim UIF benefits?

Wednesday, 04 February 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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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 contract.  

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. 



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