On 9 October 2015 the Minister of Labour gave notice of her intention to introduce the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill (“Amendment Bill”) and published an explanatory memorandum to the Amendment Bill. The Amendment Bill seeks to, among others –

  • provide for the extension of unemployment insurance benefits (“UIF”) to learners undergoing learnership training and civil servants;
  • adjust the accrual rate of a contributor’s entitlement to UIF benefits; and
  • provide for the process of application for maternity benefits.

The proposed amendments include extending UIF benefits to those who lose part of their income due to decreased working hours; increasing the time period within which one can submit a claim for UIF benefits from six to 12 months; providing for maternity benefits for employees who suffer a miscarriage and allowing contributors to UIF to nominate their beneficiaries in the cases of death benefits.