Maternity Benefits and How to Claim

Maternity benefits are often misunderstood and the process of claiming them can be a daunting one. Getting your paperwork in order before the time is beneficial, especially if there are complications, and you can’t attend to this before going on maternity leave.
 
Employees are entitled to four months unpaid maternity leave. It commences from four weeks before the expected birth date, unless otherwise agreed, or on a date certified by a medical practitioner or midwife for the health of the employee or unborn child.
 
No employee may work for six weeks after the birth unless certified fit to do so, and proof from a medical practitioner has been provided.
 
Employees are encouraged to read and understand their contracts of employment, or policy documents, should the employer award maternity benefits other than the legislated four consecutive months unpaid leave. If you are unsure of the wording, set up a meeting with your HR Manager or Directors to clarify, as there may be certain clauses that come with these benefits.
 
Should your company award benefits while you are on maternity leave, UIF will only pay out the portion that the company does not cover. Should your company provide full salary payments, then no UIF benefits can be claimed.
 
All benefits that were in place before maternity leave commences remain in force and continue to accrue. These include annual leave, salary increases, medical aid, etc. The deductions, should you be liable for these as part of your CTC (cost-to-company), can be discussed with your company, should you not be able to afford this while on maternity leave. All policies remain in force while on leave, such as termination clauses.
 
How to prepare and claim the benefits
 
The following documents are required for submission:

  • ID or passport
  • Form UI-2.8 for banking details
  • Form UI-2.7 – employer to supply
  • Form UI-2.3 – application form
  • Medical certificate from a doctor or birth certificate of the baby
  • Form UI-4 – follow up form

All the above forms can be downloaded here: http://www.labour.gov.za
 
These documents must be collated and handed in by the employee at his/her nearest labour centre. Should the employee be unable to do this, he/she can nominate someone to assist. Should staff at the labour centre request further medical evidence, or come back at a certain time, employees should adhere to these requests or the claim may not be processed.
 
For more information, contact Megan or contact your local Moore Stephens firm.