Cosatu welcomes signing of UIF Bill into law

The Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act also broadens the categories of those who qualify for unemployment benefits.

FILE: Cosatu members sing during the union federation's two-day Special National Congress in Midrand. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PARLIAMENT - Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) has welcomed the signing into law of a bill that will see those who lose their jobs receive money for a longer period when they apply for unemployment benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act also broadens the categories of those who qualify for benefits.

It is among a raft of bills that have been signed into law by President Jacob Zuma.

The others deal mainly with tax and financial matters but include two bills that amend the Children’s Act.

Changes to the Unemployment Insurance Act mean benefits will be paid out over 12 months rather than eight months, while learners in training and civil servants will now also be able to claim.

Maternity benefits also increase from 54% to 66% of a woman’s salary.

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits owing to a person who has died will not be stopped but instead paid to their dependents.

Cosatu’s Parliamentary spokesperson Matthew Parks: “We’re very happy with it, it’s fantastic. It’s going to help workers who are being retrenched, and pregnant mothers, so it’s going to mean extra money in their pockets which helps their families at a time of need.

“But it also means extra money flowing into the economy, which should help spur economic growth down the road.”

The Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act is one of 10 bills that have been signed into law by President Zuma this week.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)