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How To Get Uif Reference Number?

Quick Summary

The blog post provides a comprehensive guide on how to obtain a UIF reference number in South Africa. It explains the step-by-step process of applying online or visiting a local Labour Centre, as well as the importance of contributing to the UIF scheme. The post also clarifies the difference between a UIF reference number and a PAYE number, and includes frequently asked questions for further clarification.


Obtaining a UIF reference number is an essential step for employers in South Africa who have registered on the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) scheme. This unique identifier is linked to the employer’s account and contains important details such as monthly contributions. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of obtaining a UIF reference number and highlight its significance for both employers and employees.

The UIF reference number plays a crucial role in various activities related to the UIF scheme, including registering employees, making monthly contributions, calculating arrears, and ensuring compliance with labour laws. It consists of nine characters with eight digits that must be entered correctly for any correspondence or transactions involving the UIF.

It’s important not to confuse your UIF reference number with your PAYE (Pay As You Earn) number – they serve different purposes within their respective systems. The PAYE system deals specifically with income tax deductions from employee salaries while the UIF scheme provides support for unemployment, illness, maternity, and adoption.

What is a UIF reference number?

A UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) reference number is a unique identifier given to employers who have registered on the UIF scheme. This nine-character code, consisting of eight digits, serves as an essential link between the employer and their account with the Department of Labour.

The primary purpose of a UIF reference number is to track monthly contributions made by employers towards their employees’ unemployment insurance benefits. It contains crucial information about individual accounts, including contribution amounts and payment history.

For employers, having a valid UIF reference number is not only mandatory but also beneficial in several ways. Firstly, it ensures compliance with South African labor laws that require all eligible employees to be registered for unemployment insurance coverage. By obtaining this number and making regular contributions based on employee salaries or wages, businesses fulfill their legal obligations while providing financial security for workers during periods of job loss or temporary incapacity due to illness or maternity leave.

Employees also benefit from having an active UIF registration through their respective companies’ assigned reference numbers. In times when they face unexpected employment challenges such as retrenchment or reduced working hours due to economic downturns like COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns), individuals can claim compensation from the Unemployment Insurance Fund using this identification code linked directly to them via their employer’s records.

In summary, a UIF reference number plays a vital role in ensuring both parties – employers and employees – are protected under labor law regulations. It acts as proof that proper registrations have been done, contributions are being paid regularly, and allows access to necessary funds provided by the UIF at times of need.

How to obtain a UIF reference number

If you are an employer in South Africa, it is important to have a UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) reference number. This unique identifier is linked to your UIF account and contains details of your monthly contributions. It is used for various activities such as registering employees, making monthly contributions, and calculating arrears.

1. Online application through the Department of Labour website:

  • Visit the official Department of Labour website.
  • Look for the section related to applying for or obtaining a UIF reference number.
  • Fill out the online application form with accurate information about yourself and your business.
  • Submit the completed form electronically.

2. Visiting a local Labour Centre in person:

If you prefer face-to-face assistance or encounter any issues with online applications, visiting your nearest local Labour Centre can be another option:

  • Locate your closest labour centre by checking on their official website or contacting them directly via phone call.
  • Gather all necessary documents required during this visit which may include proof of identification (such as ID document), company registration documents if applicable, financial statements showing employee salaries/wages paid, bank statement reflecting payment made towards unemployment insurance fund contribution, along with other relevant supporting documentation that might be requested at the time of submitting request/application forms onsite at the labor center office premises.
  • Staff members will assist in filling up the paperwork needed while providing guidance throughout the process until completion, ensuring accuracy before submission takes place to avoid delays caused by errors.

3. Contacting the UIF call centre for more information:

  • If you have any further queries or need assistance with obtaining a UIF reference number, you can contact the dedicated UIF call center at 0800 007 877.
  • The knowledgeable staff will be able to provide guidance and answer your questions regarding the application process.

Remember that once your application is approved, it may take some time for your UIF reference number to become active. Typically, this process takes around two weeks. During this period, ensure that all provided credentials are correct and keep track of updates on the progress of your claim through phone calls or emails.

Having a valid UIF reference number is crucial as it allows both employers and employees access to funds during times of unemployment or illness. It ensures financial stability by providing support when needed most.

Note: Please note that while we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information in our blog posts, procedures related to obtaining a UIF reference number may change over time due to changes implemented by authorities responsible for overseeing these processes within South Africa’s labor departmental structures. Always refer to official sources like the Department of Labour website for the latest guidelines applicable at the moment when seeking UIF numbers assigned specifically to each individual entity involved in the scheme administered under the auspices thereof, ensuring compliance with the regulations stipulated therein to avoid unnecessary delays or setbacks caused by errors made along the way, leading to potential complications arising in later stages of processing applications received from various entities participating in the said program designed to assist those facing difficulties resulting from the loss of employment income streams otherwise available to them without undue hardship imposed upon themselves and their families alike.

Step-by-step guide to obtaining a UIF reference number

Obtaining a UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) reference number is an essential step for employers in South Africa. This unique identifier allows employers to register with the UIF scheme and make monthly contributions towards their employees’ unemployment benefits. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can obtain your UIF reference number:

1. Online application process:

  • Visit the Department of Labour website.
  • Look for the online application form specifically designed for registering as an employer.
  • Fill out all required fields accurately, providing information such as your name, address, contact details, and any dependents who may qualify for additional support from the fund.
  • Double-check that all provided credentials are correct before submitting.

2. In-person application process:

If you prefer face-to-face assistance or encounter difficulties with the online registration process, visiting your local Labour Centre is another option available to obtain your UIF reference number:

  • Locate and visit your nearest Labour Centre office during working hours.
  • Inform one of their staff members about wanting to apply/register as an employer under the UIF scheme.
  • They will provide guidance throughout filling out necessary forms correctly while ensuring accuracy in capturing relevant data.

3. Contacting call centre assistance:

If at any point during either method mentioned above you require further clarification or have specific queries regarding applying/obtaining a UIF Reference Number, you can reach out directly by contacting The Unemployment Insurance Fund Call Center via phone at 0800 007877. Their dedicated team will be able to assist in answering questions related to this matter.

Remember that once approved successfully through these processes, it typically takes around two weeks until receiving confirmation of activation along with the assigned active UIF Reference Number. Afterward, regular updates concerning progress made on claims should start arriving periodically until owed money gets paid into designated bank accounts specified within applications submitted earlier.

Having access to funds provided by the UIF during times of unemployment or illness can make a significant difference in financial stability. Therefore, it is important to obtain the necessary paperwork and apply for a UIF reference number as soon as possible to ensure maximum benefit within the shortest amount of time.

By following these steps, you will be on your way towards obtaining your UIF reference number and contributing towards providing essential support for yourself and your employees through South Africa’s Unemployment Insurance Fund scheme.

Importance of contributing to the UIF scheme

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is a crucial social security program in South Africa that provides financial support to employees who have lost their jobs or are unable to work due to illness, maternity leave, or adoption. The UIF scheme plays a vital role in ensuring economic stability and protecting workers’ rights.

Benefits of the UIF scheme for employees:

  1. Income replacement during unemployment: One of the primary benefits offered by the UIF is income replacement when an employee becomes unemployed involuntarily. This ensures that individuals can meet their basic needs while actively seeking new employment opportunities.
  2. Maternity benefits: Female employees who go on maternity leave are eligible for maternity benefits through the UIF scheme. These payments help cover living expenses during this period and provide much-needed support as they adjust to parenthood.
  3. Sickness benefits: Employees who cannot work due to temporary illness may also receive sickness benefit from the fund. This helps alleviate some financial burden caused by medical costs and loss of wages.
  4. Benefits related to death: In case if any worker dies, his/her dependents will be entitled to a certain amount which would assist them financially after losing the breadwinner.

Responsibilities of employers in contributing to the UIF scheme:

Employers have a legal obligation to contribute to the UIF scheme on behalf of their employees. These responsibilities include:

  • Registering with the UIF: Employers must register with the UIF and obtain a UIF reference number. This number is used for various activities, such as registering employees, making monthly contributions, and calculating arrears.
  • Making monthly contributions: Employers are required to deduct a portion of their employees’ salaries and contribute it to the UIF. These contributions help build up the fund and ensure that it can provide financial support to eligible employees when needed.
  • Ensuring accurate and timely submissions: Employers must accurately calculate and submit their employees’ UIF contributions on time. Failure to do so may result in penalties or legal consequences.
  • Providing information to employees: Employers should educate their employees about the UIF scheme, its benefits, and how to access them. This includes informing employees about their rights, the application process, and any changes or updates to the UIF scheme.

Difference between UIF reference number and PAYE number

When it comes to managing employee contributions and ensuring compliance with government regulations, employers in South Africa need to be familiar with various identification numbers. Two such numbers that often cause confusion are the UIF reference number and the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) number. While both these numbers play a crucial role in employer-employee relations, they serve different purposes.

UIF reference number

The UIF reference number is specifically related to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). It is assigned by the Department of Labour upon successful registration as an employer on the UIF scheme. This nine-character alphanumeric code contains important information about an individual’s account, including monthly contributions made towards unemployment insurance benefits for employees.

PAYE number

On the other hand, a PAYE number refers to an employer’s unique tax identification issued by SARS (South African Revenue Service). The purpose of this seven-digit numeric identifier is primarily associated with income tax deductions from salaries or wages paid out by employers on behalf of their employees.

It is essential for employers not to confuse these two distinct identifiers when corresponding or making payments relating either directly or indirectly through payroll systems like SimplePay. Using incorrect references can lead to delays in processing claims or even result in penalties imposed due non-compliance issues during audits conducted by relevant authorities.

To ensure smooth communication and accurate recordkeeping within your business operations:

  1. Use correct codes: When submitting any documentation regarding UIF or PAYE, ensure that you use the correct reference numbers to avoid any confusion or delays.
  2. Stay updated: Keep yourself informed about any changes or updates related to UIF and PAYE requirements to ensure compliance with the latest regulations.
  3. Seek professional advice: If you are unsure about any aspect of UIF or PAYE, it is advisable to consult with a tax or payroll specialist who can provide guidance and assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How long does it take to receive a UIF reference number?

The timeframe for receiving a UIF reference number can vary. If you apply online through the Department of Labour website, it typically takes around 5-10 working days for the reference number to be delivered. However, if you choose to visit your local Labour Centre in person, the process may take longer depending on their workload and processing times.

Question 2: Can I apply for a UIF reference number on behalf of my employees?

Yes, as an employer or representative of your company, you can apply for a UIF reference number on behalf of your employees. It is important that all necessary information and documentation are provided accurately during the application process.

Question 3: What documents are required to apply for a UIF reference number?

When applying either online or in-person at a Labour Centre, there are certain documents that will be required:

  1. Proof of identification (e.g., ID document or passport)
  2. Company registration certificate
  3. Proof of address (such as utility bills)
  4. Proofs showing employee details such as employment contracts

It’s always recommended to check with the specific requirements outlined by the Department Of Labor before submitting any applications.

Question 4: Can I check my UIF registration status at The Department Of Labor?

Yes, you can verify whether your business has been registered with the UIF via visiting the nearest Department of Labour office.

Question 5: Can I get my UIF reference number over the phone?

No, for security purposes, the actual UIF reference numbers cannot be given out over the phone. However, they do send an email confirming your UIF registration status.


  1. https://uifqueries.co.za/how-to-get-uif-reference-number/
  2. https://www.simplepay.co.za/help/covid-19/frequently-asked-questions-faq/how-do-i-get-my-uif-reference-number
  3. https://askly.co.za/how-to-get-uif-reference-number/

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