Q. Is it permissible for Muslims to contribute and claim UIF?
A. In South Africa, an employer is required by law to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and contribute towards the fund if they have employed people for more than 24 hours per month. The monthly contribution for UIF is two percent of an employee’s gross salary per month. An employer must deduct one percent of their employees’ gross salary per month and the employer contributes one percent.
It gives short-term relief to employees when they become unemployed or are unable to work because of maternity, adoption and parental leave, or illness. It also provides relief to the dependants of a deceased contributor.
In terms of Shariah, contributing to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) would be permissible as it has been made compulsory by the government to which one does not have a choice.
In regards to claiming from the UIF, it would be permissible to do so as it is considered to be a benefit offered by the government to its claimants. This falls under the category of a gift which is permissible for one to accept or claim. (Fataawa Darul Uloom Zakariyya 5/433-435)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa