The seminar also sought to get employers to use the new and already active uFiling system that was introduced to make life easier for employers when registering and declaring their employees.
Seruwe said the number of registered employees has increased from 8.3 million in April 2013 to 8.5 million by March 2014. The number of employers registered with the fund stands at 1.5 million.
The total number of people who accessed the UIF’s range of benefits has increased in the financial year 2012/13 from 731 131 to 762 654 in 2013/14. The number of women claiming for maternity benefits has increased from 72 000 in 2004/05 to 105 021 in 2013/2014.
Seruwe said the fund’s claims turnaround time was five weeks and the organisation always strives to improve. He said the target was to finalise 85% of claims within five weeks of receipt. For the year under review, however, they achieved 86%.
“To improve service delivery, we have developed an online system where clients can declare at the comfort of their offices,” Seruwe said.
Training lay-off scheme
Turning to companies in distress, Seruwe said the UIF was contributing to training lay-off scheme to help companies in the process of retrenchment.
The commissioner was disappointed that the scheme was not being used by companies to the level of their expectation.
He said in 2010 when the training lay-off scheme started, the UIF budgeted R248 million and only R21 million was utilised. However, there were signs that this was picking up in this current financial year.
“Of the R150 million allocated, R52 million has been paid to companies in distress,” said Seruwe.
The auto sector was a leading user of the scheme. Seruwe said there were other companies in other sectors that were retrenching but were not making use of the scheme.
Gauteng based companies account for a large number of organisations using the scheme.
The UIF, a public entity of the Department of Labour, has increased contributions revenue from R13.6 billion in 2012/13 to R15.3 billion in the 2013/14 financial year.
Seruwe encouraged millions of employees, who are still not registered with the fund, to register.