DA applauds breakthrough in data sharing between SARS and UIF

Issued by Traverse Le Goff MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour
25 Jan 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Traverse Le Goff MP

The Democratic Alliance (DA) commends the Ministry of Employment and Labour’s decision, for following our sound advice, to draw up a joint implementation agreement on the sharing of employment data between the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

This agreement, if secured, would considerably improve the overall efficiency and performance of the UIF and revolutionise the user experience of employers and employees while significantly reducing the reporting burden requirement on UIF for all businesses in South Africa.

SARS presently collects 98% of UIF contributions through payroll tax reporting and their corresponding contributions from employers on behalf of the Department thanks to a service-level agreement which is in place between the two entities.

While the collection of UIF contributions through SARS is effective, a long-standing complaint of employers in South Africa has been that the comprehensive payroll data, which is reported by employers through their declarations to SARS, is not shared with the UIF or the Department.

Consequently, employers are required to effectively duplicate their administrative reporting burden to be compliant with both SARS and the Department, as they are required to also submit monthly employer UIF declarations (UI-19’s) to the Department despite their obvious redundancy.

The higher incidence of failure to submit monthly employer UIF declarations has serious consequences for employees which cannot be understated, as employees can only access UIF benefits if their employer has made regular up-to-date declarations and also paid over all the necessary contributions.

The proposed joint agreement aims to eliminate the need for manual uFiling submissions, benefiting businesses, reducing administrative burdens on the Department of Labour, and improving UIF claim processing.

The Acting Director-General for the Department of Labour, Ms. Onke Mjo must now expedite her engagements with SARS Commissioner Mr. Edward Kieswetter to reach consensus on how SARS and UIF will share data.