2 March 2010 by

Victory for same sex partners, cohabitants and foreigners

 "Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power." - Clint Eastwood. 

When the Unemployment Insurance Act 62 of 2001 (the Act) was enacted, it did not provide cover to a life partner. The Minister of Labour has now issued Regulations in terms of section 54 of the Act that address this issue.

Regulation 1 has been amended by inserting the following definition:

"life partner means any major person who is a party to the opposite sex or same sex relationship with another major person, which relationship must be intended to be permanent, exclude any other person and involve cohabitation, an obligation of mutual emotional support between the parties and a reciprocal obligation to support one another financially in circumstances where the one has the means to do so and the other requires such support in order to maintain, without recourse to the public funds, his or her financial and social standing and standard of living."

The amendment of regulation 1 also provides that the definition of identity document means: a 13 digit bar coded Republic of South Africa and non Republic of South African identity card or document, a Republic of South African bar-coded passport, and includes valid foreign identity documents and passports.

This regulation came into operation, along with other amendments, on 5 October 2009.

The amendment to the definition of identity document is with retrospective effect, from 01 April 2002.

This extension means that same sex partners, cohabitants and foreigners, as defined in the regulations, retrospectively qualify as the beneficiaries of the UIF, that employers and employees contribute to and from which employees, who become unemployed or their beneficiaries, are entitled to benefits to alleviate the harmful economic and social effects of unemployment.

Faan Coetzee, Director, Employment
Whitty Marweshe, Candidate Attorney, Employment

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