Call centre agent gets R20K in maternity benefits after Public Protector intervention

06 August 2021

A Gauteng woman plying her trade as a call centre agent at a leading non-food retail chain has been paid more than R20 000 in maternity benefits after the Public Protector intervened in a dispute between the woman and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Employed females, who contribute to UIF, are entitled to apply for such benefits when they go on maternity leave. In order to qualify for the benefits, they must be getting paid wages that are less than their normal salaries as a result of being absent from work for maternity purposes.

The woman in question approached the Public Protector in January 2020, alleging undue delay on the part of the UIF to process and finalise her claim, which she had lodged with the Fund two months earlier without success.

She told the Public Protector that the Fund rejected her claim on the grounds that official records from its Declarations Unit showed that she worked for a popular restaurant chain and another company. This was false as she had only ever worked for the retail group.

She provided proof to this effect, substantiating her assertion that she has worked for the group from as far back as October 2007. Upon the Public Protector’s mediation, the Fund paid the woman her benefits in the amount of R20 858.72. This was six months after she lodged the complaint.

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