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Uif Essay

A 3rd grader from Springfield, VA won the first prize in the UIF National Islamic School Essay Competition.

Eight-year-old Anusha Khurram of the Iqra Elementary School won $500 for herself and a matching amount for her school. The topic was to write about "If you could be anything you wanted, what would you be and why??"

Anusha was awarded her prize at a recognition ceremony at the Iqra Elementary School on June 7, 2014.

The contest was open to all students of Islamic schools located in the USA and was hosted by United Islamic Finance (UIF). Based in Ann Arbor, MI the company is provides three lines of financing.

UIF is the nation?s first Islamic banking subsidiary run entirely on Shariah principles. According to their website they serve the needs of the Muslim community by offering Shariah-compliant savings accounts through University Bank and Mortgage Alternative (MALT?) products, as well as Shariah-compliant commercial real-estate financing and home financing through their Murabaha and Ijara programs.

The bank had a huge response from their first essay competition?4000 entries in three categories: elementary, middle, high school. The winner won cash prizes and matching gifts from UIF to their schools. ?We are giving back to the community that we do business with,? says Fadey Samhan, the area manager for UIF in Northern Virginia.

What made this competition special, according to Samhan, was that this was the first of its kind for Islamic Schools all over the country.

?UIF firmly believes that investing in education is an important investment in our community.  Keeping this in mind, our essay competition seeks to partner with Islamic schools to recognize excellence in education by encouraging students to be creative and expressive.  The competition also rewards schools that produce winning students.?

UIF?s essay competition committee determined winners of the competition.  The company had an internal judging system and based the decisions on grammar, clarity, and originality and looked at how the ambition and the passion of the student came through, says Samhan.

?All of us at UIF did [a] collective effort and divvied up the [essays] and criteria and conducted {three] rounds until we identified the winner. We were very hands on with the competition,? says Samhan.

Anusha?s essay had  ?deep interest and thought? and she wanted to be a teacher and educate others, not something that one really thinks about in elementary school. ?I think is outstanding,? says Samhan.

UIF was part of the AMJA conference of Imams held in Dallas, TX where Islamic financing was discussed in depth. ?We were very active at the conference and interacted with committee there,? shares Samhan.

This competition will be an annual event from the company.

?We learned some thing new things [and] will fine-tune and tweak it next year,?Samhan comments.  While the competition is in the form of an essay, in coming years UIF envisions the competition to include video, poetry, art and science.

Other local students also placed as finalists: Jena Musmar and Sarah Al Mutawa of Saudi Academy won honorable mentions. Aisha Qureshi of Al Fatih Academy was a finalist in the high school category.

Teaching Is My Aim by Anusha Khurram (3rd Grade)

I want to be a teacher because I want to share my knowledge with the children. Teaching is a very respectable profession. Our Islam has shown great importance of teachers. Teachers bring an effective change as they have almost the same sense of duty and love that parents feel. Guiding the students is a part of religion.

Teachers are the best people as they play a great role in our life. Their reward is great but so is the responsibility. A good teacher has a good observation of behavior. Teachers have to make sure that students get the right knowledge.

Teachers have always been more important than books. They mold the character of young help them to be a good person.


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This Act protects workers who become employed. It provides for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), which pays out benefits to eligible employees who lose their jobs. The fund also pays benefits for illness, maternity, adoption and dependants, and it sets up laws for the Unemployment Insurance Board and the Unemployment Insurance Commissioner.

The Fund was created to lessen the negative effects of unemployment. Employers and employees contribute money to the fund so that benefits are available if workers need them.

These are the benefits paid out by the UIF:
  • Unemployment benefits,
  • Illness benefits,
  • Maternity benefits,
  • Adoption benefits, and
  • Dependants’ benefits.

[edit] Who Does the Law Affect?

The Act applies to all employers and employees (except for members of the South African National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency, the South African Secret Service, persons employed at sea or persons working as unpaid volunteers). It also applies to anybody who is doing vocational training.

If a person (not an independent subcontractor) works for a temporary employment service, the temporary employment service is their employer.

[edit] How Much Can a Person Claim for?

The Department of Labour will work out how much money a person can claim, and there is a limit on the amount (currently calculated on a yearly salary of R97 188). Benefits may not be more than a person’s normal salary and are based on the average daily rate. The amount will vary according to the length of time that the person has been paying in to the fund. For the maximum amount, a worker must have been paying in to the fund for four years before applying for benefits.

Schedule 3 of the Act gives a basic idea of how much money a person claiming UIF can expect. The benefits are calculated on a sliding scale, which means that the percentage of the amount paid out decreases as a person’s salary goes up, and if a person earns more than R97 188 per year, they will only be entitled to benefits for that amount. (The State can change these amounts at any time, to keep up with inflation and other economic changes.)

If a person claims benefits to which they were not entitled, the law states that they will have to repay the money to the UIF.

Claims cannot be set off against debts or court orders (except for maintenance orders for the support of dependants) and they are not subject to tax.

[edit] Where Does a Person Claim from?

All benefits are paid out at the unemployment office at which the application was made. If the claim is successful, the claims officer will authorise payment; if not, the officer must inform the applicant in writing.

[edit] How Does a Person Claim?

The table below shows who is eligible for which type of benefit and outlines the laws that govern the procedure for application:

Unemployment benefitsIllness benefitsMaternity benefitsAdoption benefitsDependant’s benefits
Who is eligible?
  • A person who has been dismissed or whose contract of employment ends.(A worker who voluntarily leaves a job is not entitled to benefits.)
  • A domestic worker whose employer has died.
  • A person who becomes insolvent.
A person who is unable to perform work because of illness for more than two weeks. A pregnant womanA parent who has adopted a child in terms of the the Child Care Act. The surviving spouse or life partner of a UIF contributor who has died

OR Any dependant child if there is no surviving spouse or life partner

OR Any dependant child, if the surviving spouse or partner has not made a claim within six months of the contributor’s death.

Other conditionsA UIF applicant must register as a job seeker with a labour centre in their area. The applicant cannot refuse any relevant medical treatment.Only one adoptive parent can apply for benefits at a time, and the period claimed for which benefits are claimed must be spent caring for the child.

The adopted child must be under the age of two.

What is the application procedure?The prescribed forms must be submitted within 6 months of ending work. (The claims officer will only consider older claims under exceptional circumstances.) The prescribed forms must be submitted within 6 months of falling ill, unless there is a good reason for the delay.

The application must be made personally unless the claims officer authorises another person to lodge the claim on the applicant’s behalf.

The application must be made at least 8 weeks before childbirth. (Under special circumstances the claims officer may consider an application up to a period of six months after the birth.) The application must be made within 6 weeks of the date of the order for adoption, unless good cause can be shown. The spouse’s application must be made within 6 months of the death of the contributor. If the spouse does not make an application within six months, the dependant child has a two-week period during which to make an application (i.e. six months and two weeks after the contributor’s death).
How long can a person claim for?Benefits can be claimed until re-employment or until the person’s benefits have been used up. A person can claim until they recover or until the benefits have been used up. Benefits can be claimed for 17 weeks.

A pregnant employee who miscarries in the third trimester or who gives birth to a stillborn baby may claim up to 6 weeks’ benefits.

A person can claim until they return to work or until the benefits have been used up. Benefits can be claimed until they have been used up.

[edit] How Does a Person Complain About UIF?

  • If a person is entitled to UIF and they wish to complain about the suspension of benefits or a decision made by a claims officer, they may appeal to the regional appeals committee in their region.
  • If a person is dissatisfied with a decision made by the regional appeals committee, then they may refer the matter to the National Appeals Committee. The decision of this committee is final.

[edit] How Is the Law Enforced?

The UIF is managed by the Unemployment Insurance Commissioner, assisted by claims officers. The Commissioner keeps a database of information on contributors, beneficiaries and employers. Labour inspectors enforce employer compliance and have certain powers. If a labour inspector suspects that an employer is not complying and cannot get the employer to agree to comply, the inspector may issue a compliance order, which sets a deadline for compliance. The Unemployment Insurance Board is an advisory body which makes recommendations on unemployment insurance policy, policies and schemes to alleviate the effects of unemployment and any other policies to do with the UIF Act. (See the full Act for the regulations governing its composition and operation.)

[edit] Offences

  • It is an offence to give false information on any application for UIF.
  • It is an offence to abuse the UIF by claiming benefits after resuming work.
  • It is an offence for an employer to make irregular payments or to stop making payments.

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