'Three babies in one year': How many days paternity leave can one dad have in a year?

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels
Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

While many are excited that the changes to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act mean that dads now get ten days of parental leave when a child is born, adopted or where commissioning parental arrangements apply, others have questions and concerns. 

This wondering reader wrote to Parent24 asking what is apparently a common question: 

Dear Parent24,

How does it work with a man who will have multiple children in a period of one year?

Let's say from his five girlfriends, three have babies in one year, does that mean this man will get 30 days off in one year worth of paternity leave? 

- Curious Reader 

We asked the experts to share their knowledge on this tough question.

According to Carl Botman, Labour Law Expert at LAW FOR ALL, many South Africans have been asking this question.

"Not just now that dads are legally entitled to take 10 days parental leave," Botman told Parent24, "but even when the act was in the making. In fact, many felt some fathers would take advantage of the law and go on extended vacation. But this isn’t allowed."  

He explains how the Labour Laws Amendment Act gives fathers only 10 days parental leave per year to use when their child is born.

"If we look at the example you mention, the dad could take 3 days at the birth of one, 3 days for another, and 4 days for the last birth, as a suggestion," he advises.

Botman says if the 10 days run out, the father could apply for other types of leave such as family responsibility leave, annual leave or even unpaid leave.

"Having dads involved in a child’s life from the get-go is a wonderful thing and has numerous benefits. Plus, I’m sure moms will agree that they can do with the extra bit of support," he says. 

If you find yourself in a sticky situation,send us your questions, and we could publish an answer. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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