Yes! New paternity leave benefits begin now

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'Effectively, the amendments provide that employees that are parents  can either have access to ten days of parental leave when a child is born, adopted or where commissioning parental arrangements apply, or up to ten weeks leave.'
'Effectively, the amendments provide that employees that are parents can either have access to ten days of parental leave when a child is born, adopted or where commissioning parental arrangements apply, or up to ten weeks leave.'

Exciting news! South Africa's new paternity leave benefits begin today!

On 29 October 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the sections of the Labour Laws Amendment Act 10 of 2018 will come into effect today, 1 November 2019. 

ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley first brought the proposed bill to the National Assembly in 2017.

John Botha, COO of Global Business Solutions, shared with Parent24 what these amendments entail, explaining that "effectively, the amendments provide that employees that are parents in the scenarios listed can either have access to ten days of parental leave when a child is born, adopted or where commissioning parental arrangements apply, or up to ten weeks leave."

What are the benefits? 

The newly passed provisions are as follows: 

Parental leave for fathers: 

  • Employers must provide 10 successive unpaid leave days to new fathers. This leave will soon be funded via UIF applications.  

Parental adoption leave: 

  • 10 consecutive weeks or 10 consecutive days: couples must decide who will take parental leave and who will take adoption leave/commissioning parental leave. A child must be 2 years old or younger for adoptive parents to qualify for parental adoption leave and it is only applicable to one parent. 

Commissioning parental leave (applicable to surrogate mothers):

  • 10 consecutive weeks or 10 consecutive days, and couples must decide who will take parental leave and who will take adoption leave/commissioning parental leave. 

A note on maternity leave:  

A mother who loses her child in the third trimester, or whose baby is stillborn, remains eligible for 4 consecutive months maternity leave. 

Paternity leave and UIF

This paternity leave will be funded via UIF applications and be paid to qualifying beneficiaries at a rate of 66% of their earnings, subject to the maximum earnings threshold.

According to Botha, UIF forms to apply for the leave are still unavailable, but parents must keep a lookout for them. "Employers will be well advised to conduct an impact analysis of these laws and take the necessary steps to plan ahead for workforce requirements," he told Parent24.  

Companies will also need time to update HR policies accordingly. 

Listen:

Talking to Employment law expert Anli Bezuidenhout earlier this year, Cape Talk's Pippa Hudson covered the who, what and why of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill. 

Listen to the talk below for more details: 

Chat back:

Share your story with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Read more:

Why dads deserve paternity leave

Your A - Z guide to a government hospital birth

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