Sandisha Sohan | Attorney: Legal Services Division & Mohamed Raees Hussain | Attorney: Conveyancing Division
On 1 November 2019, the Labour Law Amendment Act 10 of 2018 came into effect amending the employee leave benefits. This new law will in effect also amend Section 27 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 2018 (the “BCEA”) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund Act, 2017.
Previously, the BCEA offered four (4) months of maternity leave, paid for by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), whilst fathers were allowed three (3) days of family responsibility leave (paid for by the employer) when their child was born.
The Labour Law amendments now entitles working South African “fathers” to 10 days of paternity leave after the birth of their child.
How it Works?
- Parental Leave
- An employee who is a parent not covered by maternity leave is entitled to ten (10) consecutive days of parental leave when their child is born.
- Adoption leave
- An employee who is an adoptive parent of a child who is below the age of two (2), is entitled to adoption leave of at least ten (10) weeks consecutively, where the employee is the primary care giver.
- Where an adoption order is made in respect of two adoptive parents, one of the adoptive parents may apply for adoption leave, i.e. ten (10) consecutive weeks and the other may apply for parental leave, i.e. ten (10) consecutive days.
- The employee will be entitled to the leave from the date on which the adoption order is granted; or from the date that the child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court pending finalisation of an adoption order.
Commissioning Parental Leave
- An employee who is a commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement is entitled to at least ten (10) weeks consecutively or ten (10) consecutive days of leave from the day the child is born as a result of a surrogate motherhood agreement.
Important for Employees to Note:
- An employee must notify their employer in writing one month prior to the date on which the employee intends taking parental leave and the date of return to work after parental leave, unless it is reasonably not practicable to do so.
- The parental, adoptive and commissioning leave benefit is an unpaid benefit and will be funded via UIF Applications and will be paid to the qualifying beneficiaries at a rate of 66% of their earnings, subject to the maximum earnings threshold.