New paternity leave changes coming soon – here’s what you need to know

 ·3 Jun 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is in the process of finalising regulations for the implementation of parental and commissioning parental benefits – promising a big shakeup for South African fathers, surrogates, and adoptive parents.

In November 2018, president Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill into law.

The Act creates parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave to employees as follows:

  • An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to ten consecutive days of parental leave;
  • An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child below the age of two, is entitled to:
    • Adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks; or
    • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

“Section 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, and 16 of the Labour Laws Amendment Act deals with parental, adoption, and commissioning of parental leave and related benefits. Through these amendments, UIF contributors will have the right to claim for parental, and commissioning parental benefits,” said UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping.

“Since these are new benefits we need to upgrade our systems, develop regulations, and design new forms for processing of applications.

“We have already started to upgrade our systems and have initiated the process of formulating regulations, and according to our projections we should be ready to implement these benefits by September 2019.”

Maruping said that some companies have started to implement parental leave in line with the Labour Laws Amendment Act, however, the UIF will only start accepting applications and process payments once the president has promulgated the implementation date of sections 7, 8, 12, 13,15, and 16 of the Act.

“The payment of parental benefits by UIF will be in line with the 10 leave days granted and will be subject to credit days accumulated and 66% flat rate applicable,” he said.

“The extension of coverage for Parental and Commissioning of Parental leave is aligned to UIF’s mandate of providing social security to vulnerable workers, and to our mission of delivering both financial and social relief to the right person, at the right time, every time.”

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