The Department of Labour plans to introduce South Africa’s new leave laws in phases, starting with parental benefits at the end of July.
In November 2018, president Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill into law.
However, businesses were left confused as the new rules surrounding paternity and adoptive leave were delayed to allow for UIF integration.
Speaking to BusinessTech, acting department spokesperson Makhosonke Buthelezi said that this decision was made to accommodate the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
“We had to reconfigure the system to consider the benefits of all these new additions and make sure that all of the benefits and dates line up,” he said.
He added that planned dates for system readiness are:
- Parental benefits – 31 July 2019
- Adoption benefits – 11 October 2019
- Commissioning parental benefits – 20 December 2019
While the UIF systems will be ready by these dates, Buthelezi indicated that the actual implementation of the changes might be delayed as the rules also need to be officially enacted by lawmakers.
“Once the UIF is ready at a system-level and the legislation has been approved, the new amendments will officially be in effect,” he said,
The Labour Laws Amendment 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.