South Africa’s new paternity leave laws are here – this is what you need to know

 ·2 Jan 2020

South Africa’s new parental leave laws have been signed into law by president Cyril Ramaphosa – taking effect from 1 January 2020.

The new legislation means that all parents – including fathers, adopting parents, and surrogates –  are now entitled to 10 days unpaid parental leave when their children are born.

However, this new legislation does not apply to mothers who give birth as they are already entitled to maternity leave in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

Parents are entitled to take the leave once a calendar year and they must apply for it from their employer.

Through these amendments, UIF contributors will also have the right to claim for parental, and commissioning parental benefits in the event that an employer cannot pay the full salary of the worker.

The UIF will pay those workers 66% of their salary up to the BCEA (Basic Conditions of Employment Act) earnings cap of R205,433.30 per annum,  said UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping.

“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.”

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill was originally signed into law by president Ramaphosa in November 2018.

However, uncertainty about when the regulations would officially come into effect caused havoc at some businesses.

*This article has been amended to reflect that the changes pertain to unpaid leave.

Read: 10 employment equity cases you should know when hiring or looking for a job in South Africa

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