South Africa's new paternity leave benefits

by Devon De Sousa
14th Feb 2020

South Africa's new paternity leave benefits

Exciting news!

South Africa's new paternity leave benefits came into effect, 1 November 2019. This effectively means that employees that are parents in the scenarios listed below 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.

The common question around this is what are the benefits?

Parental leave for fathers: Employers must provide 10 successive unpaid leave days to new fathers.

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 (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: funded via UIF applications and be paid to qualifying beneficiaries at a rate of 66% of their earnings, subject to the maximum earnings threshold. UIF forms to apply for the leave are still unavailable, but parents must keep a look out for them.

Companies will also need time to update HR policies accordingly.

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