Exciting news! South Africa’s new paternity leave benefits begin today!
Parental leave for fathers:
Employers must provide 10 successive unpaid leave days to new fathers. This leave will soon be funded via UIF applications. 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 (applicable to 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: This paternity leave will be funded via UIF applications and be paid to qualifying beneficiaries at a rate of 66% of their earnings, subject to the maximum earnings threshold.
According to Botha, UIF forms to apply for the leave are still unavailable, but parents must keep a lookout for them. “Employers will be well advised to conduct an impact analysis of these laws and take the necessary steps to plan ahead for workforce requirements,” he told Parent24.
Companies will also need time to update HR policies accordingly.