Phase one of changes to parental leave law kicks in next week

Parents will be entitled to 10 days of parental leave from 31 July.

The first phase of the Labour Relations and Labour Amendment Act of South Africa, which was signed into law on November 2018, comes into effect from 31 July 2019. This is section of the amendment that entitles employees who are parents to at least ten consecutive days of parental leave which may commence on the day that the employee’s child is born, the date that the adoption order is granted or that a child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court, pending the finalisation of an adoption order whichever date occurs first.

 

The second phase, which comes into effect on 11 October 2019 includes the provision for 10 weeks of parental adoption leave if the child is aged below two (but applies to one parent only) on the date that the adoption order is granted or that a child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court. 

 

From 20 December 2019, an employee who is a commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement will be entitled to commissioning parental leave of at least ten consecutive weeks from the date a child is born as a result of a surrogate motherhood agreement. 

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill into law in November 2018, but its enactment has been delayed to allow the Department of Labour to configure its systems to facilitate the new Unemployment Insurance Fund benefits. The new legislation lays the foundation for parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave for specific employees.