The law allowing both parents to take parental leave after the birth of their child has been passed. From January 1, 2020 both parents of newborns are entitled to paid parental leave.

In a historic win, fathers of newborns and mothers who have a child through surrogacy will now be able to spend 10 paid days of leave with their baby. New biological moms are not included in this law as they are entitled to paid maternity leave already. Employers however are under no legal obligation to pay for maternity and parental leave.

According to BusinessLive, parents are entitled to take parental leave once a calendar year, and can apply for this leave through their employer.

Speaking to TimesLive, Cosatu parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks said: “This is a historic and long-fought-for victory for workers, parents, children and families across SA.

“This is now an act of parliament, assented to by the president and promulgated. It is not a matter of negotiations or concessions by employers. It is law.”

If employers refuse to pay their full salary over the leave period, Parks explained that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will pay 66% of their salary. This will be capped at R205 433.30 per year, which is in accordance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Imogen Searra