A new Parental Leave bill
On Tuesday the 28 November 2017 ,South Africa Parliment gave the go ahead to award fathers 10 days paid Paternity Leave.
Although the Labour Laws Amendment Bill was passed in our Parliment National Assembly, it still needs to be reviewed by the National Council of Provinces.
In addition to Paternity Leave , the bill has provisions for Surrogacy Leave and 10 weeks Parental Adoption Leave (applicable to one adoptive parent only).
Increased UIF and Maternity benefits have also been addressed.
A new view on child care
This is a fantastic step forward as to how we as a country view child care.
Traditionally women are awarded Maternity Leave as our salaries are less and our husbands /partners need to be at work to earn the salaries we require for survival.
As a mother I welcome the initiative to further involve a father’s role in a childs life.
The early days are a special few moments of learning and getting to know your baby. They set the foundation for future routines and an often exhausted ,sleep deprived mother would welcome the assistance of her babys father being hands on.
In a culture where woman still have the majority say and involvement in a child’s life, this will effectively break the stereotypes and assist in creating bonded families where parents share equal responsibility for raising a child.
What is encouraging , are the other factors to the bill being that of surrogacy and adoption. It’s great to see our government looking to invest our hard earned monies back into the development of strong family units.
Our current law
Currently fathers wanting to stay at home with a new baby have to either apply for family responsibility leave, which is limited to 3 days, or take annual leave.
Family responsibility leave only comes into effect once you’ve been employed for more than 4 months.
There are currently no provisions for Paternity Leave, Surrogacy Leave or Adoption Leave.
A mother is entitled to 4 months Maternity Leave. This is unpaid and her position at work will be held open for her.
She is entitled to apply for UIF for 17 weeks. She will be paid 38 to 58 percent of her salary depending on the length of time she has been employed and contributing to UIF.