Paternity Leave - the new position
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, stipulated that a parent is only entitled to 3 days paid family responsibility leave in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 of 1997. The Labour Laws Amendment Bill was signed by the President, but the effective date of the act is still unknown.
The new position is that fathers are entitled to 10 days paternity leave after the birth of their child. Adoptive parents and parents in a surrogacy agreement are entitled to 10 consecutive weeks paternity leave.
The old position, family responsibility leave, is still in existence and is considered as separate leave from the new paternity leave. The only difference now is that the family responsibility leave can now only be taken when the child is ill or passes away and not when the child is born.
Many people are under the impression that the paternity leave will be paid by the employer and is considered as paid leave but this leave will be paid out by the Unemployment Insurance Fund, unless there is a different agreement between the employer and employee.
This is one big milestone in the South African Law, as new parents now have the opportunity to spend more time with their new born family members.