Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Working dads can now take paternity leave for 10 days

Working South African dads are now entitled to 10 days of paternity leave after the birth of their children.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Labour Relations and Labour Amendment acts into law on Friday.

The Labour Amendment Act also includes provisions for 10 weeks of parental adoption leave if the baby is under the age of two years (applies to one parent only) and surrogacy leave, as well as increased UIF and maternity benefits.

NGO Sonke Gender Justice said it was “an incredible victory for parents in South Africa”.

READ MORE: Paying it forward — South Africa’s law should give all fathers and adoptive parents paid parental leave

“Now an employee who is a parent not covered by maternity leave is entitled to 10 consecutive days’ parental leave when their child is born or when an adoption order is granted. Congratulations to all who have tirelessly advocated for this,” the organisation said.

“Parental leave for fathers creates a valuable opportunity for fathers to do unpaid care work and to bond with their children. Child development research is clear on the fact that a child bonds with the adults that provide for their basic survival needs, in other words, the adults who care for them,” according to Sonke.

“Research evidence from countries that offer paternity leave supports the intuitive idea that an emotional connection during infanthood would lead to long-term involvement in care, and that fathers would then take more responsibility for their children’s development.”

ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley, who was a principal force behind the legislation, said: “The ACDP welcomes news of the signing into law of these historic pro-worker laws.”

“It has been an honour and a privilege for me to have been instrumental through the labour laws amendment bill in adding to this victory,” Dudley added.

In addition to paternity benefits, the act will see UIF benefits for workers losing their jobs increase from eight to 12 months, the ACDP said.

“It will see women covered by maternity leave when having a stillborn birth or third trimester miscarriage.

“It will see maternity leave payments increase from 54% to 66% of salaries within the thresholds.

“This will see billions of rands released from the UIF into workers’ hands and thus spur local economic growth.

“It will see UIF protection extended to public servants and a healthy boost to the UIF through their contributions. This will allow further future expansion of access to the UIF and its protections for workers. This is critical in an economic recession where thousands are being retrenched,” the party said.

In 2014, the International Labour Organisation’s report on maternity and paternity policy around the world revealed that of the 167 countries analysed, only 79 had made legal provision for paternity leave. — News 24

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Riaan Grobler
Riaan Grobler
Senior Journalist, Copy Editor and Content Producer — News24.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R270m ‘housing heist’ bid deprives people of decent homes

After alleged attempts to loot Eastern Cape housing funds, 39 200 people in the province will continue to live in atrocious conditions

Cabinet reshuffle not on cards yet

There are calls for the president to act against ministers said to be responsible for the state’s slow response to the unrest, but his hands are tied

More top stories

R270m ‘housing heist’ bid deprives people of decent homes

After alleged attempts to loot Eastern Cape housing funds, 39 200 people in the province will continue to live in atrocious conditions

Stolen ammo poses security threat amid failure to protect high-risk...

A Durban depot container with 1.5-million rounds of ammunition may have been targeted, as others in the vicinity were left untouched, say security sources

Sierra Leoneans want a share of mining profits, or they...

The arrival of a Chinese gold mining company in Kono, a diamond-rich district in the east of Sierra Leone, had a devastating impact on the local community, cutting its water supply and threatening farmers’ livelihoods – and their attempts to seek justice have been frustrated at every turn

IEC to ask the courts to postpone local elections

The chairperson of the Electoral Commission of South Africa said the Moseneke inquiry found that the elections would not be free and fair if held in October
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×