New parental leave law

What the new parental leave law means for your business

It is common knowledge that South African businesses have had to endure uncertainty over new legislation governing leave, particularly when it comes to planning for its impact on the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) system.

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill was signed into law in November 2018. It lays the foundation for parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave for specific employees.

The issue of work-life balance comes into play and one could argue that labour authorities are reconsidering the rights of the worker, particularly in so far as raising a family is concerned, and how this is balanced against the interests of a business.

A parent is entitled to at least ten consecutive days of parental leave

In practise, any employee who is a parent is entitled to at least ten consecutive days of parental leave, and any employee who is an adoptive parent of a child younger than two is eligible for adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks, or ten consecutive days of parental leave.

Why is this significant? For business operations, it is important to note that the government has decided to roll out the new leave laws in phases to ensure seamless integration with the UIF.

Configured to accommodate benefits of the new legislation

Businesstech online has quoted the Department of Labour as saying the system had to be reconfigured to facilitate the benefits of the new law and the scheduled dates for system readiness are:

Parental benefits – 31 July 2019
Adoption benefits – 11 October 2019
Commissioning parental benefits – 20 December 2019

Once the system is ready and configured to accommodate benefits of the new legislation, this can be affected across businesses.

We are entering a new chapter in the development and management of SA’s workforce… a positive step in terms of growth and sustainability.