JANUARY 2020 – SOUTH AFRICA
COMMENCEMENT OF SECTIONS 1 to 7 OF THE LABOUR LAWS AMENDMENT ACT, 2018

It is important that employers note the following:

Commencement of sections 1 to 7 of the Labour Laws Amendment Act 2018 published

Proclamation Government Gazette 42925 No. R. 1699 was published on 23 December 2019 to announce the commencement date of the sections regarding parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning leave.

The sections of the Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018 which will take effect on 1 January 2020, are as follows:

Section 1:

  • Adding definitions for “adoption order” and “adoptive parent”;
  • Substituting the definition for “employment law” by specifying the employment law as any of the following Acts:
    • The Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (Act No. 63 of 2001);
    • The Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998);
    • The Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998);
    • The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993); and
    • The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993).
  • Insertion of the definition “prospective adoptive parent”.

Section 2:

  • The payment of maternity benefits will be determined by the Minister subject to the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (Act No 63. of 2001).

Section 3:

  • Adding new sections 25A (Parental Leave), 25B (Adoption Leave) and 25C (Commissioning Parental leave) after section 25 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997.

Section 4:

  • Section 27 (2)(a) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act stating “An employer must grant an employee, during each annual leave cycle, at the request of the employee, three days’ paid leave, which the employee is entitled to take when the employee’s child is born”, is repealed.

Section 5:

  • Amending Section 49 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (A collective agreement concluded in a bargaining council may alter, replace or exclude any basic condition of employment if the collective agreement is consistent with the purpose of this Act and the collective agreement does not -”, by inserting the following paragraphs:
    • (dA) reduce an employee’s entitlement to parental leave in terms of section 25A;
    • (dB) reduce an employee’s entitlement to adoption leave in terms of section 25B;
    • (dC) reduce an employee’s entitlement to commissioning parental leave in terms of section 25C.

Section 6:

  • Amending Section 83(1) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, by adding subsection 1(a) and (1)(b) as follows:
    • ‘‘(1) The Minister may, on the advice of the Commission and by notice in the Gazette, deem any category of persons specified in the notice to be: –
      (a) employees for purposes of the whole or any part of this Act, any other employment law other than the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (Act No. 63 of 2001), or any sectoral determination; or
      (b) contributors for purposes of the whole or any part of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (Act No. 63 of 2001).’’.

Section 7:

  • Inserting definitions for “adoption order” and “prospective adoptive parent”.

NOTE:
It is important that employers note the following
:

  • As from 1 January 2020, all employees are entitled to the three new leave types (employers must allow employees the leave), i.e. parental leave, commissioning parental leave and adoption leave, as stipulated in the amended BCEA.
  • However, UIF can only be claimed for parental benefits from 4 November 2019, and for Commissioning Parental benefits from 1 April 2020, according to the Unemployment Insurance Act Regulations.
  • Therefore, should an employee make use of commissioning parental leave prior to 1 April 2020, the benefits will not be paid by the UIF.
  • The effective date for claiming adoption leave benefits has not yet been published.

Should an employer grant adoption leave or commissioning parental leave to an employee, either the employer must pay for the leave or it will be unpaid leave.

To view the Proclamation in Government Gazette No. 42925, follow the link

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.
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