Until now, mothers have been entitled to unpaid leave when welcoming a new child into the world, in the form of 4 consecutive months’ “maternity leave”. Plus they can claim maternity benefits from the UIF if they are contributors. New fathers however have been limited to at most 3 days’ family responsibility leave.
That will now be extended to –
“Parental leave”: “Parents” (i.e. including fathers and same-sex partners) – 10 consecutive days’ parental leave.
“Adoption leave”: Adoptive parents of a child under 2 years old – either 10 consecutive weeks’ adoption leave or 10 consecutive days’ parental leave (where there are two adoptive parents, they decide between them who gets 10 weeks and who gets 10 days).
“Commissioning parent leave”: Commissioning parents in a surrogacy agreement – same provisions as for adoptive parents.
Parents taking unpaid leave as above also become eligible for UIF benefits.
Employers with maternity leave policies, and those who offer paid as opposed to unpaid maternity leave, should take advice on reviewing these policies.