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From January 2019, working South African men are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave after the birth of their child.

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

Who is responsible for the payment of the paternity leave?

Paternity leave will be paid by the South African Unemployment Insurance Fund at a rate of 66% of the total earnings of the employee at the date of application, subject to certain rules and conditions including a threshold constraint.

An employee must notify the employer one month prior to the child’s expected birth date, in writing, of the date which the employee intends to commence parental leave and the date they will return to work.

Family responsibility leave will no longer be applicable with regards to the birth of employees’ children.

It must be noted that before a person is entitled to any parental leave payments, such a person must at least have worked for 13 weeks.

Basic Conditions of Employment Act changes

Paternity leave is additional leave and is not to be deducted from the employee’s annual leave, leave bonus or sick leave.

Companies will have to revise their policies to accommodate the changes to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act as mentioned above.

Advantages of paternity leave

Parental leave creates a great opportunity for parents to bond with their children and give each other the necessary support.


This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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