New parental leave laws, which kicked in on 1 January 2020, has been described as a victory for workers, parents, children and families across South Africa.
The new legislation, signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa towards the end of 2019, means that all parents – including fathers, adopting parents, and surrogates – are now entitled to 10 days paid parental leave when their children are born.
Trade union federation Cosatu says parental leave – which now includes working dads and some other caregivers – was a “historic and long fought for victory”.
Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks has issued a warning to employers to comply with the law.
Parents are entitled to take parental leave once a calendar year and they must apply for it from their employer. In the event that an employer cannot pay the full salary of the worker, a claim can be lodged with the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
Cosatu has encouraged all all eligible parents to exercise this progressive right.
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