Correction: Commencement of Parental Leave

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The Labour Laws Amendment Act 10 of 2018 (LLAA) is not yet fully in operation.

Sections 8 (a) (cA), 11, 15, and 16 which took effect on 1 November 2019 amend certain provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001, permitting qualifying employees to apply for parental leave benefits through the Unemployment Insurance Fund. This merely makes it possible for parents to claim these benefits once they are in force.

The amendments of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (BCEA) relating to parental leave entitlements have not yet been brought into effect, and the President has yet to provide an effective date applicable to these sections.

This means that even though an employee can now claim parental leave benefits from UIF, there is not yet a right in the BCEA to parental leave. An employee cannot insist on taking parental leave until the relevant sections of the BCEA are amended, and for now the right to three paid days’ family responsibility leave remains the status quo. If an employee were to stay away from work for more than the three days currently provided for as family responsibility leave without the employer’s express consent, disciplinary action can be taken.

It is suggested that you are proactive and amend and implement policies and procedures in order to provide for parental leave, once it comes into effect.

Please contact your allocated consultant or the LabourNet Helpdesk for assistance in revising policies or if you have any queries or concerns.

For more information on the above topic, please contact the LabourNet Helpdesk at

0861 LABNET (0861 522638).

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