COSATU welcomes the implementation of paid parental leave for parents of newborn children

COSATU welcomes the implementation of paid parental leave for parents of newborn children.  This is a historic and long-fought victory for workers, parents, children and families across South Africa.

All parents are now entitled to ten (10) days paid parental leave when their children are born.

This does not apply to mothers who have given birth as they are entitled to paid maternity leave.  In essence, this covers fathers of newborn children, in addition to mothers of children born through surrogacy.  It will also cover one parent who adopts a child who is two (2) years and younger whilst the other parent in that adoptive couple will be entitled to ten (10) weeks paid adoption leave.

Parents are entitled to take paid parental leave once a calendar year.  They will be required to apply for leave from their employer. 

Workers are entitled to claim UIF payments if their employer will not pay them their full salary.  The UIF will pay those workers 66% of their salary up to the BCEA earnings cap of R205 433.30 per annum.

Workers applying for UIF payments must fill in the required form at the UIF, provide their ID, bank details and their child’s unabridged birth certificate which provides the details of the child’s parents.

COSATU is pleased that its efforts and workers’ hard-fought struggles have borne fruits with this achievement.  We encourage all eligible parents to exercise this progressive right.  Equally, it is important that parents use this leave for what it is intended for, namely, to help the mother recuperate from birth and to take care of their newborn child. 

The federation would like to commend all those who helped deliver this victory for workers.  This includes the late Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Labour, Cde. Fezeka Loliwe; former ACDP MP Ms. Cherryllyn Dudley who authored the Amendment Bill and Mr. Hendri Terblanche who submitted the original petition to Parliament.

This was the first private member’s bill passed by Parliament.  It showed the maturity of the political system that the ruling party and an opposition party could collaborate with COSATU to see its passage.  It showed the potential of the Constitution that allows for ordinary citizens to petition their legislature to amend laws.

For further information please contact:

        Matthew Parks Parliamentary Coordinator   Cell: 082 785 0687 Email:   6th Floor, Constitution House, 124 Adderley Street (corner of Church Street) Cape Town 8000, South Africa