Today's Labour News

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parliamentBradley Workman-Davies, a director at Werksmans Attorneys, writes that a proposed amendment to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997 has recently been passed by the National Assembly that would introduce, for the first time, the new leave type of Parental Leave.  

Although passed by the NA, the Labour Laws Amendment Bill still needs to go through the National Council of Provinces and then be signed by the President.  The bill specifies that an employee who is a parent of a child will be entitled to ten days parental leave, which may be granted from the day of the child’s birth or the day of the granting of a child’s adoption order.  The bill does not specify ‘paternity leave’ but rather makes provision for Parental Leave, which could apply to both male and female employees.  But it is unclear how this new Parental Leave entitlement is going to complement maternity leave, i.e. if a female employee takes maternity leave, will she also be entitled to Parental Leave?  The wording of the bill does not seem to exclude that.  It may be that the bill, once assented and enacted, will clarify this position.  Adoption Leave is also provided for whereby an employee who is an adoptive parent will be entitled to ten weeks consecutive Adoption Leave.  This amendment will also provide for families in the LBGTQI community.

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