STATUS OF PARENTAL, ADOPTION AND SURROGACY BENEFITS


by: John Botha: COO of Global Business Solutions

There has been significant confusion as to when the provisions of the Labour Laws Amendment Act (LLAA) and the UI Amendment Act – in respect of parental, adoption and commissioning parental leave – will take effect. As a result of UIF system stability and testing requirements stemming from previous amendments, the three new benefits could not be immediately implemented.

However, it has been communicated that the system project plan is aiming to be ready to deploy the benefits in three stages, subject to system acceptance testing and regulations being Gazetted:

  • Parental benefits, 31 July 2019
  • Adoption benefits, 11 October 2019
  • Commissioning parental benefits, 20 December 2019.

The amendments provide that an employee who is a parent of a child is entitled to at least ten consecutive days of parental leave which may commence on the day that the employee’s child is born, the date that the adoption order is granted or that a child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court, pending the finalisation of an adoption order whichever date occurs first.

An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child who is below the age of two, is entitled to adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks or parental leave which may commence on the date that the adoption order is granted or that a child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court, pending the finalisation of an adoption order in respect of that child whichever date occurs first.

An employee who is a commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement is entitled to commissioning parental leave of at least ten consecutive weeks. An employee may commence commissioning parental leave on the date a child is born as a result of a surrogate motherhood agreement.

Importantly, s27(2)(a) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act – which caters for 3 days family responsibility leave when a child is born – will be repealed and replaced under the parental leave provisions.

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