If you are expecting a newborn soon, it is useful to know how many days is paternity leave in South Africa so you can plan for the upcoming baby.
In this article, we will tell you all about paternity leave South Africa. We will answer questions such as how long do dads get paternity leave South Africa, how do I apply for paternity leave, is paternity leave required by law and others.
How Many Days Is Paternity Leave In South Africa?
There are three types of paternity leave South Africa. The first and most common one is parental leave, or simply paternity leave. It refers to the right of any employee to a period of leave of absence when their child is born.
The second type of paternity leave is adoption leave. It entitles both adoptive parents to leave work when they adopt a child or have one put on their care by the competent authorities. In this case, one parent is entitled to exercising a longer leave of absence period similar to maternity leave, while the other can claim paternity leave.
The third type is commissioning parental leave, or paternity leave for parents who enters into a surrogate motherhood agreement. In this case, the employee may take either parental leave or commissioning parental leave.
According to South Africa labor laws, the answer to the question of how long do dads get for paternity leave South Africa is 10 consecutive days.
Does Paternity Leave Include Public Holidays?
According to the amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) legislation, the 10 days of paternity leave are to be counted as calendar days, not working days. This means that yes, since 1 January 2020 paternity leave does include public holidays.
When Does Paternity Leave Start?
Since there are many categories of parental leave, there are different requisites for when does paternity leave start.
Both paternity leave and commissioning parental leave start on the day the child is born. Adoption leave, on the other hand, starts the day when the adoption order is granted or when the child is put on care by the adoptive parents by a competent court of law pending finalization of the adoption process.
Paternity Leave On Private Sector
According to South African labor law, employees on the private sector are entitled to the same rights of paternity leave as any other employee.
Is Paternity Leave Required By Law?
Different from maternity leave, paternity leave is not required by South African law. It is instead a right any new parent is entitled to, and may be exercised or not by the employee according to their decision.
Is Paternity Leave Paid Or Unpaid?
In South Africa, parents are entitled only to unpaid parental leave. This means paternity leave is unpaid, but employees are free to try to reach an agreement with their employers and ask that a portion of the leave time be paid. This is not mandatory, however.
It is also possible that the terms of a given employment contract entitles the employee to paid parental leave, although that is not a legal obligation of the employer.
For that reason, it is interesting to always make sure to read your contract and know the details well. Is it also worth mentioning any amendment to a valid contract requires consent by the employee.
In any case, employees who qualify according to the terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act may claim benefits that go from 34% to 66% of the employee’s salary. The payment of these benefits will occur while the employee is on leave.
How To Apply For Paternity Leave?
To apply for paternity leave, an employee only has to provide written notice to their employer of when they intend to start their leave of absence period, and when they will return to work.
This notification must be given at least a month in advance from when the employee will start their leave. The exception to this rule is when unforeseen circumstances such as premature birth or interruption in communications infrastructure for remote workers make it impossible for the employee to give advance notice.
Who Qualifies For Paternity Leave
Any employee who is a parent to a child is entitled to apply for paternity leave. This is valid irrespective of gender, and considering there is adoption leave, it means both members of a same-sex couple qualify for paternity leave when they adopt a child.
Now that you know how many days is paternity leave in South Africa and other useful information, keep reading our blog and discover more handy tips!