Guiding consumers since 2009

Parental benefits – what has changed?

By Athenkosi Sawutana

Until recently only female contributors were allowed to apply for maternity benefits at the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) when taking parental leave. But this has changed as fathers are now also entitled to some parental benefits when they welcome their child into the family.

In November 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill into law, amending the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) to include new paternity leave regulations. This law came into effect on 01 November 2019. But what do we know about these amendments?

Tip: Click here and we’ll help you find credit life cover that will protect your debt.

Benefit payment for the parental benefits is for a maximum of 10 days

The Labour Laws Amendment Act states that an employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to at least ten consecutive days of parental leave. This means that both mothers and fathers are entitled to parental leave when their child is born. This doesn’t change anything regarding female employees’ rights to maternity leave. They are still entitled to four months leave when they give birth.

According to the law, employers don’t have an obligation to pay employees for the time taken off and employees can return to work earlier if they want to.

The amendments also make provisions for adoptive parents and commissioning parents

Employees who are adoptive parents can also take 10 weeks’ leave and their leave can start on the day the adoption is granted. If an adoption order is made in respect of two adoptive parents, one of the adoptive parents may apply for adoption leave and the other adoptive parent may apply for the parental leave. The same applies to commissioning parents in a surrogate motherhood who can take their leave the day their child is born.

ALSO READ: A realistic guide to claiming UIF

The UIF benefit can be up to 66% of the employee’s salary

Parental benefits must be paid at a rate of 66% of the earnings of the beneficiary at the date of application, subject to the maximum income threshold. This is up from 58% that beneficiaries used to receive in the past years. However, as a UIF contributor, you’re not entitled to any benefits unless you’ve been employed for at least 13 weeks before the date of application for parental benefits. You must submit your applications within 12 months after the date of childbirth, the date the court grants you the adoption order, or the date the child is placed in your care as a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court, pending the finalisation of an adoption order in respect of the child.

What does this mean for new fathers?

Fathers will have time to bond with their new babies whilst having an income through the parental benefit, says Makhosonke Buthelezi, director of communication and marketing at the Department of Labour.

It’s important to mention that this benefit will only be available to those who are registered with the UIF as contributors and whose contributions are paid monthly to the UIF, he adds.

Are employers obliged to grant leave to employees?

This is a tricky one as legislation governing the granting of leave falls under the ambit of the Department of Employment and Labour, says Buthelezi.

“Amendments to the BCEA need to be effected first before you can safely say employers are obliged by law to grant leave, and my understanding is that the department is at the advanced stage of the amendments,” he says.

However, Buthelezi says the UIF is in a position to process parental benefit claims if the employer provides it with the requisite information in the prescribed forms.

Make sure your debt is paid when you lose your income. Get a credit life insurance quote here.

 

Recent Articles

Featured The newbies quick guide to tax season

Starting in September, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) kicks off tax season. But not everyone has experience in doing this. Every year, new employees and contractors enter the job market. So, what do these tax newbies need to know?

What’s the deal with underwriting?

When you apply for a long-term insurance policy, a financial adviser will ask some personal questions about your lifestyle, family history, health, and even ask you to take some medical tests. This process is called underwriting, but is it really necessary?

 

How are you taxed on your retrenchment package?

Unemployment is one of the biggest problems in South Africa. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation with a lot of companies retrenching their employees.  When retrenched, you’ll receive a retrenchment package, but do you know how much tax you’re liable for?

Car repossessed – don’t be taken for a ride

When the country is facing an economic downturn, chances are your finances will feel the pinch. This can lead you to make bad financial decisions such as skipping your vehicle payments. But every decision has consequences and if you don’t pay your instalment, the bank will repossess your car. But what can you do when this happens?

 

Deals

50% discount on kids’ clothes at Keedo

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

KFC Crunch Sliders for R29.90

Price: R29.90
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

Bakwena Spa Women’s Day Special

Price: From R699
When: 8-10 August 2020
Where: Western Cape and Gauteng


Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions