Trade union Cosatu has welcomed the implementation of paid parental leave for parents of newborn children, saying that this was a historic and long-fought for victory for workers, parents, children and families across South Africa.
Cosatu said that all parents are now entitled to 10 days paid parental leave when their children are born, although this did not apply to mothers who have given birth as they were already 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 years or younger whilst the other parent in that adoptive couple will be entitled to 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,” Matthews Parks, Cosatu Parliamentary Coordinator, said.
He said that workers were entitled to claim Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payments if their employer will not pay them their full salary.