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Parental leave is effective from 1 January 2020

From the 1st of January 2020 the 3 days family responsibility leave that employees were entitled to upon the birth of a child, was replaced with parental leave as per the Labour Laws Amendment Act of 2018.

In terms of this Act an employee is entitled to 10 days parental leave upon the birth of the employee’s child. Parental leave may also be applicable in circumstances where an employee legally adopts a child or when a child is placed by a Court in the care of a prospective adoptive parent.

Based on the definitions in the Act, it is evident that both male and female employees may qualify for parental leave depending on the circumstances. However, if the employee gave birth to the child, she will not qualify for parental leave. Such employee is entitled to 4 months unpaid maternity leave.

Adoptive parental leave entitles one of the parents to 10 consecutive weeks unpaid adoption leave. If an adoption order is made in respect of 2 adoptive parents, only one may apply for adoption leave and the other for parental leave.

As indicated, such leave will be unpaid, and employees will therefore have to submit claims to the Unemployment Insurance Fund to qualify for payment during the periods of absence from work.

If you need more information on this or any other labour law matter, you are welcome to phone our office at 028 4241119 or email me directly at

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)