Parental leave – what it means for your business

19 March 2010 00:00 by Michael Beaumont

Parental leave – what it means for your business.
The start of 2020 has seen the implementation of the new Labour Laws Amendment Act. And, one of the biggest changes has been in the creation of parental leave allowances.

When it comes to parental leave, these new regulations came into effect on 1 January 2020, including parental leave in cases of adoption and surrogacy, as well as paternal leave in all circumstances. This new law allows employers to grant unpaid leave once a year per employee for the purpose of parental leave, and for the UIF to provide limited benefits to those individuals.

What does this mean for your business?
All parents – including fathers, adopting parents, and surrogates –  are now entitled to 10 days unpaid parental leave when their children are born. However, this new legislation does not apply to mothers who give birth as they are already entitled to maternity leave in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Below, a useful summary of these special parental leave arrangements  provided by Beaumont’s Service, an expert-driven, online subscription service on South African labour relations and the law, available on the LexisNexis legal research platform Lexis Library:

Special Parenting Leave

Parental Leave


Adoption Leave


Formal per Children’s Act

Commissioning Parental Leave §25C. Surrogate motherhood agreement per Children’s Act  



At least 10 consecutive days


10 consecutive weeks OR parental leave


10 consecutive weeks or parental leave


Benefits; amount set by Minister of Labour ito the UIA

Commencement Date

From day child is  born §25A(2)(a)

or adopted


From adoption order or court order ifo prospective adoptive parent

§25A(2)(b), 25B(2)

From day child is  born

Unemployment benefits payable for parental, adoption & commissioning leave


See note above.  Notice of commencement of and return from leave to be given in writing.

Selection of choices

Only one parent can claim adoption or commissioning leave. Choice rests with parents. Remaining parent can claim parental leave.  §25B(6-7 & §25C(6)

Diagram 1

Delve deeper, safeguard your business
Good corporates understand the importance of keeping up to date with the latest developments in the laws that govern their business practices. However, considering the number of new bills President Ramaphosa has signed law since May 2019 (including the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Act, changes in the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, and regulations around the Protection of Personal Information Act and and the Unemployment Insurance Act), keeping up to date on a legal front has proved challenging for most South African businesses, especially in the face of hefty fines for non-compliance.

If you’re responsible for HR, legal or tax concerns in your business, you need access to current, reliable information across a wide range of legal topics such as that offered by Beaumont’s Service.

Where to find it?
Lexis Library. From a comprehensive IR network (an online research service that enables HR and legal practitioners to operate effectively in the field of Labour Law) to a full suite of labour law and employment solutions, Lexis Library means professionals and practitioners can easily abreast of the latest developments in workplace performance, labour relations and more. The result? Access to up to date, comprehensive legal knowledge that ensure subscribers are able to confidently negotiate the ever-changing legal landscape that comes with doing business in South Africa.

Interested in how Lexis Library can help your business? Learn more.