Cosatu welcomes paid parental leave

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Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) welcomes the enactment of paid parental leave for parents of newborn children.

The amendments to the Unemployment Insurance and Basic Conditions of Employment Acts have been promulgated. From 1 January 2020, all parents will now be entitled to 10 days paid parental leave when their children are born.

“This is a historic and long-fought for victory for workers, parents, children and families across South Africa,” reads Cosatu’s statement.

While mothers are already entitled to paid maternity leave, the amendments now also allow for fathers to get paid leave as well as for mothers of children born through surrogacy.

Cosatu Parliamentary Coordinator, Matthew Parks says, “This is an important achievement because workers are now able to spend time with their kids when they’re born and it’s important that father’s exercise this right to bond with the child when the child is born, to help the mother heal from the birth and it’s an important stepping stone towards creating a strong family unit for society and as well as creating a modern, caring nation as a whole.”

Cosatu warns that the employers who defy the law will be violating the Unemployment Insurance Fund and Basic Conditions of Employment Acts (as amended in 2017 and 2018).

Cosatu says, “Workers are entitled to claim UIF payments in the event that their employer will not pay them their full salary.

“The UIF will pay those workers 66% of their salary up to the BCEA earnings cap of R205 433.30 per annum.”

The trade union encourages parents to use this leave for what it is intended for, namely to help the mother recuperate from birth and to take care of their newborn child.