4 April 2019

Further to our last communication in respect of the amendments to the UIF Act and the amendments brought on by the Labour Law Amendment Act (parental, surrogacy and adoption leave), we confirm that by order of the President, the 1 March 2019 is the date on which these amendments come into operation.

The varying forms of leave arise in situations where the employee becomes a parent through traditional means, through adoption or through a commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement. These new leave arrangements are funded via the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and require the employer and employee parties to plan effectively in order to ensure that both parties needs are met.

• PARENTAL LEAVE
This leave comprises 10 days per annum that can be taken consecutively when an employee’s child is born or in the case of adoption, the date that the adoption order is granted or when a child is placed in the care of a prospective parent by a competent court pending finalisation of an adoption order in respect of that child.

• ADOPTION LEAVE
An employee who is an adoptive parent of a child who is below the age of two may benefit from adoption leave of at least 10 weeks consecutively (or the parental leave referred to above – hence, if the adoption order is made in respect of two adoptive parents, the one may apply for parental leave and the other for adoption leave). This leave may commence on the date that the adoption order is granted or when a child is placed in the care of a prospective adoptive parent by a competent court pending finalisation of an adoption order in respect of that child.

• COMMISSIONING PARENTAL LEAVE
An employee who is commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement is entitled to commissioning parental leave of at least 10 weeks consecutively (or the parental leave referred to above). The employee may commence this leave on the date a child is born as a result of a surrogate motherhood agreement.

As a general rule, the employee must notify the employer in writing of the date (at least one month prior to the date of the event or as soon as is reasonably practicable) on which the employee intends to commence the particular leave and return to work after the said leave.

NOTE: These provisions are in addition to current statutory provisions in respect of family responsibility leave and maternity leave. The rules of the Sick Pay Fund have not been amended in respect of any of the above leave provisions.

Should you require any additional information or assistance, kindly contact Mr Anthony Boy, Executive Director: CEA on (011) 298-9412