According to the promulgation of the amendments to the Unemployment Insurance- and the Basic Conditions of Employment Acts during 2019, parents are now entitled to take ten (10) days Parental Leave per annum.
Payment for the aforementioned leave can be claimed from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Such payment will be determined by the Department of Labour. Employers are therefore not legally obliged to pay employees for time off due to Parental Leave. The payment for Parental Leave is therefore similar to that of unpaid Maternity Leave as regulated by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Parental Leave will apply to all employees who do not qualify for maternity leave. These employees will be entitled to ten (10) days unpaid Parental Leave when their child is born or when an adoption order is granted.
In cases of adoption of a child under the age of two (2) years, the adoptive parent will be entitled to ten (10) weeks of Adoptive Leave (two months and two weeks). Where there are two (2) adoptive parents, the one will be entitled to ten (10) weeks Adoptive Leave and the other will be entitled to ten (10) days Parental Leave.
In the event of a surrogacy agreement, the one parent will be entitled to ten (10) weeks Commissioning Parental Leave whilst the other will qualify for ten (10) days Parental Leave.
Employers are advised to amend their leave policies and/or clauses in their contracts of employment dealing with leave to include the aforementioned. Failure to do so will not revoke the entitlement to parental leave but will automatically incorporate it into the contract by virtue of the amendment to legislation.