KNOW YOUR MATERNITY AND PATERNITY RIGHTS


Of course you need to stay at home with your new baby for a few weeks – you just have to think ahead about and put in leave well before the big day. Here’s what you and your partner are entitled to.


Unless you’ve done it before, you probably can’t imagine the chaos, confusion, nerves, noise, odd smells and lack of sleep that come with a new baby in the house.

Labour law in South Africa allows you a decent break from work so you can focus on your new role as a parent. Thanks to new amendments, your partner can also take a shift. What’s more, this applies to adoption and commissioned parents (using a surrogate mother) as well.



YOUR TIME OFF
Here’s what you’re entitled to. Mums can take four consecutive months of maternity leave. It can start any time from at least four weeks before the expected birth date.

If you’re not well enough to work, you can take it earlier. You can’t be fired while pregnant or on this leave and you have the right to return to the same position you held before.

You have to apply for maternity leave a month before your due date. Earlier is better, though, in case something happens and you have to leave sooner. If you want to start working again in less than six weeks after the birth, you need a doctor’s approval.



A HELPING HAND
A new amendment to the labour laws is good news for partners, who can now take ten consecutive days of parental leave from the baby’s birth date. You just have to discuss with your employer when you want to take it.

With the adoption of a child younger than two years, the law now allows ten consecutive weeks for a single parent or one partner. The other partner can take ten days, so you have to decide who takes which. The leave can start on the day the adoption order is granted.

Parents who have a baby through a surrogate mother have a choice. One can take parental leave of ten consecutive weeks and the other can have normal parental leave of ten days.



GETTING PAID
Keeping a baby healthy and happy isn’t cheap, so you might be worried about where the money will come from while you’re not working. Your employer might agree to pay you part of all of your salary, but doesn’t have to.

That’s where the unemployment benefit insurance comes in. It is now paid for all types of parental leave. You have to apply at least eight weeks before the child is born. The claim can be for up to 17 weeks – now also in case of a miscarriage in the third trimester or a stillborn child.

If you contribute to UIF, you are eligible for a maternity benefit if you’ll be getting less than your normal pay while at home looking after baby. How much you get, depends on your average salary over the previous six months. 


A SLIGHT COMPLICATION
The enactment of the law has been delayed so UIF can have time to update their system for the new claims. What’s more, the department of labour decided to introduce the benefits in three steps. Officially, parental benefits have been available from 31 July 2019. Adoption benefits are supposed to kick in on 11 October 2019 and commissioning parental benefits on 20 December 2019. 


It’s confusing – so what can you do? Ask Human Resources in your company to find out and keep you in the loop, ask at a labour centre and keep your eye on the business news. It will happen and hopefully even on time.

PAPERWORK
Getting signed up for these benefits takes some legwork. You’ll have to visit your nearest labour centre a few times, but you are allowed to send someone in your place.

Taking along the right documents will save you a lot of time and frustration. Here’s the list: ID or passport, form UI-2.8 for banking details, form UI-2.7, form UI-2.3 (application form), a medical certificate from a doctor or the baby’s birth certificate and form UI-4 (follow-up form).

You can download all the forms from links here (http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/documents/forms/unemployment-insurance-fund/forms-and-sample-documents)

With all that sorted, you can get back to price-checking baby clothes…

Sources: mywage.co.za, briefly.co.za, businesstech.co.za, www.labourwise.co.za, www.gov.za.



KNOW YOUR MATERNITY AND PATERNITY RIGHTS KNOW YOUR MATERNITY AND PATERNITY RIGHTS Reviewed by Jet Club on August 15, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.