All you need to know about Parental leave laws in SA

August 1, 2019


As a South African Employee, it can be very frustrating to breakthrough the endless red tape to find out what the laws are on maternity and paternity leave. Due to a high volume of questions received regarding these laws, we have decided to create a short but insightful post that includes everything you need to know about parental leave laws.

As we all know, South African mothers are entitled to four months unpaid maternity leave which comes with a guarantee that her job will still be there when she returns to work.


In terms UIF, a new mother can claim from UIF for 17 weeks, in addition Mothers who miscarry in the third trimester or have a stillborn child can claim for 6 weeks. The UIF benefit can range between 38 - 58% of an employee's salary, your UIF claim can only go up to a maximum of R12 478, an Employee will not receive more than this maximum amount no matter how high their normal salary is. 

Some Employers pay their Employees in part or full when on maternity leave. In the event that an Employer does not pay the full 100% salary of an Employee, the outstanding amount can be claimed from UIF.

While the above maternity laws have been in place for quite some time, new fathers/partners are now getting the opportunity to apply for paternity leave, as well as claim from UIF. Previously new fathers/partners were only entitled to three days paid family responsibility leave. However, this was changed in November 2018 when the new Labour Laws Amendment Act was signed into law.

An Employee who is a parent not covered by maternity leave is entitled to 10 consecutive days of paternity leave after the birth of their children and as of January 2019, they can now claim paternity leave from UIF. The good news is that paternal UIF claims can go up to 66% of the employees salary. If possible, the remaining amount can be negotiated with the Employer, this is however not the Employers responsibility but rather a co-payment if given will be out of goodwill.

We hope that the above information was helpful, if you have any additional questions about parental leave please feel free to contact us anytime!
Virtue HR Solutions Team.

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