The Bill was passed in Parliament at the end of November 2017, but what does that actually mean for fathers?
At present, Fathers are not entitled to the 10 days’ paternity leave as provided for in the Bill. The 10 days’ paternity leave will only come into effect once the Bill has been reviewed by the National Council of Provinces and passed into law by our President. Fathers of new born babies will still have to take family responsibility leave as no provision is made for paternity leave or for paternity leave for adoption or surrogacy in our current legislation.
Family responsibility leave is only 3 days’ per year and fathers are reminded that in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (Section 27), they will only be entitled to family responsibility leave after working for 4 months and at least 4 days a week. Alternatively, a father would have to request annual or unpaid leave.
Once the Bill is passed into law, what parental leave will fathers, adoptive parents and surrogacy parents be entitled to?  

  • 10 days’ paid paternity leave;
  • 10 weeks’ paternal adoption leave (on provision that the baby is not older than 2 years and only applies to 1 parent);
  • 10 weeks’ surrogacy leave;
  • Increased UIF and maternity benefits.

Once the Bill is signed by the President, it becomes an Act of Parliament and a law of the land. Fathers are warned that they do not automatically qualify for paternity leave and that their name MUST be on the child’s birth certificate.