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Cosatu backs ACDP’s proposal for parental, adoption leave

The Bill aims to provide for paid leave for parents who adopt a child or have one through a surrogate mother.

FILE: Picture: freeimages.com.

CAPE TOWN - Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it hopes there will be cross-party support for a new Bill that aims to provide for paid leave for parents who adopt a child or have one through a surrogate mother.

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill, if passed, will amend both the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act.

It also aims to allow new fathers ten days' paternity leave.

Parliament's labour portfolio committee is holding public hearings on the Bill.

The private members' bill was drafted by the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)'s Cheryllyn Dudley, to end discrimination against parents who adopt children or commission a child from a surrogate mother, when it comes to paid leave.

Current legislation provides for four months' maternity leave for mothers who bear their own children, and a few days' family responsibility leave for fathers.

Cosatu's Matthew Parks says the trade union federation strongly supports the Bill.

"We really feel this is a Bill is going to benefit millions of mothers, fathers and children and will be a key building block to making South Africa a progressive society."

Sonke Gender Justice has stressed the importance of fathers being able to bond with their children.

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