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ACDP: Companies must allow parental leave for male employees now

Labour Laws Amendment Bill, which provides for 10 days’ leave for fathers on the birth of their baby and 10 weeks for adoptive parents, was approved by NCOP committee.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says companies should allow male employees to take parental leave ahead of the implementation of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill.

The bill, which provides for 10 days’ leave for fathers on the birth of their baby and 10 weeks for adoptive parents of a child under the age of two, was approved by a committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.

It’s among four labour bills – including that which will introduce a national minimum wage – that must now be approved by a plenary sitting of the NCOP before President Cyril Ramaphosa can sign them into law.

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill was introduced by the ACDP’s Cheryllyn Dudley. She says the NCOP is likely to approve it later this month and that its implementation date is set down for the beginning of October.

“This is an invitation for men to get back into that place where they can take up the responsibilities that are rightfully theirs and actually be a major part of their children’s lives.”

Dudley is now calling on companies to allow male employees three to 10 days’ parental leave and to carry the cost of this until the bill takes effect. Once the bill becomes law, parental leave will be paid for through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

She says her party recently covered the cost of 10 days’ leave for one of their parliamentary staffers on the birth of his first-born child.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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