The Congress of South African Trade Unions has welcomed the National Assembly’s passing of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill‚ saying it will see billions of rands released from the UIF into the pockets of workers to help them take care of their families.
“It will also help fathers play greater roles in taking care of their newborn children. We urge the National Council of Provinces to move with speed and pass this bill in the first quarter of 2018 so that it can come into effect‚” Cosatu said in a statement.
The bill governs paternity‚ parental and adoption leave.
Cosatu said this “progressive amendment bill” will provide workers with:
-10 days parental/ paternity leave for a father or non-birth giving mother when their child is born.
-10 weeks adoptions leave for one parent when adopting a child under two years old. The other parent will qualify for 10 days parental leave.
-Increase UIF benefits from 238 to 365 days.
-Increase maternity leave benefits to 66%.
-Cover workers who lost working hours due to reduced time at their work place.
-Separate maternity from UIF benefits and claims.
-Not exclude workers from UIF and maternity leave benefits if they are members of the Government Employees Pension Fund.
-Include public servants under the UIF and thus be covered in the event of dismissal.
-Include women who had miscarriages during the third trimester or a still born birth.
-Allow the family and/ or nominated beneficiary of deceased claimant to receive their benefits.
-Prohibit the charging of fees by any party to a UIF claimant.
-Allow the Minister for Labour to issue regulations for domestic workers and employees of small businesses and enterprises to ensure that they are covered.