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Resource centre - Parenting

your rights – new moms & dads

Basic Guide to Maternity Leave by Zopedol - last modified 2008-05-30

Pregnant women may take 4 months of maternity leave, starting 1 month before their due date.

Application

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act applies to all employers and workers, but not -

• members of the -
 – National Defence Force,
 – National Intelligence Agency, or
 – South African Secret Service; or
• unpaid volunteers working for charity.

The section of the Act that regulate working hours does not apply to:

• workers in senior management
• sales staff who travel and regulate their own working hours
• workers who work less than 24 hours in a month
• workers who earn more than R115 572 per year
• workers engaged in emergency work are excluded from certain provisions.

See

Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Applies to all employers and workers and regulates leave, working hours, employment contracts, deductions, pay slips, and termination

Number of Leave Days

Pregnant workers are entitled to at least 4 consecutive months of maternity leave.

Based on Legislation in Section 25, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Timing of Leave

Workers may take maternity leave 1 month before their due date, or earlier or later as agreed or required for health reasons.

Workers may not go back to work within 6 weeks after the birth unless their doctor or midwife say it is safe.
Based on Legislation in Section 25, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Safety of Pregnant or Nursing Workers

A worker who is pregnant or nursing may not do work that is unsafe for her or her child.
Based on Legislation in Section 26, of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act

Paternity Leave

Fathers can claim three days family responsibility leave on the birth of their child.

Adoptive Parents

Adoptive parents can each claim three days family responsibility leave on the adoption of a child.

Fathers and adoptive parents who want to take family responsibility leave may be required to provide proof of the need to take leave.

for more detailed information please refer to the Labour Department's website www.labour.gov.za and www.capegateway.gov.za