The much-anticipated amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Unemployment Insurance Fund Act (UIFA) are nearing implementation. On 4 September 2019, the Minister referred the amendments and the corresponding regulations to the Unemployment Insurance Board for consultation. The next steps will be Gazetting for public comments before the legislation is finalised.
“The conclusion of this process,” says John Botha: COO of Global Business Solutions, “will see employees being entitled to 10 days of paid parental leave or 10 weeks of paid adoption or commissioning parental leave based on the choice of the individuals concerned.” The periods when the employees are absent from work will be paid at 66% of their salary (up to a threshold) and will be funded by the Unemployment Insurance Fund. “Although it is a step in providing some paid relief for employees in these contexts,” concludes Botha, “the reality is that employers will have to up their workforce planning and scheduling as well as amend their human resources policies as may be appropriate.”