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Extended Parental Leave: NEASA to file Amicus Curiae Application

Jan 30, 2023



Dear employer

As previously communicated, a recent case has been filed at the High Court of Johannesburg, wherein three applicants are requesting the Court to declare the sections of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) which deal with maternity leave, as unconstitutional. The applicants argue that these sections unfairly discriminate against fathers of new-born children, “by unjustifiably limiting their rights to paternity leave in South Africa.”

Amongst the relief sought by the applicants, they are requesting that the definition of ‘maternity leave’ be expanded to include ‘parental-’ and ‘care giving leave’.

The effect of the above, should the Court decide in the applicants’ favour, would be that all employees, male or female, who is either giving birth to a child, or is in any manner the primary or secondary care giver of the child (adoptive parent, biological father etc.), will qualify for four (4) months of leave, with equal benefits.

NEASA, on 13 January 2023, requested the consent of the applicants and the respondent to join the matter as an amicus curiae (friend of the Court), to argue the effects of the above on employers before the Court. The relief sought by the applicants seek to directly affect the labour law landscape. It will directly impact human resource management, operating costs and employee relations. 

As an amicus curiae, NEASA shall not only assist the Court and the parties by placing the matter within the perspective of employers, but will also provide valuable submissions on constitutional issues over and above that provided by the current parties. 

NEASA will proceed with bringing an application to Court in order to join the matter.

We will keep employers abreast of the developments in this regard. 

For more information:
NEASA Media Department


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