Mères qui Travaillent - South Africa

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 17.14 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 60  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? No
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? One hour
What is the length of breastfeeding breaks? Breastfeeding breaks are provided for the first 6 month(s) of life of the child
Does the law require parental leave for parents? No
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? No

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.


More about maternity leave:

Maternity leave is provided and regulated under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Female workers are entitled to at least four consecutive months of maternity leave. The worker may commence maternity leave four weeks prior to the expected date of confinement or earlier if a medical practitioner certifies that it is necessary for the health of worker or her child. Also, a worker is not allowed to work within six weeks of child's birth unless a medical practitioner certifies her to do so.

In the event of a miscarriage in the third trimester of pregnancy or a stillbirth, the woman is entitled to six weeks of leave from the date of the miscarriage or stillbirth whether or not she has commenced maternity leave at the time of miscarriage or stillbirth.

The pregnant worker must notify her employer in writing at least four weeks prior to the date of commencement of maternity leave and when she intends returning to work from maternity leave.

Source: § 25 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 1997 (last amended in 2014)

It is not a requirement that employers pay workers during maternity leave. However, some companies may offer maternity benefit packages. In some workplaces, collective bargaining agreements allow for fully paid maternity leave for several months, or partly paid maternity leave for some months. For example, Pick n Pay allows their employees up to 11 months maternity leave, and pays their employees a portion of their salary for the period they are on maternity leave.

Workers on maternity leave may claim from their UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) if they have contributed to the fund for more than four months.

A worker, contributing to UIF, is eligible for a maternity benefit of 38% to 60% of their average earnings in the last six months, depending on the insured person's level of income. Maternity benefits are paid for a total of 17.32 weeks (six weeks in the event of a miscarriage or a stillborn child).

Workers who work for less than 24 hours a week are not entitled to sign up for UIF, and thus cannot access maternity benefits.

Source: § 12-13, 24 & 2nd Schedule of the Unemployment Insurance Act 2001 (last amended in 2003

More about parental leave:

No provisions could be located in the law supporting parental leave for new parents after exhaustion of maternity leave.