Legislative Changes to Maternity and Paternity Benefits Take Effect
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Following the announcement by the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport on 26 July 2019, the legislative changes to modernise maternity and paternity benefits were passed by the House of Assembly and will come into effect on 1 January 2020. The Employment (Maternity Leave Extension and Paternity Leave) Amendment Act 2019 (“the Act”) now provides for thirteen (13) paid weeks maternity leave for employees who have been employed with the company for one continuous year and thirteen (13) unpaid weeks maternity leave for employees who have not employed for one continuous year by the expected date of delivery.
Paternity benefits will now include five (5) days of paid leave for an employee who has worked for one continuous year by the expected date of delivery, otherwise time taken may be unpaid. It is important to note that paternity leave is only allowed to be taken “once during a 12 month period beginning with the date on which the child is born and such leave shall be taken within a period not exceeding 14 weeks from that date.”
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