Long labour for birth of paternity leave

The Sunday Times reports that countless fathers have been left out in the cold after the government failed to make good on new legislation giving them 10 days’ paid paternity leave. An amendment to the law was ratified last November and 1 January was earmarked for implementation, but the department of labour has not activated it.  Men currently do not qualify for any paid paternity leave. Wessel van den Berg, a manager at NGO Sonke Gender Justice, said:  “Data shows that in SA, women do eight times as much unpaid care work as men.”  He added that paternity leave was “a major step forward in breaking down the stereotypes of men as breadwinners and women as caregivers”, and that the delay in implementation of the new Labour Laws Amendment Act was adding to women’s burden.

The department of labour referred The Sunday Times to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), which redirected the query back to the department. Department spokesperson, Thembinkosi Mkalilpi, said parental leave was “passed by parliament and signed into law by the president”, but the UIF was “not ready with their systems”. UIF spokesperson Lungelo Mkamba said on Tuesday:  “That falls within the ambit of the department of labour.  We cannot do anything until they say so.”  But on Thursday he updated his statement:  “We are busy finalising regulations and working around the clock to be systems-ready before we start implementation.  The matter is receiving our urgent attention and we hope to start the implementation soon.”

by Tanya Farber
Ref: SA Labour News


Greenpeace Africa sets up ‘hospital’ protest scene at Eskom head office

Engineering News reports that anti-pollution activists from Greenpeace Africa on Tuesday blocked the entrance to State-owned power utility Eskom’s Megawatt Park head office, in Johannesburg. The environmental organisation confirmed in a statement that the activists used a makeshift emergency hospital scene to highlight the “premature deaths and disease caused by pollution out of the utility’s […]

Legal aid staff strike over reduced benefits

EWN writes that Legal Aid South Africa staff have gone on strike over reduced employee benefits due to budget cuts. The group raised their concerns with the Department of Justice in May this year, however, they claimed that management ignored their pleas for help. Monday’s strike comes after employees were granted permission to strike. Legal […]