May 2021 2nd Edition

Fathers can claim UIF parental benefit

Written by More Matshediso

Fathers can take 10 consecutive days of unpaid parental leave after the birth of their child and claim UIF benefits. 

Did you know that qualifying fathers can claim parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)?

The UIF started processing claims for contributing and qualifying beneficiaries for parental benefits in November 2019.

According to the UIF, the benefit followed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signing of a proclamation to provide parental benefits in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

On 27 November 2018, the President signed the Labour Laws Amendment Act (LLAA) into law, which effected amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act in a number of areas, including parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave. This also effected amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act of 2001.

In terms of the LLAA, an employee is entitled to 10 days parental leave upon the birth of the employee’s child.

The law states that parental leave may also be applicable where an employee legally adopts a child or when a child is placed by a court in the care of a prospective adoptive parent.

On 23 December 2019, the President announced the commencement date for parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave (this relates to surrogate motherhood) from 1 January 2020. The LLAA then introduced the new leave entitlements, including parental leave.

According to the department, fathers can take 10 consecutive days of unpaid parental leave after the birth of their child. However, they must first apply for leave from their employers to be eligible for the benefit.

“They will not receive a full salary during the 10 days’ leave. The employees must be registered and contributing to the UIF to qualify, and the claim is calculated on a flat rate of 66% of the contributable remuneration,” the department explains.

“Male and female employees may qualify for parental leave, depending on the circumstances. However, if the employee gave birth to the child, she won’t qualify for parental leave because she is already entitled to four months’ maternity leave.”

The department says contributors will not be entitled to parental benefits if they were not employed and contributing to the UIF for 13 weeks prior to applying.

If you are a contributing and qualifying beneficiary, all you need to do is visit any Labour Centre to submit relevant documents.  

More information, supporting documents and forms are available at

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