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COSATU welcomes National Assembly's passing of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill
COSATU welcomes the National Assembly's passing of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill today. This bill will see billions of rands released from the UIF into the pockets of workers and thus help them take care of their families and spur local economies. It will also help fathers play greater roles in taking care of their new born children. We urge the National Council of Provinces to move with speed and pass this bill in the first quarter of 2018 so that it can come into effect.
The federation would like to thank the Members of the Portfolio Committee on Labour for their unanimous and progressive support for this bill. We would like to thank in particular, the author of the bill, Ms. Cheryllyn Dudley for responding to the long standing call of COSATU for paternity, parental and adoption leave. We would also like to thank Mr. Hendri Terblanche whose petition to Parliament in support of paternity leave helped spur this bill. This is the second private member's bill to be passed by Parliament since 1994.We have fought long and hard for this progressive amendment bill as it will provide workers with:
- 10 days parental/ paternity leave for a father or non-birth giving mother when their child is born.
- 10 weeks adoptions leave for one parent when adopting a child under 2 years. The other parent will qualify for 10 days parental leave.
- Increase UIF benefits from 238 to 365 days.
- Increase maternity leave benefits to 66%.
- Cover workers who lost working hours due to reduced time at their work place. Include learnerships.
- Separate maternity from UIF benefits and claims.
- Not exclude workers from UIF and maternity leave benefits if they are members of the Government Employees Pension Fund.
- Include public servants under the UIF and thus be covered in the event of dismissal.
- Include women who had miscarriages during the third trimester or a still born birth.
- Allow the family and/ or nominated beneficiary of deceased claimant to receive their benefits.
- Prohibit the charging of fees by any party to a UIF claimant.
- Allow the Minister for Labour to issue regulations for domestic workers and employees of small businesses and enterprises to ensure that they are covered.
Lastly COSATU hopes that in future the Ministry and the Department of Labour will address their capacity challenges and avoid repeating the many delays they caused before Parliament could pass this bill. This passing of this bill is long overdue and if it had been passed earlier it would have greatly assisted the thousands of mine and other workers who have lost their jobs over the past few years.
For more information please contact Matthew Parks- Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687