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Is paternity leave a real thing?

by , 11 April 2014
The truth is: There's no actually law for 'paternity leave'. New moms have the right to four months maternity leave. But there isn't an actual equivalent of maternity leave for men. But what new dads can do is take family responsibility leave. Here are the three most important things you need to know this type of leave...

'I had a family emergency and I couldn't make it to work'
Are you tired of your employee's excuses? 
To stop your employees from taking you for a ride, you need to know exactly when you have to give employees family responsibility leave and when you don't. Find out how…
The truth about paternity leave
It's important for the well being of newborns and new families that they have stability. So it's no wonder that new dads want to be there for the first few days after their child is born. But here in SA, there's no such thing as paternity leave really and that's the first thing about this type of leave you need to know. 
The only option dads have is to take family responsibility leave. This allows them to take three days off and for many fathers this isn't really enough. However, as Labour Law for Managers says you can give your employee more days off but this is up to you. 
Greeff Attorney adds that if a new dad takes family responsibility leave for their child's birth, they can't take anymore for the rest of the year. This is the next important thing for you to remember because new dads don't get any special extra leave. Once they've used their family responsibility leave, that's it for the next 12 months. 
The last thing to remember is that there's nothing stopping your employee from taking family responsibility leave and annual leave together. This will give them more time at home with their new little family and it's something that new dads often do. 
But that's not all we need to tell you about paternity leave…
Do you have questions about maternity leave?
Sure, you can ask your questions on various HR websites and forums out there, but not only will you wait days for a response, when you eventually get an answer, how will you know it's legally correct according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and other labour legislation?
There are different names for family responsibility leave 
The reason for the confusion is that so many people call family responsibility leave compassionate leave or bereavement leave. However, these are all the same thing and the amount of leave doesn't change. So keep this in mind the next time one of your employees asks you for paternity, compassionate or bereavement leave.

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