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What should you do if an employee in a same sex relationship applies for adoption leave?

by , 04 April 2014
In South Africa, same sex couples are allowed to adopt children. This means you could face a situation where an employee who is in a same sex relationship asks you for time off because she's adopting a child. Would you know what to do when faced with this situation? Continue reading, we'll tell you everything about adoption leave you need to know about same sex couples and adoption leave so you can avoid unfair discrimination.

Who's entitled to maternity leave?

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) says the following types of employees are entitled to maternity leave:

#1: Any female employee who's pregnant, regardless of her length of service

#2: Any employee who adopts a child under the age of two is entitled to adoption leave and adoption benefits of four months from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF); and

#3: If an employee has a miscarriage in her third trimester of pregnancy, or bears a stillborn child, she's entitled to six weeks maternity leave after the miscarriage or stillbirth.

So where does this leave same sex couples who want to take adoption leave?
 

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Warning!

You'll be another unfair labour practice statistic at the CCMA if you don't know the answers to these 71 maternity leave questions...


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The following rules apply when it comes to adoption leave for same sex couples

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says there's no legislative leave granted to adoptive parents, but, the Unemployment Insurance Fund Act provides for the payment of adoption benefits for an adoptive parent.

The Loose Leaf Service adds that 'until the law changes, this type of adoption leave is a matter of negotiation between you and your employee.'

For example, Get Smarter says 'in the case of same-sex couples adopting a child, one parent should be designated the four-month maternity leave, while the other takes the three-day family responsibility leave.'

The site adds that in general, fairness must prevail in the adoption scenario and you must establish policies in this regard to ensure consistency and fairness. This way, won't discriminate against same sex couples when they ask for adoption leave.

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