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You don't have to pay for maternity leave. But these are your options if you decide to pay...

by , 07 September 2015
You don't have to pay your employee while she's on maternity leave.

The BCEA only requires that you give your pregnant employee at least four consecutive months' maternity leave. It's at your company's discretion to pay all, or a portion of, the employee's salary during maternity leave.

But if you decide to pay for maternity leave, these are your options...


***Case law***
 
Maternity leave case law and how it affects your maternity leave policy

This MIA v State Information Technology case refers to a male parent (employee) who lodged a successful unfair discrimination claim against his employer for not being awarded maternity leave when his child was born by a surrogate.

We've all come to accept that maternity leave will only be awarded to pregnant female employees. But this judgement requires you to revisit your maternity leave policies to ensure they are not the subjects of unfair discrimination claims by parents who are not giving birth to their children.

So how do you make sure your maternity leave policy is labour law proof?

Click here to find out…
***

Your options if you decide to pay for maternity leave

Option #1: She can't leave the company for six/twelve months after maternity leave
If you offer paid maternity leave, you can specify that she must stay at the company for at least six or twelve months after returning to work. Otherwise she'll have to repay the pro-rated maternity leave.

Option #2: Leave with full pay and full benefits
Your employee will continue to receive her normal salary and her normal staff benefits while she's on maternity leave.

Keep reading for two more options…


***Recommended product***

Get more than just answers to your burning maternity leave questions...
 
Your Maternity Leave Solution is an easy-to-use, electronic report brought to you by the team of experts behind The Practical Guide to Human Resources and Labour Law for Managers.

With Your Maternity Leave Solution you'll not only get 33 legally compliant answers to your burning maternity leave questions, you'll also get:
  • A sample maternity leave policy you can customise to suit your business;
  • A sample of the Acknowledgement of Maternity Pay Notice;
  • A sample Breastfeeding Policy;
  • All the relevant UIF forms you need to fill in for your employee;
  • And much more…
With all this at your disposal, you can rest assured Your Maternity Leave Solution will solve all your maternity leave headache.

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***

Last two options for maternity leave...

Option #3: Leave without pay but with benefits
You won't pay your employee her normal salary but will pay her normal staff benefits. Membership of the retirement fund continues for this period. You can elect to only pay a portion of the normal contribution and she will pay the remainder of her contributions to the fund for her maternity period.

Group Life cover should continue for this period. This can include death, temporary disability, permanent disability and funeral policy. You can elect to cover the single rate of cover for your employee and she'll cover the remainder of her contributions.

If your company provides medical aid, then the medical aid cover must continue to ensure full cover. You must decide how you'll fund it, i.e. the employee pays or you pay it as a loan which the employee may need to pay back when she returns to work.

Option #4: Leave without pay and without benefits
You don't pay your employee during this period.

Membership of the retirement fund continues but your employee can either take a 'rest period' or make no contributions to the fund, or she's responsible for the full contribution.

Group Life cover should continue for this period. This can include death, temporary disability, permanent disability and funeral policy. Your employee will have to cover the full amount of her contributions.

If your company provides medical aid, then the medical aid cover must continue to ensure full cover. Your employee is fully responsible for the full contribution amount.

Note: Maternity leave was previously awarded to female employees. Since the recent MIA v State Information Technology case, the rules have changed. Join labour law expert, Lizle Louw, for a 2-hour breakfast where she'll show you:
  • What the judgement from this case means for your employees;
  • What to amend in your maternity leave policy so you're not accused of unfair discrimination; and
  • Other policies that may be affected by this judgement.

Click here for more details…

P.S. How sure are you that your HR department's current processes aren't a lawsuit waiting to happen? How certain are you that one small oversight won't end up costing your company R2.7 million in fines? How confident are you that you won't land at the CCMA defending a case for following a faulty HR process? Don't take a chance when you don't have to. Protect your company with the ultimate HR resource tool...
 


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