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PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

On-line version ISSN 1727-3781

Abstract

BOTES, Anri  and  FOURIE, Laetitia. Employees as commissioning parents in surrogacy matters: the birth of new leave requirements in South Africa. PER [online]. 2017, vol.20, n.1, pp.1-39. ISSN 1727-3781.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2017/v20n0a1373.

Commissioning parents, in terms of a surrogacy agreement, have the same parental obligations towards their child as traditional parents. Yet, despite the legitimising of surrogacy in the Children's Act 38 of 2005, no provision has been made for suitable parental leave to be granted to these persons so that they may fulfil their parental obligations. The only leave that is currently available to commissioning parents is three days family responsibility leave in terms of section 27 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (BCEA). It is submitted that this leave is insufficient. In MIA v State Information Technology Agency 2015 36 ILJ 1905 (LC), the Labour Court indicated that amendments to labour legislation are necessary to address the lacuna in this respect. The Labour Laws Amendment Bill of 2015 has since proposed relevant amendments to such leave in terms of the BCEA. While the amendments are welcomed, the proposed period and management of the different types of leave give rise to concern and should be addressed. The latest developments in the United Kingdom in the field of parental leave make it a worthy comparator to provide guidelines for the improvement of the abovementioned Bill. In so doing, South African law can also sufficiently protect the interests of the parties to a surrogacy agreement, including the child born in terms thereof.

Keywords : Leave; surrogacy; Law on Basic Conditions of Employment Act; Labour Laws; Amendment Bill; surrogacy agreement; United Kingdom.

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