Parliament's Labour Portfolio Committee chairperson Lemias Mashile has welcomed the signing into law of the Labour Laws Amendment Bill.
The Labour Laws Amendment Bill now sees parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave to employees of up to 10 days. The bill accords fathers of children, whether blood related, adopted or commissioned child to qualify for paid paternal leave if employed.
Commissioning parental leave is a form of leave available to persons who come to parenthood through surrogacy.
"The bill is important in the context that it started as a private members bill. The committee is confident that the bill responds adequately to the current and changing socio-economic conditions that are prevalent in the country," said Mashile in a statement.
Mashile said the committee remains of the view that the amendments are necessary to improve bonding between parents and the child, and strengthen family relations.
"Furthermore, the committee remains of the view that the amendments are broad and their gender neutrality will play a leading role in advancing equality. The committee encourages parents to take full advantage of the new law to the benefit of individuals and families," he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the amendment bill on Friday and had been tabled by African Christian Democratic Party MP Cheryllyn Dudley.