ACCORDING to the Labour Relations and Labour Amendment Act of 2018, South African dads are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave after the birth of their newborn.

WHILE some companies give women time off before and after the birth of a child, now But some companies, such as Norvatis, are calling for both parents to get equal time off work after the birth of a child.

Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company, became one of the first companies to launch its global equal parental leave policy as part of its commitment to celebrating the life-changing importance of becoming a parent.

The ground-breaking move will give all new parents paid parental leave of a minimum of 14 weeks (three and a half months) following the birth, surrogacy or adoption of a child.

According to Dr Mohamed Kadwa, CEO at Novartis South Africa, the equal parental leave policy serves as a symbol of equality for all new parents.

He said: “This policy affords parents the means to enjoy greater flexibility and financial stability during one of the most important times of their lives.”

Novartis also offers the same services in countries such as Egypt, Germany, India, Mexico and Switzerland.

The Act also includes provision for 10 weeks of parental adoption leave, if the child is aged below two.

“As a multinational organisation, we strive to meet or exceed statutory requirements in the countries in which we operate.”

“In this instance, we’ve realised that extending the parental leave policy to all parents, regardless of gender or whether they gave birth to their baby or not, will drive our focus on diversity and inclusion,” saidThe doctor said this equal parental leave policy would also ensure both parents have the opportunity to bond with their children in the formative months.

Dr Kadwa said the policy also strives to make the workplace more inclusive.

It allows employers to support employees through the different stages of life and empowers them to make the best health choices for themselves and their families