Should you get time off work to look after your parents?

30 July 2018 - 15:35 By Nivashni Nair
Hendri Terblanche said elder care was just as important as childcare.
Hendri Terblanche said elder care was just as important as childcare.
Image: © Sandra.Matic/shutterstock.com

Hendri Terblanche‚ who successful petitioned Parliament to allow men to get more days off to take care of their newborns‚ now wants the roles reversed for adult children and their elderly parents.

Terblanche is again petitioning Parliament‚ this time to amend the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 to include "parent‚ adoptive or grandparent" in the section relating to time off work - or to introduce a new leave called "Elder Care Leave" to allow for time to care for an aging parent who is sick or terminally ill.

In a letter to the National Council of Provinces‚ Terblanche said elder care was just as important as childcare. Therefore‚ employees should receive three days paid leave‚ or six weeks unpaid leave‚ when a parent or adoptive parent is ill.

"As the population in South Africa ages‚ more time needs to be devoted to take better care of our elders. Our parents have dedicated their whole lives to take care of us to the best of their abilities and now it is our time to take care of our parents to the best of our abilities.

"Legislation and policies such as family responsibility leave have however been developed around the role of the parent as caregiver and not the receiver of care-giving‚" Terblanche said.

In April‚ Terblanche wrote to NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise to ask Parliament to charge zero tax on water provided by municipalities to households.

Terblanche was behind the landmark amendment which allows fathers at least 10 days' paternity leave.

In November‚ the National Assembly passed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill‚ introduced as a private member's bill by African Christian Democratic Party MP Cheryllyn Dudley. Now it just has to be voted on by the NCOP and get the presidential signature before it becomes law.


READ MORE: 

X