Know more about Maternity Benefits in South Africa

Read about Maternity Benefits in South Africa. Get more information about Maternity Leave, Laws, Rights and Benefits in South Africa at



Female employees have a right to four months maternity leave. By law your employer is not obliged to give you paid maternity leave, but you are entitled to four consecutive months of maternity leave. The maternity leave may begin at anytime from at least four weeks before the birth of the baby. the maternity leave may also be taken earlier if the woman's medical condition does not allow her to work.

Know Your Maternity Benefits

If you have been contributing to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)  you can claim from the Maternity Benefit Fund. 

Your maternity leave can start any time from four weeks before the expected date of birth or on a date a doctor or midwife says is necessary for her health or that of her unborn child. She also may not work for six weeks after the birth of her child unless declared fit to do so by a doctor or midwife.

Breaking  the news about your pregnancy to your employer might be a challenge. Don’t rush into it. Your employer’s response may not be what you expected and you need to be well prepared for any possible scenario.

Claim from the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund)

Women who want to clain from the UIF need to go to the nearest labour centre with these documents: an ID book or passport, banking details, medical certificate. If the woman is too ill to go to the centre, she can send someone on her behalf.

Job Security After Maternity Leave

There have been cases where women find themselves unemployed after maternity leave. This is illegal and goes against the South African labour relations act (Basic Conditions of Employment Act ). Women are entitled to their jobs when returning from maternity and do not have to be discriminated against.