Werknemers as Lasgewende Ouers in Surrogasie-Aangeleenthede: Die Geboorte van nuwe Verlof-behoeftes in Suid-Afrika / Employees as Commissioning Parents in Surrogacy Matters: The Birth of New Leave Requirements in South Africa


  • Anri Botes North-West University
  • Laetitia Fourie University of the Free State




leave, surrogacy, commissioning parents, basic conditions of employment act, labour law, labour laws amendment bill, verlof, surrogasie, Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes, gedeelde ouerskapsverlof, Verenigde Koninkryk


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.

Lasgewende ouers ingevolge ʼn surrogasie ooreenkoms beskik oor dieselfde ouerlike verpligtinge as tradisionele ouers teenoor hulle kind. Alhoewel dit waar is, word sedert die statutêre erkenning van surrogasie in die Kinderwet nog geen geskikte ouerskapverlof vir hierdie persone gebied om aan sodanige ouerlike verpligtinge te voldoen nie. Die enigste verlof tans tot lasgewende ouers se beskikking is drie dae gesinsverantwoordelikheidsverlof ingevolge artikel 27 van die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes 75 van 1997 (WBDV). Dit word aan die hand gedoen dat hierdie verlof onvoldoende is. In MIA v State Information Technology Agency 2015 36 ILJ 1905 (LC) het die Arbeidshof aangetoon dat wysigings in hierdie verband aan die arbeidswetgewing noodsaaklik is ten einde die betrokke leemte aan te spreek. Die Labour Laws Amendment Bill van 2015 het sedertdien relevante wysigings aan verlof tot die WBDV voorgestel. Terwyl die vermelde wysigings verwelkom word, is die periodes en die bestuur van die verskillende tipes voorgestelde verlof kommerwekkend en behoort dit aangespreek te word. Die resente regsontwikkeling in die Verenigde Koninkryk op hierdie gebied kan as ʼn waardevolle vergelykende maatstaf dien ten einde riglyne vir die verbetering van bogenoemde konsepwet te bied. Sodoende kan ook die Suid-Afrikaanse reg die belange van die partye tot ʼn surrogaatooreenkoms, insluitende die van die kind daaruit gebore, na behore beskerm

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Author Biography

Laetitia Fourie, University of the Free State

Department of Mercantile Law


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How to Cite

Botes, A., & Fourie, L. (2017). Werknemers as Lasgewende Ouers in Surrogasie-Aangeleenthede: Die Geboorte van nuwe Verlof-behoeftes in Suid-Afrika / Employees as Commissioning Parents in Surrogacy Matters: The Birth of New Leave Requirements in South Africa. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 20, 1–39. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2017/v20i0a1373




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