An academic research report suggests if infertility was to be considered a disability under South African labour law, it would require employers to reasonably accommodate infertile employees.
This would include the duty to provide appropriate leave for the unique circumstances of surrogacy and adoption.
This means employees who have infertility would finally get recourse under the law to lodge a claim of unfair discrimination should they be treated differently in the awarding of parental leave due to their unique circumstances.
Azania Mosaka spoke to Patrick Deale, Labour Law specialist at Deale Attorneys.
There is merit in the proposition... I think another alternative to taking that route ... is to look at it as the need for taking time off for a person who isn't infertile and wants to either adopt a child or to have a child through surrogacy.— Patrick Deale, Labour Law specialist at Deale Attorneys
To take that route and to classify the definition of family responsibility leave - which already exists in the basic conditions of employment - and to use that as the avenue to introduce the notion of children who are born through surrogacy as a consequence of infertility as opposed to going the unfair discrimination route.— Patrick Deale, Labour Law specialist at Deale Attorneys
It is more readily expandable if you would like to accommodate this because already it talks about the need to take time off for a child when it's born.— Patrick Deale, Labour Law specialist at Deale Attorneys
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This article first appeared on 702 : How South Africa can redefine disability to include fertility