Adoption Leave and Pay
- Eligible employees can take up to 52 weeks adoption leave.
- To qualify employees must have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption.
- Up to ten keep in touch days can be worked during the period of adoption leave.
- Employees may be entitled to 39 weeks of statutory adoption pay.
An eligible employee can take up to 52 weeks adoption leave. This is made up of 26 weeks Ordinary Adoption Leave and 26 weeks Additional Adoption Leave. To qualify for adoption leave, an employee must:
- be newly matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency
- have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption.
Adoption leave and pay are available to:
- individuals who adopt
- one member of a couple where a couple adopt jointly (the couple must choose which partner takes adoption leave).
The partner of an individual who adopts, or the other member of a couple who are adopting jointly, may be entitled to paternity or additional paternity leave and pay.
Employees must give their employer documentary proof to show that you have the right to paid Statutory Adoption Leave. This is usually a matching certificate from your adoption agency. The adoption agency must be recognised in the UK.
Statutory adoption leave can start either:
- from the date the child starts living with the employee
- up to 14 days before the date the child is expected to start living with the employee.
Employees should tell the employer within seven days of being told that they have been matched with a child, if this is not possible they must tell the employer as soon as possible.
Some employers may offer adoption leave and pay that are more favourable than the statutory scheme; this may form part of the terms of your contract of employment. If the employee qualifies it will be payable for 39 weeks at the statutory.
Reform of flexible parental leave
Under a new system of flexible parental leave, parents will be able to choose how they share care of their child in the first year after birth. Employed mothers will still be entitled to 52 weeks of adoption leave; however, working parents will be able to opt to share the leave.
The Government will legislate on this in 2014 and will introduce the changes to flexible parental leave in 2015. Further information is available from GOV.UK - Reform of flexible parental leave.
Statutory Adoption Pay
From April 2012 the rate of statutory adoption pay is £135.45 per week. This will increase from 7th April 2013 to £136.78.
Keep in touch days
Both parties should agree when and how the employer will keep in contact, this may be via e mail, telephone contact etc, employees should also agree with their employer if they will work the "keeping in touch" days, these can be used for training days, team events etc.
Up to ten keeping in touch days can be worked, and there is no provision for these days to be paid, this should be agreed between employee and employer. Statutory Adoption Pay may be paid or this may be off set against any contractual pay agreed.