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Adoptive parents are to enjoy better employment rights

Improvements to adoption leave and pay entitlements are to be introduced to give more support for people who want to adopt, the Government has recently announced.

The package of changes includes increasing paid leave for people adopting a child. Adoption pay and leave are to be brought in line with those enjoyed by biological parents, so that adoptive parents and their children have more time to bond in the crucial early stages of a relationship.

Adoptive parents will also be given the right to take time off work to meet the children they are set to adopt before they move in with the family. It's hoped that this provision will help make the transition to a new family as smooth as possible.

The reforms apply to England only, and no timeframe has yet been given for their introduction.

Under current rules, qualifying employees can take up to 26 weeks Ordinary Adoption Leave and a further 26 weeks Additional Adoption Leave. To qualify, an employee must be newly matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency, and have worked continuously for 26 weeks for their employer ending with the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption.

Acas provides useful guidance on Adoption leave and pay and runs practical training courses on issues relating to Maternity, paternity and adoption.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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