Returning to work after you've adopted a child
Telling your employer when you'll return
You do not need to tell your employer when you’ll return to work. But if you know the date you want to return, you can let your employer know before you leave. This will help your employer plan for your return.
If you do not tell your employer about a return date
If you’re not sure when you want to return or you do not give your employer a return date, they’ll assume you’ll return to work after 52 weeks.
Changing the date you return
If you want to return to work early, you must give your employer 8 weeks’ notice.
It might be possible to agree a return date with less than 8 weeks’ notice but only if your employer agrees.
Not returning to work
If you do not want to return to work after your adoption leave, you must give your employer notice. Check your employment contract to find out how much notice you must give.
Return to work rights
If you’ve taken adoption leave of up to 26 weeks
You have the right to return to the same job.
If you’ve taken adoption leave of more than 26 weeks
You have the right to return to the same job unless your employer has a good reason to offer you another one. For example, if the job no longer exists or there have been changes to the organisation, your employer must offer you a suitable alternative job.
In this case, the job cannot be worse for you than your previous job. For example, the job cannot be in a worse location and your employer cannot decrease your:
- holiday entitlement
If you think your employer is not being fair
Your employer should not sack (‘dismiss’) you or treat you unfairly just because you’re taking adoption leave.
If you’re selected for redundancy during adoption leave, your employer must offer you a suitable alternative job.
You might want to change your hours or working arrangements when you return to work. This is called ‘making a flexible working request’.