Adoption leave and pay

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Quick Facts

15th December 2023

  • An employee who is entitled to adoption leave can take up to 26 weeks' ordinary adoption leave, followed by a further 26 weeks of additional adoption leave. Adoption leave is now a 'day one' right.

  • Up to 39 weeks' statutory adoption pay is available to eligible employees.

  • From 2 April 2023 statutory adoption pay (SAP) is £172.48 per week (see our ‘Statutory rates’ page for historic rates).

  • Parents adopting a child are entitled to time off work to attend adoption appointments.

  • The employee must notify his or her employer of an intention to take adoption leave within seven days of being notified of a match by the adoption agency.

  • The employment contract continues as normal during adoption leave, with the exception of pay (unless the contract allows for pay to continue).

  • The employee has an automatic right to return to work after his or her adoption leave. The job to which they are entitled to return will depend on whether they have taken ordinary or additional adoption leave.

  • Employees who request or take adoption leave are protected against any detriment or unfair dismissal.

  • Employees who have a child placed for adoption may be able to convert a period of adoption leave or pay into a period of shared parental leave or pay that can be taken by either parent on a flexible basis.

Key Updates

Updated: 13 december 2023

Redundancy protection extension set to come into force from April 2024

The (draft) Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will, subject to parliamentary approval, extend the current right to protection whilst on adoption leave during a redundancy process to 18 months after the child was placed for adoption.

Key Updates

Updated: 30 november 2023

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Adoption leave and pay: Resources

Policies

This policy outlines the right of employees who intend to adopt a child to time off to attend adoption appointments. The amount of time off (and entitlement to pay) depends on whether the employee has elected to be the main adopter or is the partner of the main adopter and this policy covers both circumstances and outlines the notification requirements that the employee is expected to follow.

This policy outlines the adoption leave procedure and adoption pay rights. It covers length of leave, pay, notification, returning to work and keeping in touch during adoption leave. The policy takes into account changes to statutory adoption pay and eligibility in effect from 5 April 2015.

This policy covers the rights and benefits of employees adopting a child from overseas, the eligibility criteria and procedures for adoption leave and statutory adoption pay. The policy takes into account changes to statutory adoption pay and eligibility in effect from 5 April 2015.

This policy sets out the procedures that should be followed to ensure a smooth handover at the start and end of adoption leave for employees who are the intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement and who intend to apply for a Parental Order. The policy covers eligibility for adoption leave for those employees who intend to apply for a Parental Order and outlines details of length of leave and pay.

This policy sets out the entitlement of employees in relation to holidays accrued during a period of adoption leave, and when these holidays may be taken.

Letters

This letter acknowledges an employee's intention to take adoption leave (adoption within the UK) and asks them to provide a Matching Certificate or documents issued by an adoption agency to confirm eligibility.

This letter acknowledges an employee's intention to take adoption leave (when adopting from overseas) and asks them to provide a copy of the official notification, the expected placement date and the date on which the employee intends to commence adoption leave to confirm their eligibility.

This letter should be sent to an employee to acknowledge their intention to take adoption leave and to confirm whether the employee is eligible for adoption leave. The letter also confirms the dates of the adoption leave and the pay the employee can expect to receive. The letter has been updated to take account of the introduction of shared parental leave from 5 April 2015 and changes to adoption regulations relating to the rate of statutory adoption pay.

This letter should be sent to an employee who has notified of their intention to take adoption leave as a result of a surrogacy arrangement. The letter outlines the length of leave the employee is entitled to, confirming the dates of leave as well as confirming whether the employee is eligible to receive statutory adoption pay. The letter also confirms arrangements for returning to work.

This letter can be sent to an employee where statutory adoption pay is not payable as the employee is not eligible to receive statutory adoption pay and explains the employee's options.

This letter can be sent to an employee who has requested a keeping-in-touch (KIT) day. The letter accepts the employee's request and outlines that attending the KIT day does not affect their right to statutory adoption pay

This letter can be used by an employer where the employee has adopted a child within the UK, inviting them to attend a KIT day. The letter confirms that the employee is not obliged to attend but confirming that they will be paid at their normal rate of pay for any hours worked.

Send this letter to an employee who has adopted a child from overseas, to invite them to attend a KIT day, outlining that they are not obliged to attend but confirming that they will be paid at their normal rate of pay for any hours worked.

This letter should be used by an employee who wishes to give notice of their intention to return to work early from adoption leave.

This customisable letter can be used by the employer to notify the employee that they have not given sufficient notice to return to work early from adoption leave and confirms the date of expected return.

This is a resignation letter for an employee who has decided not to return to work after adoption leave, confirming how much notice is being given.

This letter should be used by the employer to send to an employee who has notified the employer that they will not be returning to work after adoption leave.

Forms

This form should be given to an employee who wishes to take time off for an adoption appointment to allow them to declare their eligibility and to outline the date and time of the appointment. The form also includes a definition of an adoption appointment.

This form details the information required from an employee who is requesting statutory adoption leave. The form outlines the requirements to qualify for statutory adoption leave and asks for the employee’s consent that the employer may ask for information from the adoption agency.

This form states the employee's intention to take adoption leave, confirms the date the child is expected to be placed and the date on which leave will commence.

This form states the employee's intention to take adoption leave, confirms the date the child is expected to be placed and the date on which leave will commence.

This form is to be used by the employee when adopting in the UK, to notify the employer of the placement date of the child.

This form is to be used by the employee when adopting from overseas, to notify the employer of the placement date of the child.

This form should be used by the employee, where adoption is within the UK, to request a change to the start date of adoption leave.

This form should be used by the employee, where adoption is from overseas, to request a change to the start date of adoption leave.

This form should be used by the employee to notify the employer that they elect to receive statutory adoption pay and not statutory paternity pay, where adoption is within the UK.

This form can be used to record a statutory declaration made by an employee in a surrogacy arrangement who intends to take adoption leave. The form outlines the name of the employee, the date the declaration was made and witnessed and the name of the other intended parent.

Checklists

This checklist should be used to assess whether an employee is eligible for adoption leave and statutory adoption pay. It also allows you to assess whether an employee is eligible to take paid time off for adoption appointments.

This checklist is to be used when handling an employee's adoption leave and pay. It includes checks for notifying the employee of their entitlement and arrangements for keeping in touch whilst on leave.

Flowcharts

This flowchart outlines the various steps to be followed to grant and manage adoption leave and pay when the employee is adopting within the UK.

This flowchart outlines the various steps to be followed to grant and manage adoption leave and pay when the employee is adopting from overseas.

This flowchart outlines the various steps to be followed to grant and manage paternity leave and pay when the child has been adopted.

Contract clauses

This standard contract clause covers the criteria for qualifying for adoption leave, leave entitlement, pay entitlement and keeping in touch (KIT) days during adoption leave when the employee is adopting a child from within the UK. The clause has been updated to take account of changes to adoption regulations relating to the service requirement and the rate of statutory adoption pay in force from 5 April 2015.

This standard contract clause covers the criteria for qualifying for adoption leave, leave entitlement, pay entitlement and keeping in touch (KIT) days during adoption leave when the employee is adopting a child from overseas. The clause has been updated to take account of changes to adoption regulations relating to the service requirement and the rate of statutory adoption pay in force from 5 April 2015.

This is a standard contract clause dealing with holiday entitlement accrued during adoption leave and explaining that all previously accrued holiday entitlement must be taken by the employee before adoption leave begins.

Downloads

Policy on time off for adoption appointments

This policy outlines the right of employees who intend to adopt a child to time off to attend adoption appointments. The amount of time off (and entitlement to pay) depends on whether the employee has elected to be the main adopter or is the partner of the main adopter and this policy covers both circumstances and outlines the notification requirements that the employee is expected to follow.

Adoption leave policy

This policy outlines the adoption leave procedure and adoption pay rights. It covers length of leave, pay, notification, returning to work and keeping in touch during adoption leave. The policy takes into account changes to statutory adoption pay and eligibility in effect from 5 April 2015.

Policy on adoption leave (adoption from overseas)

This policy covers the rights and benefits of employees adopting a child from overseas, the eligibility criteria and procedures for adoption leave and statutory adoption pay. The policy takes into account changes to statutory adoption pay and eligibility in effect from 5 April 2015.

Policy on adoption leave for employees in surrogacy arrangements

This policy sets out the procedures that should be followed to ensure a smooth handover at the start and end of adoption leave for employees who are the intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement and who intend to apply for a Parental Order. The policy covers eligibility for adoption leave for those employees who intend to apply for a Parental Order and outlines details of length of leave and pay.

Policy on holiday accrued during adoption leave

This policy sets out the entitlement of employees in relation to holidays accrued during a period of adoption leave, and when these holidays may be taken.

Letter requesting evidence of eligibility for adoption leave and pay (adoption within the UK)

This letter acknowledges an employee's intention to take adoption leave (adoption within the UK) and asks them to provide a Matching Certificate or documents issued by an adoption agency to confirm eligibility.

Letter requesting evidence of eligibility for adoption leave and pay (adoption from overseas)

This letter acknowledges an employee's intention to take adoption leave (when adopting from overseas) and asks them to provide a copy of the official notification, the expected placement date and the date on which the employee intends to commence adoption leave to confirm their eligibility.

Letter responding to employee who has notified of their intention to take adoption leave

This letter should be sent to an employee to acknowledge their intention to take adoption leave and to confirm whether the employee is eligible for adoption leave. The letter also confirms the dates of the adoption leave and the pay the employee can expect to receive. The letter has been updated to take account of the introduction of shared parental leave from 5 April 2015 and changes to adoption regulations relating to the rate of statutory adoption pay.

Letter responding to employee who has notified of intention to take adoption leave as a result of surrogacy arrangements

This letter should be sent to an employee who has notified of their intention to take adoption leave as a result of a surrogacy arrangement. The letter outlines the length of leave the employee is entitled to, confirming the dates of leave as well as confirming whether the employee is eligible to receive statutory adoption pay. The letter also confirms arrangements for returning to work.

Letter informing an employee of their ineligibility to receive statutory adoption pay

This letter can be sent to an employee where statutory adoption pay is not payable as the employee is not eligible to receive statutory adoption pay and explains the employee's options.

Letter responding to an employee on adoption leave who has requested to attend a KIT day

This letter can be sent to an employee who has requested a keeping-in-touch (KIT) day. The letter accepts the employee's request and outlines that attending the KIT day does not affect their right to statutory adoption pay

Letter requesting an employee on adoption leave to attend a KIT day (UK adoption)

This letter can be used by an employer where the employee has adopted a child within the UK, inviting them to attend a KIT day. The letter confirms that the employee is not obliged to attend but confirming that they will be paid at their normal rate of pay for any hours worked.

Letter requesting an employee on adoption leave attend a KIT day (overseas adoption)

Send this letter to an employee who has adopted a child from overseas, to invite them to attend a KIT day, outlining that they are not obliged to attend but confirming that they will be paid at their normal rate of pay for any hours worked.

Letter for employee to request early return to work from adoption leave

This letter should be used by an employee who wishes to give notice of their intention to return to work early from adoption leave.

Letter to postpone early return from adoption leave

This customisable letter can be used by the employer to notify the employee that they have not given sufficient notice to return to work early from adoption leave and confirms the date of expected return.

Letter to notify employer of intention not to return to work after adoption leave

This is a resignation letter for an employee who has decided not to return to work after adoption leave, confirming how much notice is being given.

Letter responding to an employee not returning after adoption leave

This letter should be used by the employer to send to an employee who has notified the employer that they will not be returning to work after adoption leave.

Declaration of eligibility for time off for adoption appointments

This form should be given to an employee who wishes to take time off for an adoption appointment to allow them to declare their eligibility and to outline the date and time of the appointment. The form also includes a definition of an adoption appointment.

Employee form to request statutory adoption leave

This form details the information required from an employee who is requesting statutory adoption leave. The form outlines the requirements to qualify for statutory adoption leave and asks for the employee’s consent that the employer may ask for information from the adoption agency.

Employee form to notify of intention to take adoption leave (adoption within the UK)

This form states the employee's intention to take adoption leave, confirms the date the child is expected to be placed and the date on which leave will commence.

Employee form to notify of intention to take adoption leave (adoption from overseas)

This form states the employee's intention to take adoption leave, confirms the date the child is expected to be placed and the date on which leave will commence.

Employee form to notify of the placement date of the child (adoption within the UK)

This form is to be used by the employee when adopting in the UK, to notify the employer of the placement date of the child.

Employee form to notify of the placement date of the child (adoption from overseas)

This form is to be used by the employee when adopting from overseas, to notify the employer of the placement date of the child.

Employee form to request change to the start date of adoption leave (adoption within UK)

This form should be used by the employee, where adoption is within the UK, to request a change to the start date of adoption leave.

Employee form to request change to the start date of adoption leave (adoption from overseas)

This form should be used by the employee, where adoption is from overseas, to request a change to the start date of adoption leave.

Employee form to elect to receive statutory adoption not paternity pay (UK adoption)

This form should be used by the employee to notify the employer that they elect to receive statutory adoption pay and not statutory paternity pay, where adoption is within the UK.

Statutory declaration of intention to apply for a Parental Order (Surrogacy)

This form can be used to record a statutory declaration made by an employee in a surrogacy arrangement who intends to take adoption leave. The form outlines the name of the employee, the date the declaration was made and witnessed and the name of the other intended parent.

Adoption leave and pay eligibility

This checklist should be used to assess whether an employee is eligible for adoption leave and statutory adoption pay. It also allows you to assess whether an employee is eligible to take paid time off for adoption appointments.

Managing adoption leave and pay

This checklist is to be used when handling an employee's adoption leave and pay. It includes checks for notifying the employee of their entitlement and arrangements for keeping in touch whilst on leave.

Managing adoption leave and pay (adopting within the UK)

This flowchart outlines the various steps to be followed to grant and manage adoption leave and pay when the employee is adopting within the UK.

Managing adoption leave and pay (adopting from overseas)

This flowchart outlines the various steps to be followed to grant and manage adoption leave and pay when the employee is adopting from overseas.

Managing paternity leave and pay (adopted)

This flowchart outlines the various steps to be followed to grant and manage paternity leave and pay when the child has been adopted.

Contract clause on adoption leave (adoption within the UK)

This standard contract clause covers the criteria for qualifying for adoption leave, leave entitlement, pay entitlement and keeping in touch (KIT) days during adoption leave when the employee is adopting a child from within the UK. The clause has been updated to take account of changes to adoption regulations relating to the service requirement and the rate of statutory adoption pay in force from 5 April 2015.

Contract clause on adoption leave (adoption from overseas)

This standard contract clause covers the criteria for qualifying for adoption leave, leave entitlement, pay entitlement and keeping in touch (KIT) days during adoption leave when the employee is adopting a child from overseas. The clause has been updated to take account of changes to adoption regulations relating to the service requirement and the rate of statutory adoption pay in force from 5 April 2015.

Contract clause on holiday accrued during adoption leave

This is a standard contract clause dealing with holiday entitlement accrued during adoption leave and explaining that all previously accrued holiday entitlement must be taken by the employee before adoption leave begins.

Reviewed 9 January 2024

The statutory right to up to 52 weeks' adoption leave and 39 weeks' adoption pay is available to eligible employees adopting a newly placed child. Where a couple adopts a child jointly, only one of them can take adoption leave. The couple can choose which parent takes leave; the other parent may be able to take paternity leave, or parental leave, or shared parental leave.

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