Adoption leave policy
All employees, regardless of role, length of service or hours worked, who are adopting are entitled to 52 weeks’ adoption leave. This is made up of 26 weeks’ Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL) followed by 26 weeks’ Additional Adoption Leave (AAL), with no gaps in between.
To qualify for Adoption Leave, you must be newly matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency.
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 and which takes paternity leave, subject to meeting the qualifying criteria).
If adopting, you must provide us with documentary proof to show that you have the right to paid Statutory Adoption Leave. This is usually a matching certificate from the adoption agency. The adoption agency must be recognised in the UK.
Statutory Adoption Leave can start at any time:
- up to 14 days before the date the child is expected to start living with you (earliest date) or
- from the date the child starts living with you (latest date).
You must notify your manager within 7 days of being matched with a child (or as soon as possible after being notified of being matched):
- that you intend to take adoption leave;
- the date the child is expected to be placed with you for adoption;
- the date you intend to start adoption leave.
Eligible employees will be able to opt into the Shared Parental Leave scheme.
Intended parents in surrogacy arrangements who use parental orders will have rights to adoption leave and could qualify for shared parental leave and pay.
Returning to work
If you wish to return to work from adoption leave either earlier or later than agreed with us, you should provide eight weeks’ notice, unless we agree to less notice being given.
You have the right to return to the same job after OAL. If you take AAL you still have the right to return to the same job, unless it is not reasonably practical. If that is the case you will be offered a suitable alternative position with terms and conditions no less favourable than before.
Time off for appointments
If you are the main adopter or a single adopter, you will be able to take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments.
If you are a joint adopter, you will be entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments.
Keeping in touch
Before you go on Adoption Leave we will talk with you about how you would like to stay in touch. We will keep you informed about any jobs being advertised, any promotion opportunities and any planned reorganisation or redundancies.
Please let us know if you would like to be kept updated about any other aspect of our business, such as social events or team newsletters.
Opportunities may also be made available to arrange Keeping in Touch days (KITs) to give you the chance to come to work, to undertake training and keep in touch for up to ten days during adoption leave without losing your right to adoption pay. There is no right to KIT days and this should be discussed with your manager. It is up to you whether or not you take up this opportunity.
You are entitled to be paid your usual rate of basic pay for time spent working on a KIT Day and this will be inclusive of any adoption pay entitlement.