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Adoption Leave is split into two types – Ordinary and Additional.
Employees who are either –
Adoption leave and pay is not available in circumstances where a child is not newly matched for adoption, for example when a step-parent is adopting a partner’s children, or if you adopt privately or through surrogacy.
However, In Autumn 2013, the European Court of Justice decided that a surrogate mother was entitled to maternity leave. The UK Government have amended legislation so that prospective parents in a surrogacy arrangement who apply for a parental order are now eligible for statutory adoption leave and pay and for shared parental leave and pay and paternity leave and pay from 1st December 2014. Those in “foster to adopt” arrangements run by local authorities will be included in the definition of adoption from 5th April 2015.
Adoption Leave and Pay entitlements for those who are adopting from overseas are slightly different – – from 5th April 2015 couple who adopt a child from outside the UK will also have the right to shared parental leave and pay – please refer to the Direct Gov website for more details.
Workers and Freelancers are generally not entitled to Statutory Adoption Leave although your Employer may give you unpaid leave. Workers may be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay. If you are an Employee who is not entitled to Adoption Leave or Pay then your Employer may agree to give you unpaid leave, paid holiday or Parental Leave.
Read details of Shared Parental Leave that will be introduced in 2015 here and that will apply to adopters too.
From 1st December 2014, prospective fathers/partners of pregnant women and intended parents in surrogacy arrangements, have the right to take time off to attend two antenatal appointments with their partner. There is no legal right to paid time off and the time off to attend appointments will be for a maximum of 6.5 hours on each occasion. This applies to all employees and agency workers with 12 weeks service. ‘Fathers’ must provide reasonable notice of the appointment but (legally) do not need to provide evidence of the appointment.
In addition, from 5th April 2015, there will be a new entitlement to paid time off to attend adoption appointments. The primary adopter will be able to have paid time off to attend up to 5 pre-adoption appointments; the secondary adopter will be entitled to unpaid time off to attend up to two pre-adoption appointments. Each appointment must be no longer than 6.5 hours time off work on each occasion. Employees who suffer a detriment or dismissal in relation to taking time off for adoption appointments will be protected under unfair dismissal laws.
If you meet the above criteria you qualify for 52 weeks of Statutory Adoption Leave (26 weeks Ordinary and 26 weeks Additional Leave) and 39 weeks of Statutory Adoption Pay.
Payments during ‘ordinary’ and through part of the ‘additional’ adoption leave are:
During Adoption Leave you obviously cannot take holiday and be on adoption leave at the same time. Therefore you must take your holiday entitlement before or after adoption leave. For details on bank holidays that occur during statutory adoption leave see our Working Time Regulations page.
If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.
Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.
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