Supporting Employees Who Are Parents: Adoption Leave

In the UK, employees who adopt a child may be eligible for shared adoption leave. This is a period of leave that can be shared between adoptive parents, allowing them to care for and bond with their new child…

To be eligible for shared adoption leave, employees must have been continuously employed by their employer for at least 26 weeks leading up to the week they are matched with a child for adoption. They must also provide their employer with at least eight weeks’ notice of when they intend to take shared adoption leave.

Shared adoption leave can be taken in a number of ways. Adoptive parents can take up to 50 weeks of leave in total, which can be shared between them in any combination. For example, one parent could take 26 weeks of leave, while the other takes 24 weeks. They can also take the leave at the same time, if they wish.

During shared adoption leave, employees may be entitled to statutory adoption pay or adoption leave pay, depending on their employer’s policies. This pay is usually paid for up to 39 weeks, at a rate of either £151.97 per week or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

It’s important for employers to ensure that they have policies in place that outline how shared adoption leave will be managed and paid.

They should also ensure that employees are aware of their rights and entitlements with regards to shared adoption leave, and that they understand how to apply for it.

In addition to shared adoption leave, adoptive parents may also be entitled to unpaid parental leave, which can be used to care for their child until they reach the age of 18. Employees are entitled to 18 weeks of parental leave for each child they adopt, which can be taken in blocks of one week or more.

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