Adoption leave and pay changes from April 5th 2015.

Adoption leave and pay changes for April 2015

To help fall more in line with maternity rights, the Government are making adoption leave and pay changes from April 5th 2015.

Information gained from the ACAS website that qualifying employees are entitled to take up to 52 weeks adoption leave and may be able to take 39 weeks of statutory adoption pay.


  • To qualify, employees must have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption
  • Up to ten ‘keep in touch’ days can be worked during the period of adoption leave
  • Employees may be entitled to take 52 weeks of leave and 39 weeks of statutory adoption pay

Adoption leave is made up of 26 weeks Ordinary Adoption Leave and 26 weeks Additional Adoption Leave. To qualify for adoption leave, an employee must:

  • be recently matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency
  • have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption.

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 the adoption leave).

The partner of an individual who adopts, or the other member of a couple who are adopting jointly, may be entitled to paternity or additional paternity leave and pay.

Employees must give their employer documentary proof to show that they have the right to paid Statutory Adoption Leave. This is usually a matching certificate from they adoption agency. The adoption agency must be recognised in the UK.

Statutory adoption leave can start either:

  • from the date the child starts living with the employee
  • up to 14 days before the date the child is expected to start living with the employee.

Employees should tell the employer within seven days of being told that they have been matched with a child, if this is not possible they must tell the employer as soon as possible.

Some employers may offer adoption leave and pay that are more favourable than the statutory scheme; this may form part of the terms of your contract of employment. If the employee qualifies it will be payable for 39 weeks at the statutory rate.

Statutory Adoption Pay
From April 2014 the rate of statutory adoption pay is £138.18 per week, increasing to £139.58 per week from 5 April 2015.

Keep in touch day
Both parties should agree when and how the employer will keep in contact, this may be via email, telephone contact etc. Employees should also agree with their employer if they will work the ‘keeping in touch’ days. These can be used for training days or team events, etc.

Up to ten keeping in touch days can be worked, and there is no provision for these days to be paid, this should be agreed between employee and employer. Statutory Adoption Pay may be paid or this may be off set against any contractual pay agreed.


  • The main adopter will be able to take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments. The secondary adopter will be entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments.
  • Adoption leave will become a ‘day one’ right, so employees will no longer need to have 26 weeks’ continuous employment to be eligible.
  • The Statutory Adoption Pay will change – the first six weeks will be paid at 90% of the employee’s normal earnings, bringing it in-line with maternity pay.
  • Some surrogate parents will become eligible for adoption leave.
  • Eligible employees’ will be able to ‘opt’ into the new Shared Parental Leave scheme.
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