adoption leave and pay

Adoption Leave and Pay.  Update February 2024.

Adoption Leave is split into two types – Ordinary and Additional

Here we look at all the details of Adoption leave and pay including the changes that are being made in late 2014 and 2015.

Adoption Pay increases from £172.48 per week to £184.03 from 7th April 2024.

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.

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.

Employees who are:

  • individuals who adopt
  • a couple where a couple adopt jointly (the couple must choose which partner takes adoption leave; the other partner may be eligible for paternity leave and pay)
  • newly matched with a child for adoption by an adoption agency recognised in the UK.

There are no age restrictions placed on adoption leave, and employees are eligible for the benefit – assuming they meet the above criteria – from their first day of employment.

Adoption leave and pay isn’t available in circumstances where a child has not been newly matched for adoption, for example when a step-parent is adopting a partner’s children, or if you adopt privately.

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, shared parental leave and pay and paternity leave. Those in “foster to adopt” arrangements run by local authorities are also included in the definition of adoption.