May 1, 2015

Improved Adoption Rights

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The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published guidance for employers whose employees have or are adopting children. The guidance, effective of 5 April 2015, stipulates that individuals who adopt qualify for adoption leave from their first day of employment.

Dual approved individuals who apply to both foster and adopt at the same time, now qualify to receive adoption leave, and their partners can receive paternity leave and pay. Similarly, individuals who take part in a surrogacy arrangement and intend to apply for a Parental Order for the child, also qualify – one partner may take adoption leave and pay while the other can take paternity leave and pay.

Agency workers who have been working for their current employer for 12 weeks, and eligible employees are entitled to take time off work to attend adoption meetings. This leave can only be taken between the time that the individual is notified of a match and the date that the child is officially adopted.

Single adopters can take paid time off for up to 5 adoption appointments, and for joint adopters only one adopter can take time off, again for up to 5 adoption appointments. It is noteworthy that the parent who takes paid time off may not then claim paternity leave and pay. Therefore it would be wise for the individual who takes the adoption leave and pay to be the one who takes paid time off for the 5 appointments.

Furthermore, where two working individuals are adopting a child, they may be eligible for shared parental leave and pay.

Statutory adoption pay will also be paid at the earnings related level for the first 6 weeks. This is the same as for statutory maternity pay.

Meanwhile, the qualifying requirements for statutory adoption pay remain unchanged.

For more information, and to see the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ guidance, click here.

If you are an employer or employee and need advice on adoption rights, contact our team of employment solicitors today on 01753 486 777 or pop into our offices at Windsor Crown House, 7 Windsor Road, Slough, SL1 2DX.