There are three occasions in which you should submit information regarding adoption leave.
- Notification of Adoption Leave
- Return from Adoption Leave
- Employee on Adoption Leave is Leaving
On all of these occasions you will need to complete a Maternity/Adoption Leave instruction and submit it through the HR School Support Online system. The system guides you through the process of submitting a Maternity/Adoption Leave request ensuring that all the relevant information is gathered.
Before making the submission you should give consideration to the following;
- Has the employee provided written confirmation of the adoption and when they intend to commence their leave?
- Has a Confirmation of Adoption Form been provided to confirm the date of placement?
- How much leave will the employee be entitled to?
- How much adoption pay will the employee be entitled to?
No later than 15 weeks prior to the date of placement, your employee must have informed you in writing:
- that they will be adopting a child
- of the week in which the child is due to be placed with them
- when they wish to commence their ordinary adoption leave.
The employee may change their mind about when they wish to start their ordinary adoption leave provided further notice is given at least 28 days in advance (Officers) or 21 days in advance (Teachers) of the commencement of their leave (unless this is not reasonably practicable).
There is a requirement on employers to respond to an employee’s notification of the employees leave plans within 28 days. Please ensure that this information is forwarded to your Senior HR School Support Officer as soon as possible in order for this requirement to be met. The written confirmation will contain details of the employee’s entitlement and the date on which they are expected to return to work.
Confirmation of Placement
All adoptive parents will receive written confirmation from the adoption agency confirming the placement of a child with them. A copy of this should be sent to your Senior HR School Support Officer in order for them to qualify for Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay.
An employee adopting a child is to be allowed comparable leave and pay arrangements as applies to natural mothers. Accordingly, an employee who satisfies the full criteria and conditions of the maternity scheme specific to his/her conditions of service, will be entitled to:
- All employees are entitled to ordinary adoption leave of 26 weeks duration.
- Employees who have 26 weeks’ continuous service ending with the week in which they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption are entitled to a further 26 weeks of additional adoption leave, a total of 52 weeks’ adoption leave.
- Both ordinary and additional adoption leave is to be taken in one block within a twelve month period from the date of placement unless otherwise agreed with the school.
- Be subject to all other entitlements and conditions of their maternity scheme.
Payments for employees who have less than one year’s continuous service at the beginning of the 11th week before the week of the baby/child’s placement shall be the employees’ entitlement to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP).
Statutory Adoption Pay will be paid for 39 weeks, or if earlier, until the date the employee returns to work., or for eight weeks after the end of the week the placement is disrupted.
The contract of employment continues during Adoption Leave. The employee receives all contractual benefits during the full period of Adoption Leave.
An employee shall not be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) in the case of:
- Private adoption (Private adoption refers to any adoption not arranged by an agency or organisation i.e. when the adoptive parents find a birth mother or baby or child privately).
- The adoption of a step-child by a step-parent.
- The adoption of a foster child by a foster parent.
- Those who become parents through arrangements with a surrogate mother.