Adoption leave and pay

Annual leave and occupational pensions during adoption leave

During statutory adoption leave (SAL), an employee continues to accrue annual leave. They may also continue to benefit from occupational pension scheme (OPS) contributions.

Accrual of annual leave

An employee continues to accrue both their full statutory paid annual leave entitlement of 5.6 weeks and any additional contractual entitlement throughout both ordinary adoption leave (OAL) and additional adoption leave (AAL).

An employee may not take annual leave during SAL. You should instead allow the employee to take any untaken annual leave before and/or after their SAL.

Note that you cannot pay an employee in lieu of any untaken statutory annual leave unless the contract is terminated.

Also, note that an employee's SAL begins automatically if the child is unexpectedly placed with them for adoption during a period of annual leave - see when adoption leave can begin.

For more information on annual leave entitlements, see know how much holiday to give your staff.

Contributions to an occupational pension scheme (OPS)

During OAL (whether or not the employee is receiving statutory and/or enhanced adoption pay) and any period of paid AAL, you should calculate the employer's contribution to an OPS as if the employee is working normally and receiving the normal remuneration for doing so.

During any period that your employee is on AAL but not receiving any adoption pay - eg during the last 13 weeks of AAL - you do not have to make any employer contributions to an OPS unless the contract of employment provides otherwise.

If the OPS rules require employee contributions to continue during SAL, their contributions should be based on the amount of statutory and/or enhanced adoption pay they are receiving.

Employee contributions will therefore stop during any period of unpaid adoption leave - eg during the last 13 weeks of AAL - but the OPS rules may allow them to still make voluntary contributions.