Guide

Adoption leave and pay

Introduction

If they meet certain qualifying criteria, an employee is entitled to take 52 weeks' statutory adoption leave and receive statutory adoption pay (SAP) for 39 weeks when they adopt a child.

The rules are different depending on whether the child is adopted from within the UK or from overseas.

An employee may also be entitled to adoption leave and statutory adoption pay if they are an intended parent in a surrogacy arrangement.

You as the employer pay the SAP but you can reclaim all or most of it from HM Revenue & Customs.

This guide will help you deal with the administration of statutory adoption leave and pay, and understand the employment rights of employees on statutory adoption leave.

It also suggests how you could offer enhanced adoption leave and pay arrangements to attract and retain employees.

The guide also refers to shared parental leave and pay, which was introduced in Northern Ireland in April 2015. It provides parents with greater choice in how they share time off work and care in the first year of their child’s life. These rules also apply to adoption or surrogacy.