Adoption/Surrogacy leave and pay

Either parent may take up to 52 weeks’ leave. This is a ‘day one’ right and there is no qualifying period.

 The level of pay depends on the length of service:

  • Employees with 26 weeks’ service or more (but less than 1 years’ service) continuing into the week in which you are ‘matched’ with a child for adoption are entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for 39 weeks.
  • Employees with more than one year’s continuous service before the commencement of Adoption Leave who intend to return to work are entitled to Occupational Adoption Pay (OAP) which is an enhanced provision inclusive of the statutory provision.
  • The parent not taking adoption leave may take paternity leave.
  • If you are the surrogate you are entitled to maternity leave/pay.

What you need to do as an adoptive parent

  • Make sure you familiarise yourself with your rights and responsibilities in the family leave policy (.pdf).
  • Book a meeting with HR (email staffing@essex.ac.uk) as early as possible to talk about your plans / benefits / entitlements.
  • Complete an adoption application form (.pdf) together with your matching certificate/official notification within seven days of being notified by your adoption agency that you have been newly matched with a child for adoption; providing at least 28 days’ notice of the date on which you wish the adoption pay period to start where reasonably practicable.
  • During your adoption leave, you can use up to 10 Keeping in Touch (KIT) days. Please complete the KIT form (.pdf) for payment.
  • Before you return to work, you should complete the adoption return to work form (.pdf).

What do managers need to do?

  • Make sure you are aware of the Family Leave policy and what is required in terms of documentation at different points.
  • Allow them reasonable paid time off work to attend up to five adoption appointments in the period between being notified of a match and the child being placed with the family. The secondary adopter is entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments.
  • Keep in touch during adoption leave, including the arrangement of KIT days.
  • Provide support on the return to work, carrying out a ‘re-induction’ to the workplace.
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