- An employee who is entitled to adoption leave can take up to 26 weeks' ordinary adoption leave, followed by a further 26 weeks of additional adoption leave. Adoption leave is now a 'day one' right.
- Up to 39 weeks' statutory adoption pay is available to eligible employees.
- From 5 April 2020, the statutory adoption pay rate is £151.20 per week from 5 April 2020 and is set to rise from 4 April 2021 to £151.97 per week (see our ‘Statutory rates’ page for historic rates).
- Parents adopting a child are entitled to time off work to attend adoption appointments.
- The employee must notify his or her employer of an intention to take adoption leave within seven days of being notified of a match by the adoption agency.
- The employment contract continues as normal during adoption leave, with the exception of pay (unless the contract allows for pay to continue).
- The employee has an automatic right to return to work after his or her adoption leave. The job to which they are entitled to return will depend on whether they have taken ordinary or additional adoption leave.
- Employees who request or take adoption leave are protected against any detriment or unfair dismissal.
- Employees who have a child placed for adoption may be able to convert a period of adoption leave or pay into a period of shared parental leave or pay that can be taken by either parent on a flexible basis.
The government has outlined that despite the initial closure of the furlough scheme, due on 30 June, those who have been on adoption leave will still be eligible to be furloughed.
As was previously known, whilst the Job Retention Scheme has been extended until October, claims from July 1 onwards will be restricted to those who are already on the scheme. Essentially, this means that staff must be furloughed from 10 June in order to benefit from it going forward. This will enable the introduction of flexible furlough in July.
However, the government has confirmed that parents on statutory adoption leave, who return to work after a long period of absence, will still be able to be furloughed and therefore join the scheme past the 10 June cut-off date. This is to avoid working parents facing hardships as a result of their family leave.
Following a consultation, the government has confirmed that redundancy protection for new parents will be extended. Currently, those on maternity leave who are at risk of redundancy must be offered suitable alternative roles in advance of others. This protection ends once the employee returns to work.
Furture changes will mean that this protection starts from the date the employee informs her employers that she is pregnant, whether verbally or in writing, and will last for a further six month period once the employee returns to work.
The extended protection will also be available to those on adoption leave and shared parental leave, although further guidance will be released on how this works due to the differences in the shared parental leave scheme.
The date these changes take effect has not yet been confirmed. More information can be found in our news article.