The government is making a number of changes to statutory rights in connection with adoption leave and pay which apply to the parents of children placed for adoption on or after 5th April 2015.
The new Children and Families Act has now been passed bringing changes which include the same leave and pay entitlements for adopters as parents having birth children.
It’s important that you are aware of these recent developments and here is a summary of changes to the Act:
- The main adopter is entitled to take paid time off to attend up to five adoption appointments; and the secondary adopter can take unpaid time off for up to two such appointments.
- Adoption leave becomes a 'day one' right, so employees will no longer need 26 weeks' continuous employment to be eligible.
- Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) will change- the first six weeks of SAP are paid at 90% of the employee's normal earnings, rather than at a flat rate as previously, bringing it in-line with maternity pay.
- Adoptive parents who qualify for adoption leave and pay are able to 'opt in' to the new shared parental leave and pay system, making it easier for both adoptive parents to take leave around the time of a child's placement for adoption.
- Surrogate parents will become eligible for shared parental leave and pay provided they qualify.
- From April 2014 the rate of statutory adoption pay was £138.18 per week however as of 5th April 2015 this has increased to £139.58 per week.
Here are some further key points on Adoption Law regarding Leave and Pay:
- 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.
- Up to 39 weeks' statutory adoption pay is available to eligible employees.
- 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.
- New legal provisions also include allowing approved adopters to search the Adoption Register of children waiting to be adopted.
A spokesperson from Blackpool Council Adoption Agency said:
“We are pleased that adopters in the North West as well as the rest of the UK will now have equal entitlements to leave and pay when their children come to live with them and more flexibility in their work arrangements.
“Adoption is a life-changing decision and the more support prospective parents receive, financially, emotionally and physically, the more able they will become to help create a happy, stable and permanent environment for an ever increasing number of children waiting to find their forever families.”
We’re devoted to making sure that all our adopted children and adoptive families are fully supported throughout the adoption process which is why we offer ongoing support to families adopting with us.
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If you’re interested in adopting in Lancashire, start the conversion today by calling 01253 477888 or alternatively emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.