Adoption leave

Choosing a date to start adoption leave

Adoption leave can begin no later than midnight on the night immediately after the placement and no earlier than 14 days before the expected week of placement.

Staff should use the appropriate table within the adoption leave pay chart to help them decide the best time to start adoption leave. Staff may choose to start their leave from the date of the child’s placement, whether this is earlier or later than expected, or from a fixed date, which can be up to 14 days before the expected date of placement. A member of staff must inform the University, within 7 days, of being matched for adoption, the date the child is expected to be placed and the date they would like to start adoption leave by completing the leave and pay form. Leave can start on any day of the week. Staff can change the date of the start of their adoption leave but must give 28 days notice unless this is not reasonably practicable. The leave and pay form must be completed and returned to the HR Department.

Informing the University of the placement

Staff who have not resigned before starting adoption leave must inform the University of the exact date of the placement by completing the notification of adoption letter and sending it to the HR Department.

The date adoption leave starts

The period of adoption leave usually starts on the date the member of staff has notified the University as the date they intend to start unless:

  • The member of staff is absent because the child has been placed before the intended date to commence leave.
  • The member of staff is dismissed or resigns before they intended to start adoption leave.

Statutory adoption pay is a weekly benefit which starts on the day adoption leave starts.

The length of adoption leave

Ordinary adoption leave is the first 26 weeks of adoption leave.

Additional adoption leave is the leave taken from week 26 to 52.

The University also offers further additional leave from weeks 52 to 63.

Staff with more than 26 weeks continuous service at the date they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption

Staff, full and part-time, are entitled to 39 weeks ordinary adoption leave which may start up to 14 days before the expected week of placement or at the latest start from midnight on the night immediately after the placement. Staff may take up to 63 weeks i.e. 39 weeks paid adoption leave followed by up to 24 weeks unpaid adoption leave. This may be further extended, please see the section entitled extending the additional adoption absence period. The contract of employment continues throughout additional adoption leave and although the member of staff does not have a statutory right to receive remuneration from the University certain core terms of the employment contract continue. These are:

  • the University’s implied obligation of trust and confidence
  • the member of staff’s obligation of good faith
  • contractual notice provisions
  • any rights to compensation on redundancy
  • any terms and conditions relating to disciplinary or grievance procedures
  • any obligation on the member of staff’s part in relation to confidential information, the acceptance of gifts or participation in any other business

Continuity of employment continues through additional adoption leave for the purposes of acquiring statutory employment rights. The adoption leave and pay chart should be used to help calculate how adoption leave is paid depending when the member of staff chooses to start their leave.

Staff with less than 26 weeks continuous service at the date they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption

Staff, full and part-time, with less than 26 weeks continuous service at the date they are notified of being matched with a child for adoption, are entitled to 63 weeks adoption leave but no adoption pay. Staff may take less than 52 weeks adoption leave. Statutory adoption leave may start up to 14 days before the expected date of placement or at the latest start from midnight on the Saturday night immediately after the birth.

The adoption leave and pay chart should be used to help calculate the best time to start adoption leave.

Unless the University is informed in writing of a different return to work date it is assumed that staff will take 52 weeks adoption leave. Staff wishing to take more or less adoption leave must give at least 8 weeks notice of the revised return to work date. If the member of staff wishes to return to work before 52 weeks adoption leave is taken then the University must be informed of this at least 8 weeks before the new return to work date. Staff wishing to take more than 52 weeks adoption leave must give at least 8 weeks notice prior to the 52 week date.

Paternity/maternity/adoption support leave

Paternity/maternity/adoption support leave is available to qualifying staff. For more information please see the Paternity/maternity/adoption support leave policy.