Adoption leave policy

Published: 16 December 2022
Freedom of information class:

Policy statement

This policy sets out the rights of employees to adoption leave and pay.


This policy applies to all RoS employees.


All RoS employees adopting a child through an approved adoption agency are entitled to 52 weeks adoption leave regardless of length of service.

You are entitled to take up to 26 weeks' ordinary adoption leave followed immediately by up to 26 weeks' additional adoption leave. Your maximum entitlement is therefore to take up to 52 weeks' adoption leave.

If you take adoption leave you have the right to return to work at any time during either ordinary adoption leave or additional adoption leave, subject to your following the correct notification procedures as set out below.

RoS recognises that, from time to time, you may have questions or concerns relating to your adoption leave rights. It is RoS’ policy to encourage open discussion with everyone to ensure that questions and problems can be resolved as quickly as possible. As the adoption provisions are complex, if you are adopting a child you should clarify the relevant procedures with the HR department to ensure that they are followed correctly.

We would advise that this policy is read in conjunction with the shared parental leave policy as some rights contained in this policy will be rescinded should you opt into (and are eligible for) the shared parental leave scheme.

Do I qualify for adoption pay and how much will I receive

If you have been employed by RoS for 1 year or more you will be eligible for full pay for 52 weeks. If you have been employed for less than one year you may be eligible for for statutory adoption pay.

You will qualify for statutory adoption pay, provided that you have at least 26 weeks' continuous service calculated as at the week in which notification of matching is given by the adoption agency and your average weekly earnings are not less than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions.

This is payable for up to 39 weeks at a rate set by the government for the relevant tax year, or at 90% of your average weekly earnings, if this figure is lower than the government's set weekly rate.

Statutory adoption pay is treated as earnings and is therefore subject to PAYE and national insurance deductions.

Timing of adoption leave

Adoption leave can start on the day the child is placed for adoption, or up to 14 days earlier.

To make the process run as smoothly as possible, you should discuss the timing of your adoption leave with your line manager as soon as possible.

Notice requirements

To be entitled to take adoption leave and receive adoption pay, you are required to give your line manager written notification of your intention to take adoption leave no later than seven days after the date on which notification of the match with the child was provided by the adoption agency. Notice, which must be in writing, must specify the date the child is expected to be placed with you for adoption and the date you intend your adoption leave to start.

You are permitted to bring forward your adoption leave start date, provided that you advise your line manager in writing at least 28 days before the new start date or, if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable. You may also postpone your adoption leave start date, provided that you advise your line manager in writing at least 28 days before the original proposed start date or, if that is not possible, as soon as reasonably practicable. You may also be required to provide evidence of entitlement to adoption leave and pay by producing a "matching certificate" from the adoption agency.

Within 28 days of receiving your notice of intention to take adoption leave, RoS will write to you confirming the latest date on which you must return to work after adoption leave.

Rights during adoption leave

During adoption leave all terms and conditions of your contract except normal pay will continue. Salary will be replaced by occupational adoption pay or statutory adoption pay if you are eligible for it.

This means that, while sums payable by way of salary will cease, all other benefits will remain in place. For example, holiday entitlement will continue to accrue and pension contributions will continue to be paid.

You are encouraged to take any outstanding holiday due to you before the commencement of adoption leave.

Contact during adoption leave

Your line manager reserves the right to maintain reasonable contact with you during adoption leave. This may be to discuss your plans for return to work, to discuss any special arrangements to be made or training to be given to ease your return to work or to update you on developments at work during your absence.

Keeping-in-touch days

You can agree to work for RoS (or to attend training) for up to 10 days during your adoption leave without that work bringing your adoption leave to an end and. These day are known as "keeping-in-touch" days. Any work carried out on a day shall constitute a day's work for these purposes.

RoS has no right to require you to carry out any work and you have no right to undertake any work during their adoption leave. Any work undertaken, and the amount of salary paid for any work done on keeping-in-touch days, is entirely a matter for agreement between you and your line manager.

Returning to work after adoption leave

You may return to work at any time during ordinary adoption leave or additional adoption leave, provided that you give the appropriate notification. Alternatively, you may take your full period of adoption leave entitlement and return to work at the end of this period. If you wish to return before the full period of adoption leave has elapsed, you must give at least eight weeks' notice in writing to your line manager of the date on which you intend to return.

You have the right to resume working in the same job if returning to work from ordinary adoption leave. If you return to work after a period of additional adoption leave, you are entitled to return either to the same job or, if this is not reasonably practicable, to another suitable job that is on terms and conditions not less favourable.

Failure to return to work by the end of adoption leave will be treated as an unauthorised absence unless you are sick and produce a current medical certificate before the end of the adoption leave period.

If you decide during adoption leave that you do not wish to return to work, you should give written notice of resignation to your line manager as soon as possible and in accordance with the terms of your contract of employment.

Approval and review

This policy will be reviewed and approved by the RoS Information Security Group annually, unless earlier review is appropriate.

AuthorHROD Team – ER 
ReviewedHead of People and Change 
Cleared Corporate Director
ApprovalPPG Approval date Existing policy
Policy version Version 1.0
Review responsibilityPolicy and Practice Group Review date April 2022
Publication scheme Yes
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