Adoption Leave and Pay

Adoption leave and pay may allow one member of an adoptive couple to take paid time off work when their new child starts to live with them. Paternity leave and pay may be available for the other member of the couple, or an adopter's partner.

Adoption and paternity leave are available whether a child is adopted from within the UK or from overseas.

Changes to the rules affecting adoption leave, adoption pay, and return to work, where adoption placement is due on or after 1 April 2007

  • The payment period for Statutory Adoption Pay will be extended to 39 weeks
  • The notice an employee must give if changing the date of return from adoption leave will be increased from 28 days to 8 weeks
  • Optional keeping in touch days will be introduced enabling adopters to work for up to 10 days during their adoption leave period
  • We have clarified that all adopters have a right to return to work after adoption leave, regardless of the size of their employer.

To help you find what you are looking for quickly please also consider the following additional sources:

If you are an employer you may wish to visit the Business Link website, which provides practical advice for business.

If you are an employee please refer to the Directgov website which has information on all employment rights including work and families.

If you require further help Acas produce a number of useful guidance publications for both employers and employees. These include advice leaflets flexible working and Maternity.  Acas operate a helpline to answer employment questions: 08457 47 47 47 (open from 08.00 - 18.00 Monday to Friday).

Employment advisors and practitioners will find our detailed guidance useful.  For more detail please click on the link on the left hand side of this page.