Parents holding child's hands

The College recognises the demands of family life and is committed to supporting members of staff to obtain a good work life balance.  With this in mind, this note will guide you through the adoption/surrogacy leave procedure and provide information on the rights of members of staff, what needs to be considered and steps that need to be taken.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Adoption policy must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

This guidance has been designed to act as a point of reference.  For further details please refer to the full policy which can be downloaded from this page's sidebar.

Where will Adoption Leave and Pay apply?

(Subject to the exceptions outlined below), where a member of staff is the main/primary adopter they will be entitled to receive 52 weeks’ Statutory Adoption Leave, regardless of their length of service with College. 

Where a member of staff meets the Adoption / surrogacy eligibilty criteria [pdf]‌, they will be entitled to receive payment during their period of Adoption Leave in the form of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP).  They may also be entitled to receive enhanced College Adoption Pay during their period of leave.

In what circumstances will Adoption Leave and Pay not be available to staff?

  • Where they are the partner of the primary/main adopter.  However, they may be entitled to receive Paternity/Maternity Support leave.
  • (With the exception of “Fostering to Adopt” arrangements) where they are adopting a child initially placed with them for fostering, or are a step-parent adopting their partner’s child.  However they will be entitled to the 3 days’ paid leave to attend court proceedings.

What do I need to do?

Staff guidance

1. During the adoption process:

Man and woman talking with man

While you are in the process of adopting a child, you will be able to take up to three days’ paid leave to attend court proceedings relating to the adoption/surrogacy*.

 

 

2. Following notification that a child will/is expected to be placed with you for adoption:

Date As the primary adopter, you will be able to take paid time off to attend up to five appointments connected with the adoption (for example, these may include contact with the child prior to the adoption, or parenting classes).*

*Your manager may ask you for confirmation of the time and date of the appointment, and to confirm the purpose of the appointment.

3. Before you give notice of your intention to take Adoption Leave and Pay:

Man figure standing on calendar a) Check the Adoption / surrogacy eligibilty criteria [pdf] to find out the entitlements that would apply during your leave.
b) Consider how much Adoption Leave you want to take.  Where you are the main/primary adopter, you will automatically qualify for 52 weeks’ Adoption Leave, regardless of your length of service with the College.
c) Think about when you want to start your Adoption Leave:

  • Adoption Leave can commence on any day of the week.
  • Where you are adopting a child, your leave can start:
    • On the day the child is placed with you for adoption; or
    • On any day from 14 days before the expected date of placement.
    • Where you are “Fostering to Adopt”, your leave will start from when the child comes to live with you.
    • Discuss your plans with your manager as early as possible.

4. Give consideration to whether you may wish to:

Man wearing baby harness a) Use a proportion of your annual leave entitlement before the start and/or after the end of your Adoption Leave*.
b) (Where you and your partner meet the eligibility requirements) convert part of your Adoption Leave and Pay to Shared Parental Leave and Pay, for you and your partner to share between you*.
c) (For academic staff) apply for an Elsie Widdowson Fellowship*.
d) Discuss any implications on your pension with the Pensions’ team if you intend to take a period of unpaid adoption leave.

 *Discuss any plans in relation to the above areas with your manager as early as possible.

5. Give notice of your intention to take Adoption Leave and Pay:

Email concept You can do this by sending an e-mail or letter to your manager and HR contact confirming:
a) When the child is expected to be placed with you; and
b) The date you intend to start your Adoption Leave.
You must provide this notice within seven days of being notified by the adoption agency that you have been matched with a child for adoption.
You will also need to provide a “Matching Certificate” as provided by the adoption agency; or (for overseas adoption) a Certificate of Eligibility from the UK Authority confirming suitability for adoption*.

Upon receipt of the information above, your HR representative will write to you to confirm your entitlements.
 

6. During your Adoption Leave:

Keep in touch on lapton a) If agreed your manager will keep in regular contact with you, for example updating you on what’s happening at work, and promotion opportunities.
b) With your manager’s agreement, you may also attend work or training for up to ten days during your Adoption Leave. For further details see the Keeping in Touch and Shared Parental Leave in Touch days – Guidance for Managers. 

7.  At the end of your Adoption Leave:

work circled on calendar a) Where you return to work on your intended return date, you do not need to provide any other notice of your return.
b) If you wish to return to work in advance of your intended return date; or (having taken less than 52 weeks’ Adoption Leave) you wish to return on a date later than that you originally intended you will need to provide your manager and HR contact with written notice of your new return date at least eight weeks before your new return date or at least eight weeks before your original return date (whichever is the earlier).
c) If you decide that you do not wish to return to work following your Adoption Leave, you will need to give notice as outlined in your terms and conditions of service
d) You may need to repay the enhanced element of your adoption pay if you do not return to work and continue in employment for at least three months following the end of your Adoption Leave (where applicable).
e) If you wish to change your working hours and return to work on a part-time basis, discuss this with you manager as soon as possible to give time for consideration of your request.  The Flexible Working Policy provides further information on making such a request.

Support for you:

HR and magnifying glass Your HR representative will be able to assist with any questions you have about Adoption/Surrogacy Leave.
Details of other initiatives for prospective and new parents  can be accessed via the Parenting Network  site.

 

 

Managers' guidance

1. When your member of staff advises you they are going through an adoption process, they have the following entitlements (as applicable):

Figure of man standing on calendar While they are in the process of adopting a child, they will be able to take up to three days’ paid leave to attend court proceedings relating to the adoption*

 

2. Following notification that a child will/is expected to be placed for adoption, where they are the primary adopter:

Date concept

 They will be able to take paid time off to attend up to five appointments connected with the adoption (for example, these may include contact with the child prior to the adoption, or parenting classes).*

*You may request confirmation of the time and date of the appointment, and the purpose of the appointment.

 

3. Discuss your member of staff’s plans with them as early as possible:

Two men talking This will provide an opportunity to explore their Adoption Leave plans with them, including:
a) Whether they are considering using a proportion of their annual leave entitlement before the start and/or after the end of their Adoption Leave?
b) (Where they and their partner satisfy the eligibility requirements) they may wish to consider converting part of their Adoption leave and Pay to Shared Parental Leave and Pay.
c) (For academic staff) whether they are aware of the Elsie Widdowson Fellowship.

4. Providing formal notice of an intention to take Adoption/Surrogacy Leave:

  Email concept Your member of staff will need to:
a) Send an e-mail or letter to you and their HR representative confirming when the child is expected to be placed with them and the date they intend to start their Adoption Leave.
b) They must provide this notice within seven days of being notified by the adoption agency that they have been matched with a child for adoption.
c) They will also need to provide a “Matching Certificate” as provided by the adoption agency; or (For overseas adoption) a Certificate of Eligibility from the UK Authority confirming suitability for adoption.


HR on keyboard Your HR representative will:
a) provide written confirmation of entitlement and advise Pay Office, Pensions and Research Contracts (if applicable)
b) be available to provide policy advice and support to you and your staff member if you have any questions about their Adoption Leave entitlements.

 

5. During Adoption Leave:

Keep in touch sign on laptop Before your staff member starts Adoption Leave, discuss with them arrangements for keeping in touch (for example the best way to make contact, and how often), and the types of things they want to be kept up to date about.

With your agreement, your staff member may also attend work or training for up to ten days during their Adoption Leave.  For further details see the Keeping in Touch and Shared Parental Leave in Touch days – Guidance for Managers

6. At the end of Adoption Leave:

Work circled on calendar Where your member of staff returns to work on the date originally intended, they do not need to provide you with any other notice of their return.

If they wish to return to work in advance of their intended return date; or (having taken less than 52 weeks’ Adoption Leave) they  wish to return on a date later than that originally intended they will need to provide you with written notice of their new return date at least eight weeks before the new return date or at least eight weeks before the original return date (whichever is the earlier).

  • If your member of staff decides that they do not wish to return to work following their Adoption Leave, they will need to provide you with notice as outlined in their terms and conditions of service.
    • They may need to repay the enhanced element of their adoption pay if they  do not return to work and continue in employment for at least three months following the end of their Adoption Leave (where applicable).
  • If your member of staff requests to return to work on a part-time basis, you should consider this positively, accommodating their request where possible.  The Flexible Working Policy provides further information.  Your HR representative will also be available to provide advice and guidance on considering such requests. 

Support for you:

Man holding baby at desk

Your HR representative will be able to provide advice and will assist you with administration related to Adoption Leave.

Support for your staff member:
Your HR representative will assist with any queries relating to Adoption Leave.
Information on College support for staff following Adoption Leave is available on the HR webpages.