Statutory Adoption Pay
SAP is payable for up to 39 weeks during adoption leave provided your average weekly earnings in the eight weeks up to and including the matching for adoption week are not less than the lower earnings limit for National Insurance contributions and you have been continuously employed by the Company for at least 26 weeks at the end of the matching for adoption week and you are still employed during that week.
The weekly rate of SAP is paid at a rate set by the government for the relevant tax year, or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is lower than the government’s set weekly rate.
For the first six weeks, SAP will be paid at the higher rate, which is equivalent to 90% of your average weekly earnings calculated over the period of eight weeks up to and including the matching for adoption week. For the purpose of calculating average weekly earnings, shift allowances, overtime payments and commission are all included. The standard rate of SAP will be paid for the remaining 33 weeks (or less if you decide to return to work sooner). This is paid at a rate set by the government for the relevant tax year, or 90% of your average weekly earnings if this is lower than the government’s set weekly rate.
Time off to attend adoption appointments
If you have been notified by an approved adoption agency that a child is to be placed with you for adoption, you are entitled to take time off during working hours to attend by appointment at any place for the purpose of having contact with the child or for any other purpose connected with the adoption. The appointment must have been arranged by or at the request of the adoption agency.
If you are a single adopter, you may attend up to five paid appointments. If you are a joint adopter, you may elect for one person (the primary adopter) to attend up to five paid appointments, while the other (the secondary adopter) may attend up to two unpaid appointments.
The maximum time off during working hours for each appointment is capped at 6.5 hours.
Shared parental leave
You may then be eligible to share the balance of your leave (and pay) with your spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner (if they are also eligible) as shared parental leave (and statutory shared parental pay, if applicable). Shared parental leave is available for up to 52 weeks, reduced by the number of weeks of adoption leave you have taken (a minimum of two weeks of adoption leave must still be taken). It is up to you and your spouse or partner to agree between yourselves the amount of shared parental leave each of you will take, assuming you are both eligible, as long as the total time taken does not exceed the maximum permitted between you.
Shared parental leave can also be taken consecutively or concurrently but it must start no earlier than the date of placement of the child for adoption and it must end no later than twelve months after the date of placement of the child for adoption.