Entitlements during Statutory Adoption Leave
Your rights during your Statutory Adoption Leave are the same if you are adopting from the UK or from overseas. Find out about how your employment terms, for example your pension contributions and holiday entitlement, are protected during your Statutory Adoption Leave.
Your employment terms and conditions
While you are on Statutory Adoption Leave your employment terms and conditions are protected.
You keep your normal employment rights and benefits (excluding wages) throughout all of your Statutory Adoption Leave.
This might include any access to benefits you have as part of your employment contract, for example a company car or mobile phone. However, if the benefit is provided for business use, your employer may be able to suspend it.
What happens to your pension contributions
If your employer contributes to an occupational pension scheme they must carry on making their usual contributions for:
- the whole time you are on Ordinary Adoption Leave - which is the first 26 weeks
- any time you are receiving any Statutory Adoption Pay
- any time you are receiving any contractual adoption pay
If you normally make contributions to your pension you should carry on doing so, based on the amount of adoption pay that you are getting.
Holiday entitlement during Statutory Adoption Leave
You still build up all your entitlements to paid holiday through all of your Statutory Adoption Leave. This is even if your contract says you are entitled to more than the legal minimum.
You can add holiday to the beginning or end of your Statutory Adoption Leave. You may not be able to carry over untaken holiday entitlement if your Statutory Adoption Leave goes over two holiday years. It is often best to take this at the beginning of your leave.
Redundancy or dismissal during Statutory Adoption Leave
It is automatically unfair and automatic sex discrimination for your employer to select you for redundancy or dismiss you for a reason connected with:
- adoption leave
- parental leave
- time off for dependants
Your employer can make you redundant while you are on adoption leave if they can fairly justify their choice. For example, your employer might close the section of their business that you normally work in and make all employees in that section redundant. Then your employer can make you redundant as well.
However, if your employer makes staff cuts across the company, they cannot make you redundant because you are on or are about to take adoption leave.
If you are made redundant whilst on Statutory Adoption Leave, you have special rights. You have the right to be offered any suitable alternative job in the company. This applies even if there are other employees that might be more suitable for the job. If you are offered a new job, you are still entitled to the four-week trial period, which should start when you return from adoption leave. This four-week trial period is to help you decide if it is suitable alternative employment.
If you are made redundant or dismissed during your Statutory Adoption Leave your employer must give you a written statement explaining the reasons for their decision. You should receive your normal notice period or pay in lieu of notice and redundancy pay, if you are entitled to receive them. 'Pay in lieu of notice' means your employer will pay you instead of giving you a notice period.
Keeping in touch
During your leave it is often helpful to keep in touch with your employer. Your employer is entitled to make reasonable contact with you during Statutory Adoption Leave. For example, this might be to discuss arrangements for your return to work or to update you on any significant changes in the workplace.
You are also entitled to do up to ten days' work during your adoption leave without losing adoption pay or bringing your leave to an end.
These are called keeping in touch days - and may only be worked if both you and your employer agree.
Although particularly useful for things such as training or team events, keeping in touch days may be used for any form of work. They should make it easier for you to return to work after your leave.
You will need to agree with your employer what work is to be done and how much pay you will receive.
What to do if you have problems
If you have a problem during your Statutory Adoption Leave, talk to your employer first of all - it may be a simple misunderstanding. If this doesn't work, you may need to make a complaint using your employer's grievance procedure.