Statutory Adoption Leave: returning to work

If you adopt a child, you might be eligible for 52 weeks' Statutory Adoption Leave. You have employment rights and responsibilities when you return to work after Statutory Adoption Leave.

Returning to work

When returning to work after a period of Adoption Leave or a combination of Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave) of less than 26 weeks, you have a right to the same job and the same terms and conditions as if you hadn’t been away..

This also applies when you go back to work after Adoption Leave (or a combination of Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave) of more than 26 weeks), unless your employer shows it is not reasonably practicable to return to your original job (for example, because the job no longer exists). In this case your employer must must offer a suitable job on terms and conditions that are no less favourable.

Giving your employer notice about returning to work

Your employer will assume you will take all 52 weeks of your Statutory Adoption Leave. If you take the full 52 weeks, you don’t need to give notice that you are going back to work. But it's helpful to tell your employer.

If you wish to return earlier, for example, when your Statutory Adoption Pay ends or because your partner is taking Shared Parental Leave, you must give your employer at least eight weeks’ notice of the date on which you will return. If you don't, your employer can postpone your return until the eight weeks have passed.

If you decide not to return to work at all, you must give your employer notice in the normal way.

Illness at the end of your Statutory Adoption Leave

If you can’t return to work at the end of your Statutory Adoption Leave because you're ill, tell your employer in the normal way.

Flexible working

All employees who have been working continuously for 26 weeks are entitled to ask for a flexible working pattern. This can help you balance caring for your child and work. Your employer must consider your request and give you a written reply.

Taking parental leave after Statutory Adoption Leave

If you need more time off to look after your child, you may be able to take parental leave. You can take up to four weeks' parental leave at the end of your Statutory Adoption Leave without affecting your right to return.

If you take more than four weeks, you will be able to return to the same job unless this is not reasonably practicable. In this case your employer must offer you a suitable job on terms and conditions that are no less favourable.

Parental leave doesn’t have to follow straight after Statutory Adoption Leave. You can take parental leave after you have returned to work.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

You and your partner could be entitled to shared rights to leave and pay. To read more about Shared Parental Leave and Pay, go to:

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section, then for queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.