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.
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: