Statutory Adoption Pay
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is a weekly payment from your employer that helps you take time off work when you adopt a child or have a baby through surrogacy. You can't claim SAP if your partner has claimed SAP, or if you're claiming Statutory Paternity Pay for the child.
To qualify for SAP you must have been:
- matched with a child for adoption by a UK adoption agency
- employed by your present employer without a break for at least 26 weeks up to and including the week the adoption agency told you that you had been matched with a child for adoption
- earning an average of at least £123 (before tax) per week in the eight weeks by the end of the 15th week up to and including the week you were notified of having been matched with the child
You must give your employer 28 days’ notice of the date on which the child will be placed with you and the date from which you want SAP to begin (unless notification of matching is less than that; in which case you must tell your employer as soon as practicable).
To claim SAP you must give your employer documentary evidence from the adoption agency. This will usually be a 'matching certificate'.
You can choose when to start getting your SAP. It can start from the date of the child's placement or up to 14 days before the expected date of the placement.
To qualify for SAP you must have been:
- employed by your present employer without a break for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week during which you are sent official notification by the relevant authority saying that you are eligible to adopt a child from overseas
- earning an average of at least £123 (before tax) per week in the eight weeks up to and including the date of issue of that official notification
If you're adopting as a couple, you'll need to complete form SC6.
You must also keep to the notification requirements applicable for Statutory Adoption Leave for overseas adoptions.
Parental Order parents
To qualify for SAP you must have either:
- been granted a Parental Order about the child
- have applied for, or will apply for within six months of birth, a Parental Order about the child and expect the court to grant such an Order
You must also have been:
- employed by your present employer without a break for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
- earning an average of at least £123 (before tax) per week in the eight weeks by the end of the 15th week before the due date
You must give your employer 28 days’ notice of the date on which you want SAP to begin and the expected date of birth. If it's not possible to give 28 days’ notice, you must tell your employer as soon as you can. If your employer considers it was reasonably practicable for you to have given notice earlier than you did, they can refuse to pay you SAP. You must also tell your employer of the date of birth.
Your employer may ask for a written statement, in the form of a statutory declaration, that you will meet the requirements stated above about the Parental Order.
SAP is payable from date of birth or, if you are working that day, from the next day.
How much you'll get
If you qualify, you'll be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay for 39 weeks. SAP is paid at 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings for the first six weeks. For the next 33 weeks SAP is paid at £172.48 (in the year 2023/24) or 90 per cent of your average weekly earnings if this is less.
You can get personalised help on what you qualify for by using the online adoption rights at work tool. The tool will give you a personalised statement of the adoption benefits that you may qualify for.
How it's paid
Your employer will pay Statutory Adoption Pay to you in the same way and at the same time as your normal wages.
Statutory Adoption Pay is treated as normal pay and so they will also take off tax and National Insurance as usual.
What else you need to know
If you have more than one job, you may be able to get Statutory Adoption Pay from each employer.
You may work for the employer paying you Statutory Adoption Pay for ten days without losing any Statutory Adoption Pay
If you can't get Statutory Adoption Pay
If you can't get Statutory Adoption Pay your employer must fill in form SAP1 Non-payment of Statutory Adoption Pay. Your employer must then give you this form telling you why Statutory Adoption Pay has not been paid.
If you disagree with the decision
If you think your employer's decision is wrong contact the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employees enquiry line on 0300 200 3500. You can also tell HMRC if you're not getting the right amount of Statutory Adoption Pay.