During Adoption Leave
Terms and Conditions OAL / AAL
Unless it is expressly terminated, an employee’s contract will continue to run throughout the period of statutory adoption leave. All employees have the statutory right to continue to benefit from all of the terms and conditions of their employment contract which would have applied to them were they at work (excluding remuneration). During both OAL and AAL, employees continue to receive all non-pay benefits, which may include company cars, gym membership, or accrual of contractual annual leave (that is, annual leave entitlement above the statutory minimum).
OAL and AAL both count towards the employee’s period of continuous service. The whole period of statutory adoption leave will count for seniority.
Occupational Pension Scheme Contributions
During adoption leave, the employer is required to continue making employer’s contributions to an occupational pension scheme. During OAL, regardless of whether or not the employee is receiving any adoption pay, the employer’s contribution should be calculated on the same basis as if the employee is still at work and receiving their normal remuneration. During AAL, employer’s contributions only need be made where the employee is in receipt of adoption pay (either statutory or enhanced contractual pay), again calculated on the basis that the employee is at work and receiving normal remuneration. Where the occupational pension scheme requires the employee to continue to make contributions, these are calculated on the basis of the actual pay they are receiving. During unpaid AAL (usually the last 13 weeks if the full 52 week entitlement is taken) therefore, neither the employer nor employee will make any contribution to the scheme, providing of course that the employment contract does not require the employer to continue with employer’s contributions. The employee may still make voluntary contributions to the scheme, where the scheme allows.
Keeping in Touch
During adoption leave employees may, in agreement with their employer, work for up to 10 days under their contract of employment without affecting their leave entitlement or adoption pay entitlement. These “Keeping in Touch” or “KIT” days can be used to perform normal day-to-day work, or alternatively may be used for the employee to attend important meetings or training. Any work carried out on a KIT day means that one of the ten available KIT days has been used. For example if an employee attends a one hour meeting or training session one KIT day is deemed to have been used. The amount that an employee will be paid for a KIT day is a matter to be agreed between the employee and the employer. It may be contained in the contract of employment, or it may be decided case-by-case. Payment for a KIT day will not affect the employees entitlement to statutory adoption pay, although the employer and employee may agree that the statutory adoption pay counts towards payment for a KIT day. KIT days are purely optional. Employees cannot be compelled to work a KIT day, nor can they insist that they work a KIT day if their employer does not agree to it. Employees are protected from any detrimental treatment or dismissal suffered as a result of working on or refusing to work a KIT day.