Notification of UK Adoption
The notification procedure which an employee must adhere to in order to qualify for adoption leave when adopting a child from within the UK is very straightforward.
The employee should notify their employer within 7 days of being matched with a child for adoption:
- that they intend to take adoption leave;
- the date when they intend to start their leave; and
- the date that the child is expected to be placed with them.
Where it is not reasonably practicable to give notice within the 7 days after being matched with a child, notice should instead be given as soon as possible.
Where the correct notice is not given, the employer is able to delay the start of the adoption leave, and Statutory Adoption Pay, until the correct notice is given, although such postponement cannot be beyond the date on which the child is placed with the employee.
There is not any requirement that the notice be given in writing, although employers may be well advised to insist that their employees do give notice in writing for the sake of clarity and certainty.
Employers should also request evidence of an employee’s eligibility for adoption leave, which can be established by a “matching certificate” from the adoption agency.
Confirmation of end of leave date
An employer who has received notification of intention to take adoption leave from an employee is obliged to confirm to the employee the date on which their adoption leave will end. Where the employee intends to take the full amount of Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL) and Additional Adoption Leave (AAL), their return to work will be 52 weeks from their intended start of adoption leave. Confirmation of the return to work date must come within 28 days of receiving the employee’s notification. Failure to confirm the end date of adoption leave will mean that the employer is unable to discipline an employee who does not return to work on time.