Notification and Confirmation of Adoption Leave – Adopting from Overseas

Notification of Overseas Adoptions


Employees adopting a child from overseas must give notice of their intention to take statutory adoption leave in three stages. 

Stage 1 Notification

The employee must inform the employer of the date on which they received “official notification” (issued by the relevant domestic authority confirming it has, or is prepared to, issue a certificate confirming that the employee is eligible to adopt), and the date on which the child is expected to enter the UK.

Stage 1 notification should be given to the employer:

- in the instance of the employee having already completed the necessary 26 weeks continuous service, within 28 days of receiving official notification; and

- in the instance where the employee receives official notification before having completed 26 weeks continuous service, within 28 days of completing 26 weeks continuous service.

Stage 2 Notification

The employee must give no less than 28 days’ notice of the date that they wish to start their adoption leave (and statutory adoption pay if relevant). This can be given at the same time as the Stage 1 notification. In any case statutory adoption leave can not begin before the child is due to enter the UK.

The employee can change the date that they wish to start their leave, providing they again provide their employer with 28 days’ notice or, where this is not possible, as soon as is possible.

Stage 3 Notification

The final notification that must be given by employees is the date on which the child actually entered the UK. This notification must be given within 28 days of the date of entry. Where statutory adoption pay is also being claimed, evidence of the day of entry is required.

If it transpires that the child is not to enter the UK, the employee must inform the employer as soon as is reasonably practicable of such.

Confirmation of end of leave date

An employer who has received notification of the date on which an employee intends to start their statutory adoption leave (Stage 2 notification) 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.

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