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Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay

Last Updated 19/11/2019

What is Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay?

When you adopt or have a child through surrogacy, you’re entitled to a year off work and up to 39 weeks’ Statutory Adoption Pay.

Who gets it?
Only one person in a couple can take adoption leave and pay. The other person could be eligible for paternity leave and pay.

You must be an employee and have been:

  • continuously employed for at least 26 weeks up to any day in the week they were matched with a child
  • be on payroll and earn at least £118 a week in an 8-week period - the ‘relevant period’
  • give the correct notice
  • give proof of the adoption or surrogacy

How much is Statutory Adoption Pay?
You get Statutory Adoption Pay for up to 39 weeks of your Statutory Adoption Leave.

The table below shows how much Statutory Adoption Pay is in the 2018-19 tax year:

Statutory Adoption Leave      Statutory Adoption Pay

The first six weeks 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax
The next 33 weeks £148.68 or 90% of your average weekly earnings - whichever is less
The next 13 weeks (if taken)        Unpaid

How to claim
Tell your employer that you want to take adoption leave and when you want it to start.

You should tell them within seven days of being told by the adoption agency that you’ve been matched with a child.

If you use a surrogate to have a baby, tell your employer the due date and when you want to start your leave at least 15 weeks before the baby is due.

Find out more about Statutory Adoption Pay



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