Adoption Leave and Pay

The Council’s adoption scheme is based on the principles of the maternity scheme. You are eligible for adoption leave provided you meet the criteria as laid down in the scheme.

Please refer to the Work Life Balance Policy for detailed information. Below however is further guidance that we hope will answer the general questions you may have regarding entitlement to leave and pay.

Notification Process



When should I notify my line manager that I have been matched with a child?

You are required to notify Corporate HR of your intention to take adoption leave no more than seven days after the date on which you were notified of a match being made or in the case of an overseas adoption within 28 days of receipt of official notification. Confirmation of your intention to take adoption leave should be given by completing the Adoption Notification form and submitting it to Corporate HR together your matching certificate or official notification.

When can I start my adoption leave?

The earliest you can commence leave is 14 days prior to the date of placement (date the child starts living with you). For overseas adoptions – when the child arrives in the UK or within 28 days of this date. 

When will my adoption pay start?

The earliest point at which adoption pay can commence is 14 days prior to the date of placement. Adoption pay will start when you commence adoption leave.

What happens if I lose my job before beginning my SAP? If you lose your job or stop work before the qualifying week (the 15th week before your baby is due) you will not be entitled to SAP. If you lose your job or stop work after the qualifying week, you will still be entitled to SAP.

How much notice do I need to give to my employer if I am returning to work before the end of my adoption leave?

If you want to return to work before the end of your agreed adoption leave you will need to give your line manager 21 days’ notice of your new return to work date. Employees are encouraged to discuss their return to work date with their line manager at the earliest opportunity, so that suitable arrangements are put in place. If you intend to return to work at the end of your full maternity leave entitlement you will not be required to give any further notification.

How much SAP do I receive if I have a multiple adoption?

You are only entitled to one SAP payment regardless of the number of children adopted during the same period.

What happens if I am sick at the end of my adoption leave?

You will need a sick certificate from your doctor. You will be recorded as having returned from maternity leave, and you will then be on sick leave and will need to follow the normal departmental procedures for reporting sickness absence.

Can I return part-time or to a job share?

If you wish to apply for a flexible working arrangement following adoption leave then you would need to do so in line with the Authority’s Work Life Balance Policy.

Can I go back on adoption leave once I have returned to work if it’s still within the maternity leave period?


Will I still be entitled to Annual Leave & Bank Holidays? 

Annual leave and Bank Holiday entitlement is accrued during the whole period of adoption leave whether paid or unpaid. It may be beneficial to both yourself and your line manager to take annual leave before and/or after the formal (paid and unpaid) adoption leave period. The amount of leave to be taken this way or carried over must be discussed and agreed with the manager who will have to consider service commitments.