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Stats from Coram BAAF, the membership organisation for professionals, foster carers and adopters, say that 3,820 children were adopted from care in England in the year ending 31 March 2018, with 4,020 children having an adoption decision but not placed up to the same date and a further 2,630 children with a placement order who had not been placed with adoptive parents.

Did you know that once you have adopted a child, then you’re entitled to Statutory Adoption Leave of 52 weeks? This is made up of Ordinary Adoption Leave and Additional Adoption Leave and is set out in the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002. This regulation relates to paternity and adoption leave rights provided for in the Employment Act 2002.

Statutory Adoption Leave

The relevant provisions are incorporated by that act into the Employment Rights Act 1996, which is one of the key acts for the majority of employment claims.

Who’s entitled to statutory adoption leave?

Only employees are entitled to ordinary adoption leave. Everyone who is an employee is entitled to the ordinary leave of 26 weeks; if you are entitled to this, you should also be entitled to the 26 weeks’ additional leave.

When does statutory adoption leave begin?

Leave starts from the date the child is placed with you for adoption and is similar to the ordinary and additional maternity leave of an employee who gives birth to a child. If only one person is the adopter, then only that person can take the leave.

Parents of a child –whether born to the parents or adopted – have the same right to shared parental leave, where the child was placed for adoption or born after 5 April 2015.

For more information on your employment rights and entitlement to adoption leave, please contact our employment law team by emailing employment Partner David Leslie or calling 0113 368 7804.