It is essential that you read all the guidance in these adoption leave pages.

This guidance is intended for employees who are the adopting parents and their managers and sets out the adoption leave and pay entitlements.

Overview of adoption leave

Adoption leave and pay allows one member of an adoptive couple, the one who will have the primary care responsibility for the child or children, to take time off work when their new child or children start to live with them. The purpose of the adoption leave is to allow the parent to bond with, and care for, their new child or children.

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks' statutory adoption leave (regardless of how long they have worked for the University). It is up to the employee to decide how much of that adoption leave entitlement they take, but the law requires that a minimum of two weeks' leave must be taken immediately following the placement of the child. This is known as compulsory adoption leave. Where a couple are adopting jointly they can choose which of them will take adoption leave and pay, and the other (regardless of gender) may take paternity or birth and adoption support leave and pay. Parents may also be eligible to take Shared Parental Leave.

Additionally, if an employee satisfies certain qualifying conditions, they may be eligible to receive statutory adoption pay (SAP), or they may also be eligible for the University’s contractual adoption pay scheme (which pays over and above the statutory minimum).

The notification requirements and all other entitlements and obligations on the employee and their department, before, during and after their adoption leave are outlined in the relevant sections in this guidance. You can navigate to these sections by using the 'Quick Links' menu on the right or the navigation menu on the left. The guidance is also available to download as a PDF document from the right-hand side menu.