Adoption Leave - Points for Employees and Employers

Mary Gavin

03 July 2014

Under the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002, an employee is entitled to adoption leave of 26 weeks in respect of a child he adopts provided the employee has been continuously employed for a period of not less than 26 weeks ending with the week in which he was notified of having been matched with the child.

An employee must give his employer notice of his intention to take ordinary adoption leave in respect of a child, specifying the date on which the child is expected to be placed with him for adoption or a predetermined date. Where the employer requests it, an employee must also provide his employer with evidence, in the form of one or more documents issued by the adoption agency that matched the employee with the child, of:-

  1. the name and address of the adoption agency;
  2. the name and date of birth of the child;
  3. the date on which the employee was notified that he had been matched with the child; and
  4. the date on which the adoption agency expects to place the child with the employee.

An employee will not qualify for statutory adoption leave if they arrange a private adoption, become a special guardian, adopt a stepchild or have a child through surrogacy.

An employee cannot be subjected to a detriment or be unfairly dismissed for exercising their rights under the legislation. The above is a brief synopsis of the legislation, if you have a query in relation to this matter please do not hesitate to contact us on 028 9024 3901 or online using the contact us form.