Adoption leave and pay

Parents who are adopting have the right to take adoption leave, which works in a similar way to maternity and paternity leave


If you are adopting a child, you are entitled to up to 52 weeks of adoption leave. This applies to only one partner in a couple. However, the person not taking adoption leave may still be entitled to paternity leave, and both partners may be eligible to take shared parental leave.

If you have worked continuously for your employer for 26 weeks, you are entitled to statutory adoption pay for 39 weeks.

Employees who have worked for 12 months continuously in the NHS will be entitled to leave and pay in line with the maternity provisions (these apply to only one parent if both work in the NHS).

If you are employed outside the NHS, you will need to check your contract to see if you have entitlements beyond the statutory minimum.

There are other rules around adoption leave, such as when you must notify your employer, and your rights on returning to work.

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