From 5th April 2015, there are a number of changes to adoption leave and pay, as well as the introduction of shared parental leave, all of which are positive for potential adopters. To qualify for these new arrangements, the match date (date on matching certificate) must be on or after 5th April 2015
Adoption pay will match current statutory maternity arrangements, with a qualifying period of employment (currently 26 weeks) and adoption pay will be 90% of earnings for the first 6 weeks (then at the statutory rate for a further 33 weeks).
Prospective adopters starting a Fostering for Adoption placement (including Concurrent Planning) and notified of the placement starting on or after 5th April 2015, will also be eligible for adoption leave and pay.
No qualifying period in employment to be eligible for statutory adoption leave.
Shared parental leave is being introduced for all new parents, including adopters. There is a 26-week qualifying period in employment and the adopter or partner must be eligible for statutory adoption pay or paternity pay. One parent can take up to a year off, or a couple can each choose to take several months, at the same time if they wish. See www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay-employer-guide/overview.
From the same date, prospective adopters who are expecting a child to be placed, will be entitled to time off on 5 occasions (main adopter) or 2 occasions (secondary adopter) for adoption appointments