1 ADOPTION LEAVE This document includes all the guidance given on the Personnel Services website, which can be found at This guidance is intended for adopting parents and their managers and sets out the adoption leave and pay entitlements. It is essential that you read all the guidance in these adoption leave pages. The guidance is structured so as to give you the information you need at all the various stages: Before the Adoption During the Adoption leave After the Adoption leave There is also: A summary of the University's contractual adoption leave scheme An Adoption Leave Plan which you will need to complete with your manager
2 BEFORE THE ADOPTION Action required by employee When you are notified that you have been matched for adoption you should meet with your line manager to discuss and complete the Adoption Leave Plan, which will provide the relevant information and notice to your department in respect your intention to take adoption leave. You should advise your manager whether you intend to return to work after the adoption. If you do intend to return to work you should notify your manager of the date on which you wish to begin your adoption leave. If you do not intend to return to work after the adoption your manager can outline your entitlement to statutory adoption pay, etc. Discuss with your manager whether you would like to undertake any Keeping in Touch (KIT) days. Agree with your manager arrangements for staying in touch, if you wish to do so, during your adoption leave. Action required by the department As soon as your employee informs you that s/he has been matched for adoption you should meet with them to discuss and complete the Adoption Leave Plan. Within 28 days of completing the Adoption Leave Plan you should confirm the employee's return to work date in writing (if the employee intends to return to work). University adoption scheme All employees employed by the University who meet the relevant qualifying provisions, who have expressed the intention to return to work following the adoption of their child/ren, and regardless of their staff group, grade or hours worked, will be eligible for the provisions of the University adoption leave scheme. Adoption leave and pay allows one member of an adoptive couple, the one who will have the primary care responsibility for the child, to take paid time off work when their new child starts to live with them. Paternity leave and pay may be available for the other member of the couple, or an adopter's partner. 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 leave and pay. If an individual is adopting s/he may take adoption leave and pay and his/her partner may be eligible for paternity leave and pay. Separate guidance on paternity leave and pay is provided in the Family Leave section of the Personnel Services website. Overseas adoptions This guidance only covers leave and pay entitlements and responsibilities which apply when an adopter is matched with a child and the child is placed for adoption within Great Britain. Similar provisions apply where a child is adopted from overseas, although the detailed operation of the scheme differs slightly for practical reasons. The department should contact its HR Business Partner if an employee is adopting a child from overseas and further guidance will be provided.
3 Qualification for the university adoption leave scheme At the qualifying week (the week in which the employee is told by the adoption agency that he/she has been matched with a child) the employee must: 1. hold a current contract of employment with the University, and 2. have at least 26 weeks' continuous service with the University; and 3. have been matched with a child to be placed with him/her by a UK adoption agency; and 4. have notified the agency that they agree that the child should be placed with him/her and agree the date of placement; and 5. provide his/her department with the correct notification of his/her intentions to take adoption leave; and 6. intend to return to work following the adoption If s/he meets all these requirements, and has a contract of employment which will continue throughout the entire period of the proposed adoption leave the employee will be eligible to receive the benefits of the University adoption leave scheme as follows: 26 weeks' full pay (inclusive of any statutory adoption pay which is due); followed by 13 weeks' statutory adoption pay(if an employee does not meet all the statutory qualification rules for statutory adoption pay, s/he will only receive pay for the first 26 weeks of the University adoption leave scheme); followed by 13 weeks' unpaid leave Total = 52 weeks' leave If the contract will expire during the proposed adoption leave period then payments under the contractual scheme will end at the contract end date. SAP payments (see below) may continue. Payments under the University Adoption Scheme consist of two elements, contractual pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP). SAP is a weekly government benefit that is paid by the employer to employees who meet the qualifying criteria. Contractual pay is the pay that the University pays over and above the statutory minimum. To qualify for SAP, the employee must have been continuously employed with the same employer for at least 26 weeks ending in the week that the employee is notified that s/he has been matched with a child (the qualifying week) and have average weekly earnings above the National Insurance lower earnings limit. There are other qualifying conditions relating to SAP that depend on individual circumstances, but payroll can confirm whether an employee is eligible for SAP at the appropriate time. SAP is paid over the first 39 weeks of maternity leave at the rate of: At a flat rate SAP ( a week from 6 April 2014) or 90% of average weekly earnings if that is less than a week. The flat rate is subject to review every April.
4 As the University pays full pay for the first 26 weeks' adoption leave, any SAP which is due to the employee is automatically incorporated into the first 26 weeks' full pay. It is not paid in addition to full pay. For the next 13 weeks, the University pays SAP only. For the final 13 weeks of leave under the University Adoption Scheme no payments are made. In a case where the employee is adopting more than one child at the same time, the employee is entitled to the same benefits as though s/he were adopting one child. Notice The employee must: provide his/her department with the correct notification of his/her intentions to take adoption leave no more than seven days after s/he is notified that s/he has been matched with a child. notify his/her department of when s/he wants to receive statutory adoption pay (SAP) at least 28 days before the date s/he wants it to begin, or as soon as is reasonably practicable (notice can be given earlier alongside notice of the start of adoption leave).the employee can tell his/her department earlier than this if they want to. In most cases employees who are eligible for SAP will notify their department of the date they want their pay to begin at the same time as giving notice of leave. In most cases employees will want their SAP to start on the same date as their leave. In any event, an employee must give the department at least 28 days' notice of the date on which they want their SAP to start, or, if this is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable. An employee can change their mind about when they want their leave to start as long as they give their employer at least 28 days' notice before the original date or the new date they want leave to start, whichever is later. If the date of placement changes before the employee begins adoption leave, the employee should discuss the situation with the employer as soon as possible, and give the appropriate notice to change the start date. The department should fill in an Adoption Leave Plan with the employee to ensure that notification has been given for adoption leave. Evidence will be needed to demonstrate eligibility for University adoption leave and this includes: The name and address of the adoption agency; and The date the employee was notified of having been matched with the child; and The date on which the child is expected to be placed for adoption or, if it has already happened, the actual date of placement; A declaration that the employee is the primary carer for the child and has chosen to receive SAP rather than Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). If the employee's contract ends before the SAP payments have begun, the SAP payments should start 14 days before the date of placement. If the contract ends during those 14 days, pay begins the day following the last day of work. Start of adoption leave/pay
5 An adopter can choose to begin their leave and pay on: The date on which the child is placed with them for adoption; or A pre-determined date no earlier than 14 days before the expected date of placement, and no later than the expected date of placement. Contact during adoption leave The department may make contact with the employee (and vice versa) while s/he is on adoption leave, as long as the amount and type of contact is not unreasonable (e.g. to discuss plans for returning to work or to keep him/her informed of important developments in the workplace). Work during the adoption leave period - Keeping in Touch (KIT) days An employee may, by agreement with her department, do up to ten days' work - known as Keeping in Touch (KIT) days - under his/her contract of employment during the adoption leave period. Such days are different to the reasonable contact that departments and employees may have with each other, as during KIT days employees can actually carry out work for the department, for which they will be paid. Any work carried out during the adoption pay period (39 weeks) or adoption leave period (52 weeks) will count as a whole KIT day, up to the ten day maximum. In other words, if an employee comes in for a one hour training session and does no other work that day, s/he will have used one of his/her KIT days. The type of work that the employee undertakes on KIT days is a matter for agreement between the two parties. They may be used for any activity which would ordinarily be classed as work under the employee's contract but would be particularly useful in enabling him/her to attend a conference, undertake a training activity or attend for a team meeting for example. This work during adoption leave may only take place by agreement between both the department and the employee. A department may not require an employee to work during her maternity leave if she does not want to, nor does a woman have the right to work KIT days if her department does not agree to them. The KIT days can be undertaken at any stage during the adoption leave period. When the Adoption Leave Plan is completed, the employee and department should agree how contact should be maintained and work offered under the KIT day provision. Returning to work It is assumed that an employee's return to work date will be at the end of his/her full 52 weeks of adoption leave unless s/he has told her department that s/he wishes to come back at any other time. The employee can return to work earlier than the full 52 weeks of adoption leave, or can change the date of his/her return to work, as long as s/he gives eight weeks' notice to her department. If an employee decides not to return to work at the end of his/her maternity leave, or returns
6 to work for less than three months, the University reserves the right to reclaim all or part of the payments made under the University scheme, minus the statutory adoption pay element. If an employee does not qualify for the University adoption scheme If an employee does not meet the qualifying criteria for the University Adoption Scheme, s/he still has certain rights, which are set out below. All employees who are adopting a child are entitled to 52 weeks' leave from work when they adopt, or as much of that period as they wish to take, no matter how long they have worked for the University. The purpose of the adoption leave is to allow the parent to bond with, and care for, his/her new child. However, where the employee does not qualify for the University adoption leave scheme or SAP, this leave will be unpaid. This kind of adoption leave i.e. the leave that all adopting employees, regardless of their length of service with the University, and whether or not they qualify for the University Adoption Scheme, are entitled to is made up of: 26 weeks' Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL) followed immediately by 26 weeks' Additional Adoption Leave (AAL) It is up to the individual employee to decide how much adoption leave s/he wishes to take, up to the 52 weeks' maximum. An employee can choose to start his/her adoption leave on the date on which the child is placed with him/her for adoption or a pre-determined date no earlier than 14 days before the expected date of placement, and no later than the expected date of placement. The employee must give the correct notice to his/her department. An employee who does not qualify for SAP or contractual pay still needs to provide a matching certificate and fill in an Adoption Leave Plan in order to take adoption leave. Notification before going on adoption leave Although the law only requires the employee to tell his/her department that s/he has been matched with a child for adoption and intends to take adoption leave within seven days of the date when the match has taken place, it would be helpful if the employee tells his/her department about his/her intentions to adopt a child as soon as possible so that the department knows that the employee may require time off work to deal with issues relating to the adoption process. It will also help the department to plan ahead and make arrangements for covering the period while the employee is on leave. To claim adoption leave and pay under the University Adoption Scheme, within seven days of the date that s/he is matched with a child, an employee should notify his/her department of 1. the date that the employee was notified of having been matched with the child 2. the date on which the child is expected to be placed for adoption or, if this has already happened, the actual date of the placement 3. the name and address of the adoption agency 4. confirmation that the employee is the primary carer for the child and has chosen to receive SAP rather than Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
7 An Adoption Leave Plan is provided for employees and departments to use to collect this information and other details relating to the proposed adoption leave period. If the Adoption Leave Plan is completed fully by the employee and the department this will ensure that the notification requirements are met. When leave can begin An adopter can choose to begin his/her leave and pay on: The date on which the child is placed with them for adoption; or A pre-determined date no earlier than 14 days before the expected date of placement, and no later than the expected date of placement. If the department and employee fill in the Adoption Leave Plan then this will satisfy the notification requirements in this respect. Changing the start of adoption leave Once an employee has notified the department of the date s/he wishes to start his/her adoption leave, s/he can change this date as long as s/he notifies her department of the new start date by whichever is the earlier of either 28 days before the date she originally intended to start her leave or 28 days before the new date she wants to start her leave. If it is not reasonably practicable for her to give this much notice (for example if the date of the placement of the child changes unexpectedly) then the employee should give his/her department as much notice as possible. The notification does not have to be in writing unless the department requests it. Confirmation by the department of the end date of leave Once an employee has provided the necessary notice of the intended start date of his/her leave, the department should in turn notify the employee of the date on which the leave will end. This will normally be 52 weeks (one year) from the start of adoption leave. There is a Adoption Leave Plan and letter which can be used for this purpose. The department should confirm with the employee the end date of the adoption leave within 28 days of the notification unless the employee has since changed the date the leave will start. In that case, the department must notify the employee of the end date within 28 days of the start of the leave. End of employment before leave If the employee's contract ends before the SAP payments have begun, the SAP payments should start 14 days before the date of placement. If the contract ends during those 14 days, pay begins the day following the last day of work. Annual leave Contractual annual leave (including bank holidays and fixed closure days) will accrue throughout the full 52 weeks of adoption leave, and an employee has the right to all of the
8 terms and conditions of employment which s/he would have been entitled to if s/he had been at work throughout the period of absence. Departments may wish to ask their employee to take any accrued annual leave prior to their adoption leave. You may also ask that s/he takes at least 28 days' annual leave (the annual statutory holiday entitlement) before s/he goes on adoption leave if s/he will not return to work before the end of the current leave year. In the event that an adoption period crosses over two annual leave years, you may ask an employee returning to work to use up the balance of his/her annual leave from the leave year that has ended at the end of his/her adoption leave period. However, departments retain the right to make annual leave arrangements with their employees to fit in with operational requirements. Employees may wish to consider retaining some of their annual leave to allow them to take time off as required to look after their children should they be ill, or need some additional support whilst settling into nursery or with new childcarers. It should be clarified early on that whilst a small amount of paid leave is available to staff for dealing with domestic emergencies this is not intended to cover foreseeable domestic problems such as those outlined above, and in most cases it would be anticipated that annual leave should be used to cover such circumstances. It may be necessary to clarify that the University sick scheme only covers the sickness of the employee and not the sickness suffered by any of their dependents. Other benefits During the whole period of adoption leave the employee is entitled to receive all his/her contractual benefits with the exception of remuneration. This includes all non-cash benefits such as childcare vouchers.
9 DURING ADOPTION LEAVE This section explains: what an employee has to tell his/her department while s/he is on adoption leave what contact is permitted between department and employee during adoption leave what work can be undertaken when an employee is on adoption leave Action required by employee If you have agreed with your department that you would like to work Keeping in Touch days during your adoption leave, you will need to make sure that you respond when your department offers you this work. If you wish to change the date of your planned return to work, you will need to give eight weeks' notice of the changed date to your department. Action required by department If you have agreed with the employee that s/he will be offered Keeping in Touch days during his/her adoption leave, make sure that you give as much notice as possible of the work that you would like the employee to do and clarify what s/he will be paid for the work s/he does. Think about the return to work plan for the employee - it can be difficult returning to work, particularly after a year off. If the employee changes his/her return to work date, confirm the changed date with him/her. Contact during adoption leave During the adoption leave period, a department may make reasonable contact with an employee and, in the same way an employee may make contact with his/her department. The frequency and nature of the contact will depend on a number of factors such as the nature of the work and the employee's post, any agreement that the employer and employee might have reached before adoption leave began as to contact and whether either party needs to communicate important information to the other, such as, for example, news of changes at the workplace that might affect the employee on his/her return. The contact between department and employee can be made in any way that best suits either or both of them. For example, it could be by telephone, , letter, involving the employee making a visit to the workplace, or in other ways. Departments should note that they must, in any event, keep the employee informed of information relating to his/her job that s/he would normally be made aware of if she was working (such as changes to terms and conditions of employment). Departments and their employees will often find it helpful, before adoption leave starts, to discuss arrangements for staying in touch with each other. This might include agreements on the way in which contact will happen, how often, and who will initiate the contact. It might also cover the reasons for making contact and the types of things that might be discussed. What constitutes "reasonable" contact will vary according to the circumstances. Some employees will be happy to stay in close touch with the department and will not mind frequent contact. Others, however, will prefer to keep such contact to a minimum.
10 There is a section on the Adoption Leave Plan for the employee to note his/her preferences in this respect. Payment for keeping in touch (KIT) days As KIT days allow work to be carried out under the employee's contract of employment, the employee is entitled to be paid for that work. The rate of pay is a matter for agreement with the department, but may be agreed on a case-by-case basis. It is suggested that if an employee attends for work, s/he is paid the equivalent of his/her normal hourly rate for the hours s/he works on the day in question. Therefore during the period that s/he is being paid at the rate of full pay, no further payment would be due. It is suggested that if an employee works a KIT day in a week in which s/he is receiving SAP only, then his/her pay should be made up to the equivalent of full pay for the hours worked over and above the amount received under SAP rules. S/he will continue to be paid SAP for the week in which the work is done. There is a maximum of ten KIT days allowed under the new regulations and once an employee has used up his/her ten KIT days and s/he does any further work, s/he will lose a week's SAP for the week in the Adoption Pay Period in which s/he has done that work. The hours to be worked and the pay for those hours must be agreed in advance between the department and the employee. Any questions from departments about payment during KIT days should be directed to their HR Business Partner. Notification of change of return to work dates while on adoption leave Unless otherwise notified, the date on which an employee returns to work will normally be the first working day 52 weeks after the adoption leave began. This is because all employees are entitled to 26 weeks' OAL and 26 weeks' AAL. (i) Return to work before the end of the adoption leave period If the employee wishes to return to work before the end of his/her full adoption leave period (this will normally be the end date that the department confirmed to the employee before s/he went on leave), s/he must give his/her department eight weeks' notice of his/her return to work. This notice requirement applies during the full period of leave. The notice period is the minimum that the department is entitled to expect, but the department may, at its discretion, accept less notice If the employee tries to return to work without having given the appropriate eight weeks' notice, the department may postpone the employee's return until the end of the eight weeks' notice period. However, the department may not postpone the return to a date later than the end of the adoption leave period. (ii) Return to work later than previously notified An employee who has notified his/her department that s/he wishes to return to work before the end of his/her 52 weeks entitlement to adoption leave, is entitled to change his/her mind. However, in these circumstances, s/he should give her department notice of this new, later
11 date at least eight weeks before the earlier date. (iii) Employees who do not wish to return to work after adoption leave An employee who does not wish to return to work after his/her adoption leave must give his/her department the notice of termination required by his/her contract of employment. However, if an employee is in the position to do so, it would be helpful to the department if s/he can give as much notice as possible of his/her intention to leave his/her employment. Please note: If an employee does not return to work for at least 3 months following the adoption leave period, departments may reclaim the whole of the non-statutory element of adoption pay. Being paid Employees on adoption leave will be paid on the last working day but one of the month by credit transfer direct to their named bank or building society account, in exactly the same way that their salary would be paid if they were at work. The employee's pay slip will be sent to his/her department and the employee can ask the department to forward it to his/her home address. If an employee is sick during his/her adoption leave, s/he cannot claim sick pay. If the employee is sick when his/her adoption leave is due to end, s/he will be deemed to be an employee who has returned to work but who is on sick leave under the University sick pay scheme. End of contract during adoption leave If an employee's contract is due to end during the adoption leave period, the normal arrangements for ending contracts will apply, however, it is recommended that the administrator contacts his/her HR Business Partner for guidance on the appropriate procedures. If the employee has provided written confirmation that s/he wishes the department to seek suitable alternative employment for her within the University, this should be sought in the normal way. If it has not been possible, under the normal University rules, to redeploy the employee, then University pay and rights under the University adoption scheme end on the same day that the contract expires, although s/he would continue to receive any remaining statutory adoption pay, if s/he qualifies. Annual leave It is not possible for an employee to take annual leave at the same time as adoption leave but you may wish to ask parents to take any accrued annual leave before they commence adoption leave. You may also ask that an employee takes at least 28 days' annual leave (the annual statutory holiday requirement) before s/he goes on adoption leave if s/he will not return to work before the end of the current year. In the event that an adoption leave period crosses over two annual leave years, you may ask an employee returning to work to use up the balance of his/her annual leave from the leave year that has ended at the end of his/her adoption leave. However, departments retain the right to make annual leave arrangements with their employees to fit in with operational requirements. Employees must agree when they will take annual leave in advance with their
12 department. If an employee wishes to take annual leave at the end of the adoption leave period, s/he is deemed to have returned to work at the notified date and then she may take his/her annual leave as agreed with his/her department. Other benefits During the whole period of adoption leave the employee is entitled to receive all his/her contractual benefits with the exception of remuneration. This includes all non-cash benefits such as childcare vouchers.
13 AFTER ADOPTION LEAVE This section explains: an employee's rights on returning to work following adoption leave what happens to pensions contributions during adoption leave Rights on return to work An employee who returns to work after adoption leave is entitled to return to the same job on the same terms and conditions as if s/he had not been absent, unless a redundancy situation has arisen. In addition, if there is a reason other than redundancy which means that it is not reasonably practicable for the University to take him/her back to the same job, s/he is entitled to be offered suitable alternative work, if this can be identified. Employees have the right to request flexible working and the employing department has a duty to seriously consider that request. If an employee wishes to work a flexible working pattern on a temporary basis to ease his/her return to work, s/he should discuss this with his/her department as soon as possible. Employees returning from adoption leave also have a separate entitlement to parental leave which is a period of unpaid leave. Changing hours of work Temporary changes: If an employee requests a temporary return to part time work at the end of adoption leave, the University will, subject to operational needs, consider allowing employees the opportunity to return to full time work on a phased basis. If an employee would like to return to work gradually at less than his/her normal full-time hours, s/he should discuss this possibility with the department before s/he begins his/her adoption leave. This will allow departments time to arrange cover. Departments are asked to consider such requests favourably where at all possible, but any arrangement will depend on the operational needs of the department. It is important to note that this flexibility of return does not allow employees to choose from week to week what hours they would like to work. The intention is for employees and departments to agree a regular timetable of hours to help an employee to return to full time work as smoothly as possible. Any arrangements must be agreed with the Head of Department so that they fit into the operational requirements of the department and/or group with whom the employee works. For the period of part time work, employees will be paid at the appropriate pro rata rate. This will have implications for pensions contributions which they may wish to discuss with the Pensions Office. Permanent changes: Following adoption leave, an employee's legal right is to return to the job which s/he held prior to the period of adoption leave. If an employee decides that s/he would like to return to his/her job permanently on a part-time basis, s/he may apply to his/her department under the University's flexible working procedures (for further details and an application form see the Personnel Services web site). The department should seriously consider the possibility of a return on a different basis, which might include shorter hours working or working fewer weeks of the year, but agreement to this type of request is
14 dependent upon the operational requirements of the department. For any period worked part-time, pay and pensions contributions will be adjusted on a pro rata basis. Sickness during adoption leave The university follows the same rules as are applied to statutory payments and sick pay cannot be claimed at the same time as adoption pay, employees are therefore disqualified from receiving sick pay until the period of paid adoption pay has ended. If an employee comes to the end of adoption leave and is too ill to return to work, s/he should still notify the department in the normal way that s/he wishes to return to work. If s/he remains too ill to return to work after the date on which s/he was intending to return to work, s/he must provide the department with a medical certificate and should be treated as though s/he had returned to work and was absent from work due to sickness. Pensions When an employee is on adoption leave, his/her normal employee contributions to his/her pension will continue to be deducted at the appropriate rate while s/he is on full pay and when s/he is on statutory adoption pay. The University will also continue to make its contributions at the appropriate rate. When the employee is on zero pay, no contributions are payable by either the employee or the University. If, when s/he returns to work, s/he would like to make up the pensions contributions that s/he did not pay because s/he was on reduced or zero pay during adoption leave, the employee may do so, and the Pensions Office will be able to advise the employee on his/her individual situation.
15 SUMMARY OF UNIVERSITY CONTRACTUAL ADOPTION LEAVE SCHEME Application All employees employed by the University who meet the relevant qualifying criteria, and regardless of their staff group, grade or hours worked, will be eligible for the provisions of the University adoption leave scheme. Adoption leave and pay allows one member of an adoptive couple, the one with the primary care responsibility for the child, to take paid time off work when their new child starts to live with them. Paternity, or birth and adoption support leave and pay may be available for the other member of the couple, or an adopter's partner. 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. Overseas adoptions This guidance only covers leave and pay entitlements and responsibilities which apply when an adopter is matched with a child and the child is placed for adoption within Great Britain. Similar provisions apply where a child is adopted from overseas, although the detailed operation of the scheme differs slightly for practical reasons. The department should contact its HR Business Partner if an employee is adopting a child from overseas and further guidance will be provided. Qualification At the qualifying week (the week in which the employee is told by the adoption agency that he/she has been matched with a child) the employee must: hold a current contract of employment with the University; and have at least 26 weeks' continuous service with the University; and have been matched with a child to be placed with him/her by a UK adoption agency; and have notified the agency that they agree that the child should be placed with him/her and agree the date of placement; and provide his/her department with the correct notification of his/her intentions to take adoption leave as the primary carer of the child; and intend to return to work at the end of the adoption leave. Note that contractual pay will only apply where you have a current contract of employment with the University. Therefore if your contract with the University of Oxford is due to end during your planned periods of Maternity Leave, the right to any contractual payments will end on the contract end date. If you are in any doubt about your entitlement to pay and leave, contact your Departmental Administrator or equivalent for clarification. Benefits If s/he meets all these requirements, the employee will be eligible to receive the benefits of the University adoption leave scheme as follows: 26 weeks' full pay (inclusive of any statutory adoption pay which is due) ; followed by 13 weeks' statutory adoption pay (if the adopter does not meet all the statutory qualification
16 rules for statutory adoption pay, s/he will only receive pay for the first 26 weeks of adoption leave.); followed by 13 weeks' unpaid leave Total = 52 weeks' leave Notice Periods No more than seven days after s/he is notified that s/he has been matched with a child the employee must provide his/her department with the correct notification of his/her intentions to take adoption leave. At least 28 days before the date s/he wants it to begin or as soon as is reasonably practicable (notice can be given earlier alongside notice of the start of adoption leave) the employee must notify his/her department of when s/he wants to receive statutory adoption pay (SAP). The employee can tell his/her department earlier than this if s/he wants to. Evidence will be needed to demonstrate eligibility for University adoption leave and this includes: the name and address of the adoption agency; and the date the employee was notified of having been matched with the child; and the date on which the child is expected to be placed for adoption or, if it has already happened, the actual date of placement; and a declaration that the employee is the primary carer for the child and has chosen to receive SAP rather than Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP). Start of adoption leave/pay An adopter can choose to begin his/her leave and pay on: the date on which the child is placed with him/her for adoption; or a pre-determined date no earlier than 14 days before the expected date of placement, and no later than the expected date of placement. During adoption leave The department may make contact with the employee (and vice versa) while s/he is on adoption leave, as long as the amount and type of contact is not unreasonable (e.g. to discuss plans for returning to work or to keep him/her informed of important developments in the workplace). Work during the adoption leave period - keeping in touch days The employee can undertake up to a maximum of ten days' work under his/her contract of employment during his/her adoption leave, as long as both s/he and his/her department have agreed for this to happen, and agree on what work is to be done and how much s/he will be paid for it.
17 Returning to work It is assumed that an employee will return to work at the end of his/her full 52 weeks of adoption leave unless s/he has told her department that she wishes to come back at any other time. The employee can return to work earlier than the full 52 weeks of adoption leave, or can change the date of his/her return to work, as long as s/he gives eight weeks' notice to her department. If an employee decides not to return to work at the end of his/her adoption leave, or returns to work for less than three months, the University reserves the right to reclaim all or part of the payments made under the University scheme, minus the statutory adoption pay element. End of contract during adoption leave If a woman's contract is due to end during her maternity leave period normal arrangements for ending contracts will apply. However, it is recommended that the administrator contacts his/her HR Business Partner for guidance on the appropriate procedures. If the woman has provided written confirmation that she wishes the department to seek suitable alternative employment for her within the University, this should be sought in the normal way. If it has not been possible, under the normal University rules, to redeploy her, then University pay and rights under the university maternity scheme end on the same day that her contract expires, although she would continue to receive any remaining statutory maternity pay, if she qualifies.
18 EMPLOYEES ADOPTION LEAVE PLAN You should fill in this form together with your Departmental Administrator. You should both keep a copy for reference. Telling your department when you want to take adoption leave You must have told your Departmental Administrator within seven days of being matched for adoption with a child. If you wish to change the date on which you will start your adoption leave you must give your department 28 days notice of the new date. We would encourage you to keep your department informed of your plans for adoption. The recommended notification time for advising your department of your intention to take adoption leave is when you are approved for adopting. This will give your department plenty of time to plan for your future leave. The most appropriate time for you to complete this plan may be when you receive the notification of your match with a child. How to use the plan The plan is in three parts, and notes to help you complete it are given in the right hand column. You should complete Part A first. This will help you decide how much adoption leave you can take. It will also tell you which sections of the rest of the form you need to complete. You will find it helpful to have a calendar or diary handy when you are filling out the form. Part B should be used to set out when you would like to begin your adoption leave and to record when your expected date of return to work will be (your Departmental Administrator will help you work this out). You can use Part C if you decide to return to work before you have taken your full adoption leave entitlement. (Part A will help you work out what your entitlement is.).
19 PART A PLANNING ADOPTION LEAVE TO THE DEPARTMENTAL ADMINISTRATOR I am giving you this form to let you know that I am pregnant and to notify you, if I am eligible, of when I want to start my adoption leave and to begin receiving adoption pay. Personal Details 1. Name: Department:... When the child is expected 2. The expected date of child placement is (date) 3. ary evidence confirming this: Tick box relevant box Document Tick a) Has been given to you already b) Is enclosed with this form c) Will be given to you as soon as possible Departmental Administrator s name:.. Guidance notes Expected date of child placement 2. The expected date of child placement is the date on which the adoption agency has told you that it expects the child will be placed with you. Documentary Evidence (which may be the matching certificate) 3. If you qualify for adoption pay and leave you must give your Departmental Administrator documentary evidence stating the expected date of the child s placement at least 28 days before you wish to start your leave and pay. The documentary evidence, which you will receive from the adoption agency can be used. (Answering questions 5-7 will help you decide if you qualify for adoption pay and leave.) Qualifying for the University s adoption scheme Guidance notes Filling in this section of the form will enable you and your administrator to see if you qualify for the University adoption scheme and statutory pay
20 4. The date that I was matched with a child for adoption was:..(date) 5. On this date I will have worked for the university continuously for at least 26 weeks Yes tick box (go to part B) No or tick box (see box below) 4 All employees who have 26 weeks continuous service as at the week that they are matched with a child for adoption can take 52 weeks adoption leave under the University scheme. 5 Your length of employment usually runs from the first day you started work with the University of Oxford to the present day. If there are any gaps in your employment speak to your Departmental Administrator. If you have ticked No above then you do not qualify for the University Adoption Scheme. However, you may still be able to claim Statutory Allowances and your Departmental Administrator will advise you on this.
21 PART B ADOPTION LEAVE Complete this section regardless of whether you qualify for the University s adoption scheme of not. Starting adoption leave 6. I intend to start my adoption leave on: (date) (NB this can be any day of the week) Returning after adoption leave 7. My adoption leave entitlement will finish on:.(date) 8. Return date: complete either A or B below. A I would like to take my full 52 weeks entitlement and I am due back to work on:..(date) B I have already decided not to take my full 52 weeks entitlement and will return to work on:..(date) Guidance notes 6. Start date It is your decision when you start your adoption leave, but you cannot start it earlier than 14 days before the expected date of placement of your child. You should notify your Departmental Administrator of your intended start date as soon as you receive notification from your adoption agency. If you wish to change this date you must give your Departmental Administrator at least 28 days notice of when you want to start your adoption leave unless this is not reasonably practicable. End of adoption leave 7. This is the end of the 52nd week from when you start your adoption leave. For example, if you started your adoption leave on a Wednesday, the last day will be Tuesday 52 weeks later. Your Departmental Administrator will help you calculate this date. 8. If you qualify, the University Scheme offers: - 26 weeks on full-pay, plus - 13 weeks Statutory Adoption Pay, plus - 13 weeks unpaid leave. It is your decision how much of this leave you wish to take. You may already know that you wish to take all or only some of your leave entitlement and should state your current wish by completing either 8A or 8B as appropriate. I understand that if I want to change this
22 date, I must give you 8 weeks notice of the date on which I want to return. Changing your mind: If you change your mind about the date that you want to return to work you must give your Departmental Administrator at least 8 weeks notice before your intended return date. You can use Part C of this form for this purpose. 9. Contact during adoption leave I would like to be told about changes happening at work during my adoption leave YES NO If yes, I would prefer to be contacted by:. (e.g. phone, , etc) Guidance notes You and your department may make reasonable contact during your adoption leave. Keeping in touch with work in this way can help to make it easier when it is time to return as you will be aware of what has been going on in your department. Even if you choose not to be told about changes happening at work during your adoption leave, your Departmental Administrator will still contact you about any matters relating to your employment If you do not mind how your department contacts you please tick here 10. Keeping in Touch (KIT) days Would you like the opportunity to work, attend a particular event or take up a training opportunity during your adoption leave? YES NO If so, you can agree with your department to consider up to a maximum of 10 days work on KIT days during your adoption leave. 10. As well as staying in contact with your department during your adoption leave, if you and your department both agree, you can undertake up to 10 days work during your adoption leave. These are known as Keeping in Touch (KIT) days. They are not limited to your usual job and could be used for training or other events. This work can only take place by agreement between both the department and the employee. A department may not require an employee to work during adoption leave, and the employee cannot be penalised for refusing to take up a KIT day. Similarly, an employee does not have a right to work KIT days if the department doesn t agree to them. If you and your department agree that you will work some KIT days then you should agree in advance including what you will be doing and how you will be paid.
23 Adoption plan signature page You have now completed all the parts of the form necessary before starting your adoption leave. You should now sign the form and give it to your Departmental Administrator. Don t forget to keep a copy of it for yourself. IMPORTANT NOTICE In signing this form, you confirm that: - your attention has been drawn to the right of the University to reclaim the whole or part of the non-statutory element of adoption pay if you fail to return to work after your adoption leave and continue in employment for at least 3 months following your return. - you understand that if your contract of employment is due to terminate during your adoptionleave, your entitlement to benefits under the University's contractual schemes will end on the contract end date. However, you will continue to be paid any remaining statutory adoption pay to which you are eligible. Your contract of employment will not automatically be extended because you are on adoption leave. Signed:. Full Name.... Date:.
24 PART C RETURNING TO WORK EARLY You will be expected back at the end of your adoption leave, on the date that you have specified in part 9 of the Adoption leave plan. If you want to return earlier or later than this date (the maximum entitlement is 52 weeks) you must give your Departmental Administrator at least eight weeks notice of this change. If you do not give eight weeks notice your Departmental Administrator is entitled to postpone your return until eight weeks notice has expired. TO: The Departmental Administrator Department: Changing your notified return to work date I would like to change my return to work date, and now intend to return to work on: (date) Guidance notes Complete this section only if you want to return to work early. Compulsory adoption leave The law requires that all women take two weeks adoption leave immediately after the birth of their baby. Your Departmental Administrator cannot let you return before your compulsory adoption leave period is up. You should sign the form now and send it to your Departmental Administrator. Don t forget to keep a copy of it for yourself. You should talk to your department in good time if you want to try to agree a different working pattern to the one you worked before your adoption leave. Signed:. Full Name: Date:.
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