Adoption Leave for Teachers in Suffolk

Suffolk Local Authority sent the following newsletter (No 5) to schools in November 2004:

Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay: Guidance note EP5 in the Personnel Manual sets out employees' entitlement to statutory leave and pay when adopting a child,.  The statutory provisions for adoption leave are for 26 weeks' ordinary leave, starting not earlier than 14 days before the child is due to be placed and (for employees with more than 26 weeks' service) an additional 26 weeks' leave.

Provided the employee has at least 26 weeks' service as at the date of 'matching', the 26 weeks' ordinary adoption leave is paid at the Standard Rate of Statutory Maternity Pay.

Teachers' Occupational Entitlement: Teachers do not currently have an occupational entitlement to paid leave on adoption.  Any occupational entitlement depends upon the LEA extending the post natal provisions of the occupational maternity scheme to adoptive parents.

From 1 April 2004 the LEA has agreed to make available to adoptive parents the provision for paid leave of twelve weeks at half normal pay, dependent upon return to work for at least 12 weeks after adoption leave.  This is in addition to the statutory entitlement to paid adoption leave.  This does not change the overall period of adoption leave available, which remains at a maximum of 52 weeks nor the restrictions on eligibility applicable to statutory leave and pay (e.g. only one parent is eligible) but it improves the position for adoptive parents so far as paid leave is concerned.

Application / notification: Teachers should notify their headteacher that they have been matched with a child for adoption and of their intention to take their statutory entitlement to leave in the same way as an employee intending to take maternity leave.  The Area Education Office ** will deal with requests and notification of entitlements.  Options as to the payment of the 12 weeks' at half pay will be set out to the teacher adopting in the same way as they are set out to teachers taking maternity leave.

This change does not affect support staff whose occupational entitlements to paid leave for adoption are already set out in their conditions of service.

The guidance note in the Personnel Manual will be amended in due course.


** All HR staff have been moved to CSD, Constantine House, Ipswich: 08456 053000 from Sept 2009