On the 10thOctober 2016, new Regulations came into force, giving new
rights to employees who have adopted a child, analogous to
maternity leave. Prior to the Regulations, employees who adopted a
child were only entitled to unpaid parental leave.
The Adoption Leave National Standard Order (Subsidiary
Legislation 452.11) provides that an employee who is the parent of
an adopted child is entitled to an uninterrupted period of eighteen
weeks' adoption leave, corresponding to the eighteen weeks'
maternity leave. Similarly, also to maternity leave, only the first
fourteen weeks are to be paid leave by the employer. If both
parents are in employment and wish to both avail themselves of
adoption leave, such leave is to be divided between them as they
may agree in writing. During such period of leave, the employee
shall be entitled to all the rights and benefits which may accrue
to other employees and shall also be entitled to resume work in the
post previously occupied upon return to work.
Similarly also to maternity leave, upon termination of the
adoption leave, the employee must resume the employment duties with
the employer for a minimum period. However, this period is shorter
than that applicable to return from maternity leave – two
months as opposed to the six months stipulated in the case of the
latter. Moreover, the Regulations also provide that if only part of
the two months are worked by the employee, the wages to be returned
to the employer and which were paid during the adoption leave, are
to be reduced proportionately. The abatement of the sum to be paid
by the employee is also a new feature which is not found in
relation to maternity leave.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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