F98 – Adoption
The Regulations in this section are applicable to Adoptive Parents with effect from 30 September 2007.
Civil servants who are accepted to be adoptive parents of a child under the age of 18, may be entitled to paid and unpaid leave, to be called ‘Adoption Leave’ (Ordinary Adoption Leave and Additional Adoption Leave), upon the same basis and subject to similar conditions as they would become entitled to Maternity or Paternity Leave, were they to become natural parents.
F99 – Who is eligible?
To be entitled to Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL), a civil servant must:
- Have been matched with a child to be placed with him/her by an adoption agency (a certificate at Annex F4 can be used for this purpose)
- Where the child is to be adopted by a couple jointly, have chosen to be treated as the adopter for this purpose
- Have notified the agency that he/she agrees that the child should be placed with him/her, and agree the date of the placement
- Notify their line manager of when he/she wants to take adoption leave within 7 days of the date on which he/she is notified of having been matched with the child
To be entitled to Additional Adoption Leave (AAL) a civil servant must:
- Have the child placed with him/her for adoption
- Have worked continuously for 26 weeks, ending with the week (beginning on a Sunday) in which he/she was notified of having been matched with the child
- Have taken OAL (which did not end prematurely)
F100 – Adoption leave
All civil servants are entitled to Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL) of 26 weeks from its commencement, provided they satisfy the conditions set out in Regulation F99 – Who is eligible?
In addition, civil servants entitled to OAL who have been continuously employed for a period of not less than 26 weeks at the beginning of the week of the date of placement, will be entitled to additional adoption leave of 26 weeks from the day on which it commenced (equating to 52 weeks total adoption leave OAL + AAL).
If more than 1 child is placed for adoption as part of the same arrangement, only 1 period of Adoption Leave is available. Adoption Leave will normally commence from the date of the child’s placement with the adoptive parent. Leave cannot start later than that date, however the adopter can choose for the leave to start earlier, but no sooner than 14 days before the date on which the child is expected to be placed for adoption.
If the date of placement changes, the civil servant should discuss the situation with their line manager and give appropriate notice to change the start date. If adoption leave has already begun and the placement is delayed, the leave cannot be stopped and started again at a later date.
During adoption leave a civil servant is bound by all terms of his/her appointment relating to disclosure of confidential information, acceptance of gifts or other benefits and participation in any other business.
F101 – Notice periods
The officer must advise their line manager of when he/she wants to take adoption leave, and complete the Statement of Intention at Annex F2, within 7 days of the date of receiving notification of being matched with a child (or if this is not practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable).
At least 28 days’ notice must be given to your line manager in advance of the date adoption leave is to commence (or if this is not practicable, then as soon as is reasonably practicable).
A civil servant can change the date on which he/she wants to start adoption leave, as long as the required notice is given to the line manager:
- where the civil servant has chosen to begin the period of leave on the date on which the child is placed for adoption – 28 days before the date specified in the civil servant’s notice as the date on which the child is expected to be place
- where the civil servant has chosen to begin their period of leave on a predetermined date – 28 days before that date
The line manager will ensure that, within 28 days of receiving appropriate notice, the civil servant is advised of the date the adoption leave period will end (see model letter at Annex F6). If the civil servant is entitled to additional adoption leave, the end date will be calculated on the assumption that he/she is taking it.
A civil servant who intends to return to work earlier than the end of the adoption leave shall give the line manager not less than 28 days’ notice of the date on which he/she intends to return. Where a civil servant qualifies for additional adoption leave, but only wishes to take ordinary adoption leave, the civil servant must give 28 days’ notice of his/her return to work. Should such notice not be given, the return date may be postponed by the line manager/department to allow for the appropriate 28 days’ notice (but no later than the date on which the leave would normally end).
F102 – Statement of intention
A civil servant who is accepted to be an adoptive parent should advise their line manager and complete the Statement of Intention at Annex F2 within 7 days of the date of receiving notification of being matched with a child (or if this is not practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable). On receipt of the completed form the manager should:
- Retain a copy
- Send a copy to the appropriate Pay Section
- Send a copy to the departmental HR section (if applicable)
- Send the original to the Office of Human Resources for retention on the civil servant’s personal file
- Arrange for a letter of confirmation to be issued to the civil servant within 28 days of receipt of notification (see model letter at Annex F6)
Note: The Office of Human Resources must also be notified of the date of the civil servant’s return to work. The appropriate Pay Section and the Public Sector Pensions Authority should also be notified of any unpaid leave taken by the civil servant.
F103 – Adoption pay
A civil servant who is entitled to adoption leave will also be entitled to adoption pay as follows:
- At least 1 year's continuous service – 4 weeks at full pay followed by 4 weeks at half pay
- At least 2 years continuous service – 12 weeks at full pay followed by 6 weeks at half pay
F105 – Superannuation
Paid adoption leave is reckonable service for superannuation purposes – contributions will continue to be deducted from contractual remuneration or statutory adoption allowance paid to or for the civil servant during paid adoption leave.
Unpaid adoption leave does not reckon for the calculation of pension benefits – but does count as qualifying service.
F106 – Annual leave and public holidays during adoption leave
Contractual annual leave allowance continues to accrue during periods of ordinary adoption leave. No contractual annual leave allowance will accrue for periods of additional adoption leave, see Regulation F11. Public and privilege holidays falling during unpaid leave will be unpaid.
During periods of additional adoption leave when contractual leave does not accrue, statutory leave will accrue accordingly (4 weeks leave per annum). Accrued statutory leave cannot be carried forward into a new leave year.
Should a civil servant return to work on reduced hours, credits of annual leave accrued prior to and during adoption leave will be proportionate to the contract in force at the time and will not be reduced on a pro-rata basis in accordance with the newly contracted hours
For example a civil servant working full time prior to taking adoption leave, who reduces his/her hours to half time on return to work, will have accrued his/her annual leave at a daily rate of 7.24 hours and will be credited at 7.24 hours daily rate, not at the new half time rate of 3.42 hours.
F107 – Disruption of placement
If a civil servant begins a period of adoption leave before the child is placed with him/her, and is then told that the placement will not be made, the leave will finish 8 weeks after the end of the week in which that happens (unless the period of OAL/AAL ends within that 8 week period).
If, during a civil servant’s adoption leave, the child dies or is returned to the adoption agency, the leave will finish 8 weeks after the end of the week in which that happens (unless the period of OAL/AAL ends within that 8 week period).
A civil servant will be required to give 28 days’ notice if he/she is returning to work earlier than expected for 1 of the above reasons.
F108 – Reinstatement after resignation
A civil servant who:
- resigns because he/she does not intend to return to work, but
- later wishes to return because of a radical change in circumstances has no absolute right to return but should be allowed to do so, if at all possible, in accordance with Regulation F109 – Permission to return to work.
If he/she returns before the end of the period of adoption leave to which he/she would have been entitled if he/she had applied (such period beginning with the week in which the period of paid adoption leave would have commenced), their resignation will be cancelled and the period of absence will be counted as paid and/or unpaid leave in accordance with the provisions of this section.
F109 – Permission to return to work
A civil servant who is absent from work on adoption leave will be eligible to return to work in the same grade and working the same hours at any time before the end of the period of adoption leave. He/she will normally be employed in the same location and post filled before taking adoption leave, although this may not always be possible.
A civil servant who has been advised of the date the adoption leave period will end, but intends to return to work earlier than the end of that adoption leave period, is required to give his/her line manager not less than 28 days’ notice of the date on which he/she intends to return. Should such notice not be given, the return date may be postponed by the line manager/department to allow for the appropriate 28 days' notice.
F110 – Sick absence during or following adoption leave
If during or following adoption leave, a civil servant is unfit for work but there is a reasonable prospect of recovery and return to duty, the normal provisions for paid sick leave will apply. However, paid sick leave will not be allowed during the period of adoption leave requested by the civil servant.
F111 – Repayment of adoption pay
If a civil servant does not return to work on or before the end of his/her entitlement to adoption leave and completed at least 13 weeks paid service he/she may be required to repay all pay paid to him/her during the period of adoption leave.
F112 – Calculating date
If a civil servant fails to return to work after adoption leave their last day of service for pay and related purposes will be taken as their last day at work before commencing adoption leave. If he/she returns, but does not complete 13 weeks service, normal notice periods will apply.
F113 – Return to work – Flexibility
A civil servant wishing to return to work on a flexible basis (ie amended hours, job-share) is required to submit such a request in accordance with the provisions set out in Regulations F140-F151 – Flexible working.
F114 – Number of times paid adoption leave permitted
Paid adoption leave for any civil servant on more than 3 occasions will only be permitted at the discretion of the Public Services Commission. Each case will be considered on its merits and applications should be forwarded to the Secretary of the Commission via the civil servant's Accounting Officer, whose views on the merits of the application should be attached.
Note: Regulation F115 is blank.