Can an employee who is adopting a child from within the UK take on paid work during adoption leave?

An employee can agree with the employer to take on paid work for up to 10 keeping-in-touch days during adoption leave without that work bringing the period of adoption leave to an end and without the loss of any statutory adoption pay. Any work carried out on any day constitutes a day's work for the purpose of the 10-day calculation (even if the employee works only for a few hours) and any work done does not have the effect of extending the total duration of the adoption leave period. "Work" may include training or any other activity undertaken to assist the employee in keeping in touch with the workplace, such as attending conferences, appraisals or team meetings.

Any work undertaken must be by agreement between the employer and the employee. There is no right for an employer to demand that an employee undertake such work, nor is there a right for the employee to do such work.

It is also a matter for agreement between the employer and the employee whether the days are worked as a single block or separately. The amount to be paid to an employee for working during adoption leave is also a matter for agreement between the parties and should reflect the nature of the work and the amount done. The employer will need to consider how any contractual payment for work done on a particular day will work alongside any statutory adoption pay due.

Once the 10 keeping-in-touch days have been exhausted, the employee will lose a week's statutory adoption pay for any week in which he or she works for the employer during the statutory adoption pay period.

If the employee works for another employer during the statutory adoption pay period, the employer will need to check whether or not the employee worked for the other employer during the week in which he or she was notified of the match for adoption. If the employee did, statutory adoption pay should be paid as usual. If the employee did not, the employer must stop paying statutory adoption pay from the start of the week that the employee works for the other employer. It is up to the employee to inform the employer about working for someone else during the statutory adoption pay period.