What notice to take paternity leave and pay in respect of a child adopted from within the UK is an employee required to give?

The Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2788) provide that an employee must give notice to take paternity leave no more than seven days after the adopter is notified of being matched with the child or, if such notice is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable.

The Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (General) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2822) provide that evidence of entitlement to statutory paternity pay must be provided at least 28 days before the employee wishes the pay period to start or, if that is not reasonably practicable, as soon as is reasonably practicable.

The period of notice required to take paternity leave is different to the notice required to receive statutory paternity pay. In practice the employee need give only one notice, provided that it is in writing and in accordance with all the statutory requirements in relation to both leave and pay.

The notice given by the employee in respect of leave must state:

  • the expected date of placement;
  • the date on which the adopter was notified of being matched with the child;
  • whether the employee intends to take one week or two consecutive weeks; and
  • the date on which the employee wants the leave to start.

For statutory paternity pay purposes, the notice must state:

  • the employee's name;
  • the expected date of placement, or the date of placement if it has already occurred;
  • the date on which the adopter was notified of being matched with the child;
  • whether paternity pay is to be payable for a week or two weeks; and
  • the date on which the employee wants the pay period to start.

For statutory paternity pay purposes, the employee must also provide a signed declaration that the purpose of the leave is to care for the child or to support the child's adopter and that he or she is the adopter's partner and expects to have responsibility for the upbringing of the child. (If the employee is applying for paternity leave, but not pay, he or she must provide such a written declaration only if the employer requests it.) The employee must also provide a written declaration that he or she has elected to receive statutory paternity pay, and not statutory adoption pay in relation to the child.

The employee must give his or her employer a further notice, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the child is placed for adoption, of the date on which the child was placed.