Do employees have a statutory right to time off work prior to the commencement of adoption leave to attend placement meetings?

Yes, employees who have been notified that they have been matched with a child for adoption have the right to take time off before the placement to attend appointments arranged by the adoption agency for the purpose of having contact with the child or for any other purpose connected with the adoption.

If a couple is adopting a child jointly, one of them is entitled to paid time off for up to five appointments and the other is entitled to unpaid time off for up to two appointments. The couple must decide which of them will elect to take the paid time off and which the unpaid. An employee who is adopting a child on their own is entitled to paid time off for up to five appointments.

Employees are entitled to up to six and a half hours off for each appointment.

The employer can require the employee to provide evidence of the appointment, in the form of a document (an email is acceptable) showing the date and time of the appointment and that it has been arranged by the adoption agency.