What notice and evidence is an employee required to provide to take statutory adoption leave in relation to a child adopted from overseas?

An employee who is adopting a child from overseas must, within 28 days of receipt of the official notification, or within 28 days of completion of 26 weeks' continuous service with the employer if this is later, notify the employer of:

  • the date on which the official notification was received; and
  • the date on which the child is expected to enter Great Britain.

Prior to 5 April 2015, an employee was required to have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks to qualify for adoption leave. Although this requirement was removed with effect from 5 April 2015, the reference to the 26-week qualifying period remains in relation to when employees must provide the above notification.

"Official notification" means written notification, issued by or on behalf of the relevant domestic authority, that it is prepared to issue, or has already issued, a certificate to the overseas authority concerned with the adoption of the child, confirming that the adopter has been assessed and approved as being a suitable adoptive parent.

The employee must give the employer at least 28 days' notice of the date on which they wish the adoption leave to start. This can be the date on which the child enters Great Britain or a predetermined date (no later than 28 days after the date on which the child enters Great Britain). Within 28 days of the child's entry into Great Britain, the employee must inform the employer of the date of entry.

If asked to do so, the employee must produce for the employer's inspection a copy of the official notification and evidence of the child's date of entry into Great Britain.

The employee can vary the chosen start date of their adoption leave by giving notice at least 28 days before the new start date, or as soon as is reasonably practicable.