Under the Adoptive Leave Acts, 1995 – 2005, one parent of an adopting couple or where there is a sole adopting parent, that parent is entitled to certain time off when adopting a child.
A couple that jointly adopts a child must choose which one takes the adoptive leave and that is known as the nominated parent.
Eligibility and Entitlement
Adoptive leave is available to -
- A nominated adopting parent; or
- A sole adopter, an employee who is adopting a child on their own;
A nominated adopting parent or a sole adopter who is in employment is entitled to the following:
(a) a minimum of 24 consecutive weeks of adoptive leave from work, beginning on the day of placement of the child;
(b) up to 16 weeks of additional adoptive leave.
In the majority of cases, it is possible to receive a Social Welfare payment for the initial 24 week period of adoptive leave.
Annual Leave and Public Holidays
Employees on adoptive leave are entitled to be credited for any public holiday which occurs during their leave. This means that they must be given either an extra day's pay, or a set day off within a month, or an extra day's annual leave for any public holiday which occurred during their leave.
Absences on adoptive leave do not breach continuity of employment and qualifies as reckonable service for the purposes of redundancy agreements and payments.
- An employee must give adequate notice, in writing, to her/his employer of her/his intention to take adoptive leave. The minimum advance notification is 4 weeks before the expected placement of the child.
- An employee must inform her/his employer, in writing, at least 4 weeks beforehand of her/his intention to take additional adoptive leave.
- An employee must inform her/his employer, in writing, at least 4 weeks beforehand of the date on which she/he intends to return to work after adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave.
- An employee who is taking adoptive leave must provide her/his employer with a certificate of placement. This certificate, which may be obtained from the Health Service Executive or adoption society which arranged the adoption, must be given to the employer as soon as reasonably practicable, but no later than 4 weeks after the placement date.
- In the event of a foreign adoption, the employee must provide her/his employer with a copy of the declaration of eligibility or suitability before beginning adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave (whichever is the earlier).
Information regarding Adoptive Benefits may be obtained from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
A copy of the primary Act may be viewed here – Adoptive Leave Act, 1995.