From 5 April 2015 employees are no longer be required to have a minimum of 26 weeks' continous service with their employer to be entitled to adoption leave - it will become a 'day one' right.
In addition, from 5 April 2015 statutory adoption pay (SAP) has been brought into line with statutory maternity pay (SMP). This means that the first six weeks of SAP will be paid at 90 per cent of normal earnings instead of a flat rate as is currently the case.
From 5 April parents are also now able to take parental leave until their child turns 18.
Time off work for adoption appointments
Parents adopting a child will also have new rights to time off work to attend adoption appointments. The primary adopter will be entitled to paid time off for up to five adoption appointments and the secondary adopter will be entitled to take unpaid time off for two such appointments.
The changes come into effect at the same time as a new system of shared parental leave is introduced, which will also affect the practice's adoption leave policy. More detail on shared parental leave can be found here.