Adoption Leave and Pay
The provisions for adoption leave and pay have been developed to provide clergy with guidance as to their entitlements and the procedure to follow when applying for adoption leave. Adoption leave is granted to ensure that a new parent can take time off work to bond with the child(ren) once the child starts living with the adoptive parent. Adoption leave and pay is available to individuals who adopt or are one member of a couple where a couple adopt jointly.
Procedure and Rules
To qualify for adoption leave clergy must be newly matched with a child for adoption by an approved adoption agency and have continuous service in ministry in the Church in Wales for 26 weeks leading into the week in which the cleric is notified of being matched with a child(ren) for adoption.
A cleric who wishes to take advantage of these provisions must notify the Stipends Department and the Archdeacon of his/her intention to take adoption leave at the earliest opportunity and at the latest 28 days prior to the leave commencing.
Notification must be accompanied by a recognised certificate of placement from an approved agency. This certificate is known as a Matching Certificate.
In circumstances where there is a joint adoption the parents must chose who is to benefit from the adoption leave and pay.
Only one period of adoption leave is granted even when more than one child is placed for adoption at the same time.
It is presumed that clergy will return to duty at the end of their full adoption leave. If clergy intend to return to duty before the expiry of full adoption leave then they must write to theStipends Department giving at least 8 weeks notice of the intended date of return.
Clergy are entitled to return to the same office on the same terms and conditions of service at the end of ordinary adoption leave i.e. 26 weeks.
Clergy are entitled to return to the same office on the same terms and conditions of service if practicable to do so at the end of additional adoption leave (52 weeks). Should it not be possible to return to the same office then the cleric will be offered any available comparable office suitable to their skills and experience on no worse terms and conditions of service.
If clergy cannot return to work at the end of their full adoption leave (52 weeks) because of illness then the procedure in relation to incapacity of clergy will apply.
If clergy do not wish to return to duty at the end of their full adoption leave (52 weeks) then they will be required to give notice to the Bishop in accordance with the provisions for clergy terms of service.
During adoption leave the Archdeacon may make reasonable contact with clergy to plan their return to duty.
Clergy who are eligible for adoption leave are entitled to:
26 weeks’ ordinary adoption leave and up to 26 weeks additional adoption leave.
Pay during periods of Adoption Leave
During periods of adoption leave clergy are entitled to all benefits of service, with the exception of stipend. Clergy will receive pay during periods of adoption leave as follows: –
- Weeks 1-39 inclusive – Statutory adoption pay
- Weeks 40-52 inclusive – unpaid.
Additional financial support may be available through tax credits.
Transfer of adoption leave/ Shared Parental Leave
Where a baby is due or a child is placed for adoption on or after 6 April 2015, subject to the eligibility conditions being met, parents may share leave. If the mother or adopter returns to work early, the remainder of the leave period may be taken as shared parental leave (SPL) to a maximum of 50 weeks. Where the mother or adopter returns to work before the end of the maternity or adoption pay period, Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) may be paid for the remainder of the period to a maximum of 37 weeks.
Clergy may be eligible for shared parental leave in respect of a baby due or a child placed for adoption on or after 6 April 2015. Shared parental leave (SPL) must be taken by the baby’s first birthday or the first anniversary of the adoption. Where a mother or adopter returns to work before the end of the 52-week maternity or adoption leave period, the remainder of the leave period can be taken as SPL. The leave entitlement can be shared with the mother or adopter’s spouse or civil partner, the co-adopter, the child’s other parent, the partner of the mother or adopter living with the mother or adopter and the child. For further details see the Shared Parental Leave Policy.
Cover during Adoption Leave
During adoption leave cover for services and pastoral care will be treated as in an Interregnum.
Advice on the application of these provisions can be obtained from the following:
HR Department 2 Callaghan Square, Cardiff, CF10 5BT
Stipends Section 2 Callaghan Square, Cardiff, CF10 5BT