Adoption and Surrogacy Leave

adoption and surrogacy leave entitlements for eligible staff

Under UK law, all employees who are newly adopting a child are entitled to:

  • 26 weeks' ordinary adoption leave (OAL)
  • 26 weeks' additional adoption leave (AAL)
  • The right to return to the same job with the same terms and conditons, unless (after additional adoption leave) this is no longer reasonably practicable. 

From 1 January 2023, LSE has increased the period of Contractual Adoption Pay (CAP) from 18 to 22 weeks, and also removed the qualifying period. LSE's Adoption Leave Policy is in the process of being updated to reflect these enhancements. This means that the full 52 weeks of adoption leave to which adopters are entitled is made up of:

  • 22 weeks of CAP (i.e. full pay)
  • 17 weeks of Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), which is paid for up to 39 weeks at the rates given on the UK government website or 90% of normal weekly earnings, whichever is lower
  • 13 weeks' unpaid leave 

You can find details of the steps you need to follow to apply for adoption leave set out in the Adoption Leave Policy. The policy also includes specific considerations that apply if you are adopting a child from overseas. You are also encouraged to read the Guidance Notes for Adoption Leave before notifying the School that you wish to take adoption leave. 

Below, you can find responses to some typical queries about adoption and surrogacy leave. Please do contact your HR Adviser if you have a query which is not addressed here. 

What proof do I need to provide to the School?

You should notify your manager in writing of the date on which placement is expected, and the date on which you intend to start your adoption leave, within seven days of being notified by the adoption agency that you've been matched with adoption, or as soon as is reasonably practicable.

If the School asks for proof of the adoption or placement, you can provide in writing:

  • The name and address of the adoption agency
  • The date you were matched with the child
  • The expected date of placement

If you are adopting from overseas, you should show:

  • The official notification from the relevant UK authority, confirming that you are allowed to adopt
  • The date on which the child entered the UK (e.g. by providing a plane ticket)

How should I notify the School that I'm adopting a child from overseas?

You should notify your line manager within 28 days of receiving an official notification of placement for adoption, confirming the date on which you received the notification and the date on which the child is expected to enter the UK. Once the child is in the UK, you should give at least 28 days’ advance notice of the date on which you would like your adoption leave to start, as well as evidence confirming the child’s arrival (such as a plane ticket).

If I'm adopting from overseas, when can my adoption leave start?

Adoption leave in the case of an overseas adoption can be taken either:

  • From the date the child enters the UK, or
  • No later than 28 days after the child enters the UK

Please speak with your HR Adviser if you are unsure.