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Statutory Adoption Pay

This section explains who is entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay and what the entitlement is.

What is Statutory Adoption Pay?

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is payable to individuals who adopt and to one partner of a couple where a couple adopts jointly.

It is up to the couple to decide which partner takes adoption pay/leave and which takes paternity pay/leave.

Who Qualifies for Statutory Adoption Pay?

Both employees and Agency Workers may be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay, provided that they meet the following requirements:
  • Be a person with whom a child is, or is expected to be, newly matched and placed for adoption under UK law; 
  • Have been continuously employed for at least 26 weeks for you into the Matching Week (MW); 
  • Have stopped working, or taken leave; 
  • Have average weekly earnings at or above the lower earnings limit, which applies at the end of the MW;  
  • Give you notice of when they expect your liability to pay SAP to begin at least 28 days beforehand. Where this is not reasonably practicable it must be given as soon as is practicable.
Entitlement to Statutory Adoption Pay will be confirmed by documentary evidence given to the employee/worker by the adoption agency. Only approved adoption agencies are able to issue this evidence, which will ensure that only those adopting a child through the approved process will be entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay.

Statutory Adoption Pay cannot be paid without acceptable evidence.

How Much is Statutory Adoption Pay?

Statutory Adoption Pay is payable for a period of 39 weeks.

Statutory Adoption Pay is the same rate as the standard rate for SMP or 90% of average weekly earnings if they are less than the Standard rate.

Employees/workers whose average weekly earnings are below the lower earnings limit for National Insurance Contributions will not qualify for SAP.

How long is Statutory Adoption Pay paid for?

Qualifying employees and workers are entitled to receive Statutory Adoption Pay for 39 weeks.

Statutory Adoption Pay cannot be paid for any week in which your employee does any work for you.

SAP will end if the employee dies or is taken into legal custody and will also be stopped if, after their child is placed, they start working for a new employer who did not employ them in their Matching Week.