Adoption Leave - Manager Toolkit

The information below summarises the rights of the employee adopting a child and those of the Line Manager/Head of School/RI/Service, and the responsibilities they have towards each other.  It also sets out what you should do to help manage your employee during his/her adoption leave and on their return to work.  You will also find information on the notification process, communication during adoption leave, and details relating to ‘Keeping in Touch Days’ (KITD).  This guidance note should be read in conjunction with the University’s Adoption Leave Policy which is available at:

As soon as your employee tells you they are looking to adopt a child

What to do:

1. Check that the employee qualifies for adoption leave i.e. that they have been continuously employed with the University for a minimum of 26 weeks leading into the week that they were notified of having been matched with a child.

2. If they have sufficient continuous service, advise the employee to formally request the adoption leave through Employee Self Service.

3. You will then be prompted to approve the leave through Manager Self Service

4. You should allow your employee reasonable paid time off to allow for formalities, visits and appointments relating to the adoption (except where this would involve travel overseas to arrange an adoption or to visit a child).  You may request that the employee provides evidence of these appointments with the relevant adoption agency. 

5. You must ensure that your employee is not treated less favourably as a result of them adopting a child, as this could have legislative implications.

6. You should meet with the employee to discuss their plans for the adoption leave.  Any queries relating to annual leave entitlement should be directed to the College/University Services HR Assistant (see

7. You need to consider how you will manage your employee’s absence during their adoption leave.  Will you be able to reallocate the work within the School/RI/Service or will you need to take on a temporary member of staff?  In any case, if your employee has indicated that they wish to return to work, you must ensure that they can return to their original job.  The only exception to this would be if your employee has indicated that they wish to take a period of additional adoption leave (i.e. more than 26 weeks).  You may in this instance offer a suitable alternative post on his/her return if it is not reasonably practicable for them to return to their original job.

Whilst your employee is on adoption leave

What to do:

1. You and your employee can make reasonable contact during adoption leave.  What constitutes reasonable will vary according to the individual circumstances and this should be agreed between both parties prior to the commencement of the employee’s adoption leave.  In any case, you should ensure that your employee is kept up to date with changes in the workplace, including job vacancies etc.

2. On agreement with the line manager and the member of staff, employees are now permitted to work up to maximum of 10 days during their adoption leave period, known as Keeping in Touch (KIT) Days.  Please note, employees are not obliged to work these days and therefore cannot be penalised for choosing not to.  It is your responsibility to record KIT days worked within Manager Self Service.  Full details of keeping in touch days can be found in the University Adoption Policy at:

3. If your employee is a member of the University pension scheme, and wishes to continue paying their contributions whilst on adoption leave, you must continue to meet the employer contributions.  This applies irrespective of whether the employee is on Ordinary Adoption Leave or Additional Adoption Leave.

Before your employee returns to work

What to do:

1. If your employee intends to return to work before the end of his/her full adoption leave period (52 weeks) they must give you 8 weeks’ notice, in writing, of their intention to return.  If they fail to do this, you may delay their return until the appropriate notice is served.

2. You should ensure that you have discussed with your employee any concerns they may have relating to their return, as well as consider any request to work part time or flexible hours.  You can refuse such a request if there is a genuine business reason.  Further information on this can be found at:

3. If you took on a temporary member of staff to cover the adoption leave period, you should ensure that you give them the appropriate notice of their contract coming to an end.  

If there is a problem

What to do:

You should speak to your employee as soon as possible to try to identify and resolve the problem.  Advice can be sought from your College/University Services HR Manager or Assistant, details of which can be found at: