Further information: University of Bristol Work and Family pages
52 weeks’ adoption leave will be available to any member of staff who meets the following criteria:
Staff who meet the above criteria for adoption leave will also be entitled to either Occupational or Statutory Adoption Pay as follows:
OAP will be paid in cases of children under statutory school age (normally 5 years). OAP may also be exceptionally agreed in cases where the child is over statutory school age as determined on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Human Resources. A further condition of OAP is that the employee should return to work at the University, in a full or part-time capacity, for at least 3 months following adoption leave. The University reserves the right to reclaim all the non-statutory elements of pay if an employee fails to return for this period of time. Eligibility to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) remains unaffected, regardless of whether the individual returns. Employees who qualify for Occupational Adoption Pay can choose between the following two options:
OAP Option 1
OAP Option 2
SAP will normally be paid in cases of children over statutory school age (normally 5 years) except where a case for OAP is exceptionally agreed by the Director of Human Resources. SAP will also be paid in situations where an employee does not return to work at the University, in a full or part-time capacity, for at least 3 months following adoption leave.
SAP consists of 39 weeks at the statutory adoption pay rate. This is a flat payment reviewed by the government each year (currently £136.78 per week from April 2013) or 90% of earnings, whichever is lower. Eligibility to receive SAP is also subject to the employee’s earnings reaching the government’s Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance Contributions.
The provisions outlined above apply to the primary carer regardless of gender.
Adoption leave and pay are only available to one parent, the primary carer. The other parent may take paternity leave and pay. This applies where parents work for the same or different employers.
These arrangements only apply to situations where a member of staff is matched with a child who is placed for adoption within Great Britain. Similar provisions apply when a child is adopted from overseas, although the detailed application of the scheme differs slightly. Members of staff in these circumstances are advised to contact their HR Manager.
The University may reclaim the whole or part of any Occupational Adoption Pay (element of pay over and above the Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) if the member of staff fails to return to work and continue in employment for at least three months.
No combination of payments shall exceed full pay.
All adoption pay is subject to tax and national insurance, and where appropriate, superannuation.
Employees will not qualify for sick pay while they are on adoption leave.
Employees are not eligible to work while receiving Statutory Adoption Pay (with the exception of the 10 optional “keeping in touch days” – see below).
Staff on adoption leave will continue to be members of the relevant pension scheme.
If the employee is in the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme, the OAP will be based on reference pay and the employee will therefore be no worse off. The employee will continue to participate in the Pension Salary Exchange scheme while in receipt of OAP, unless they opt out of the scheme under a lifestyle event (please refer to the Pensions Salary Exchange Scheme for details). For each of these individuals the amount exchanged will be based on the OAP actually received, so during periods of half pay, the amount exchanged will be based on the half pay received. The University will make up the employee’s contributions and pay employers’ contributions as if the individual were on full pay for the period.
It is not possible to salary exchange from statutory pay. Therefore, when in receipt of SAP only, SAP cannot be reduced under Salary Exchange. However, the University will pay the additional pension contributions while in receipt of SAP only, as if the individual were on full pay for the period.
During periods of unpaid leave (ie no SAP), it is not possible to participate in the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme since the employee will not be in receipt of any earnings. Therefore the employee will need to complete an opt out form. If the employee wishes to maintain their employee pension contributions in relation to this period, they may do so outside of the Pension Salary Exchange scheme, in which case the University will then pay the employer contributions. The University will only pay contributions if the employee does the same. This will be outside of the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme.
On their return from unpaid adoption leave, the employee may rejoin the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme where appropriate, by completing an opt in form. The Payroll and Pensions Office will contact the employee directly regarding this at the appropriate time.
If the employee is not in the Pension Salary Exchange Scheme, when in receipt of full pay the employee’s contributions will be deducted as usual. During periods of half pay or Statutory Adoption Pay, employee contributions will be deducted according to the total amount of pay received. The University will make up the employee’s contributions and pay employers’ contributions as if the individual were on full pay for the period. It should be noted that during periods of unpaid leave (ie no SAP) the University will only pay contributions if the employee does the same.
There is a certain amount of flexibility regarding pension payment arrangements. Advice should be sought from the Pensions Office.
On return to work the employee’s salary will be reviewed to take into account any increment, or general increase which would have applied had they not been on adoption leave.
The contract of employment continues throughout adoption leave. Continuity of service will not have been broken by an unpaid period of absence. Therefore, entitlement to periods of notice, holidays and sick leave which accrued at the beginning of adoption leave will not be lost.
Employees may, by agreement with their Head of Department, undertake up to 10 days paid work, referred to as “keeping in touch days”, during their adoption leave. Such days may be undertaken at any stage during the leave period except during the first two weeks after the child has been placed. The type of work undertaken is a matter for agreement between the employee and their Head of Department. The days may be used for any activity which would ordinarily be classed as work under the employee’s contract, and could be particularly useful in enabling an employee to attend a conference, undertake a training activity or attend a team meeting. Keeping in touch days are optional and can only take place by agreement between both parties.
Keeping in touch days do not extend the statutory or occupational adoption pay period in any way. For instance, if a keeping in touch day occurs during a period of full pay, no additional payment will be made. If a keeping in touch day occurs during a period of half pay or SAP only, this will be effectively “topped up” so that the individual receives full pay for the day in question. Payment for keeping in touch days will only be made after completion of the day’s work.
All employees may undertake up to 10 days work, with the agreement of their Head of Department, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time. Where an employee works for less than a full day, this will still count as one keeping in touch day for the purposes of the 10 days maximum, although payment will only be made for actual hours worked.
Employees wishing to undertake a keeping in touch day should complete a keeping in touch day form and forward this to their line manager in the first instance.
Employees may exercise the right to return to work at any time during the period of leave, except within two weeks of the placement. They will have the right to return to the job or comparable job to that which they were employed with the same terms and conditions as if they had not been absent. If they return prior to the end of the leave period they should give at least 8 weeks notice, in writing, of their intended date of return. If the employee fails to give the required notice, the University may postpone the return for up to 8 weeks.
While returning to work on the basis of an alternative working pattern or hours of work is not a right, the University of Bristol will give sympathetic consideration to such requests, on either a temporary or permanent basis, from employees returning to work following adoption leave. They should submit a request in writing (via a flexible working application form) as early as possible, but not later than 8 weeks before the notified date of return to work. Any change must be discussed, and agreed with their Manager. The possibility of flexible working arrangements, which may include arrangements for establishing a job share, may be discussed with their Manager in conjunction with Human Resources & Staff Development. Should the job content and responsibilities of a revised role differ significantly to those of a previous role, the grading of the post may be reviewed.
Updated 3 April 2013 by Human Resources
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK. Tel: +44 (0)117 928 9000