Who is entitled to adoptive leave?
Under the Adoptive Leave Act 1995, which
was amended in 2005, only the adoptive mother is entitled to avail of adoptive
leave from employment, except in the case where a male is the sole adopter.
What am I entitled to under adoptive
As from 1st March 2006, you are
entitled to 20 weeks’ adoptive leave, during which time you can claim Adoptive
Benefit from the Department of Social and Family Affairs. In addition, you are
entitled to take an additional 12 weeks’ unpaid adoptive leave. During this
additional period, there is no entitlement to adoptive leave benefit.
From March 2007, employees will be
entitled to 24 weeks’ adoptive leave, together with an additional 16 weeks of
unpaid adoptive leave.
Adoptive Benefit is available to both
employees and self-employed people, and is subject to certain social insurance
(PRSI) contribution conditions.
Your weekly rate of Adoptive Benefit is
calculated as 80% of your weekly income – subject to a minimum payment of
€182.60 and a maximum payment of €265.60. Contact your local Social Welfare
office for more information.
What are my rights during my period of
The only right that an employee loses
while on adoptive leave is the right to remuneration and superannuation
benefits. All other rights, including annual leave and public holidays, are
preserved. A period of adoptive leave is treated as continuous and reckonable
for purposes of statutory redundancy. Since November 2005, these rules also
apply to the additional 12 weeks’ unpaid leave.
Other rules introduced in November 2005
- Adopting parents are entitled to paid time
off work to attend preparation classes and pre-adoption meetings with social
workers/HSE officials required during the pre-adoption process.
- An adopting mother may transfer unpaid additional
adoptive leave to paid sick leave in the event of illness.
What notice must I give my employer?
An employee must give adequate notice in
writing to their employer of their intention to take adoptive leave. The minimum
advance notice of such intention is four weeks before the expected placement of
What notice must I give when I am
returning to work?
An employee must inform their employer in
writing of the date on which they are returning to work, at least four weeks
before that date.
Have I any form of redress if I am
There is a provision for recourse to a
Rights Commissioner in the first place and on appeal to the Employment Appeals
If an employee is dismissed for taking or
contemplating adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave, this will be
regarded automatically as an unfair dismissal. Redress in this case will be
under the Unfair Dismissal Acts, 1977 - 2001.