Knowledge Centre

Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay (SAP)

What is Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay?

Statutory adoption leave is time off from work that employers are required to offer to employees who are adopting a child or having a child through surrogacy arrangements.  Adoption or surrogacy must be proved to your employer by a ‘matching certificate’.

Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave (MFJ025)


Employees can take up to 52 weeks but only one person out of a couple can take adoption leave and the other will have the option to take Paternity Leave.

Leave can start up to 14 days before the expected placement date or when an employee gets matched with a child. If the adoption is overseas leave will start when the child arrives in the UK or within 28 days of this date.

If the individual is taking adoption leave due to surrogacy arrangements their leave will start the date of the child’s birth or the day after the child is born.

How much will I get paid?

Statutory adoption pay is money received from your employer when an adoption takes place, or someone is having a child through surrogacy. Normally this is 90% of average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks of leave. The remaining 33 weeks will be either £184.03 a week (24/25 figures) or 90% of weekly earnings (whichever is lowest). The remaining weeks of adoption leave will be unpaid. SAP is subject to tax and national insurance.

Some employers offer enhanced Adoption Leave and Pay.  You will need to check their terms and conditions for entitlement.

To read the full guide for Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay visit the GOV.UK website