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Adoption related leave

Published March 20, 2015 (last updated on April 18, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer

adoptive mother plays with adopted daughter

If one of your employees decides to adopt a child, they may need to take unpaid adoption related leave. They can ask for this as long as they have worked for you at least 12 months before the date of adoption and they will be the primary carer.

The child has to be under 16, not a child of the employee or their spouse/de facto and not have lived with the employee for six months or more on the date of placement. The employee can take up to 12 months of unpaid adoption leave. They can then ask for a further 12 months and you can only refuse on reasonable business grounds.

How it works

Your employee needs to give you written notice of intention to take adoption leave at least 10 weeks before going on leave. They need to provide evidence of the placement day and evidence that the child is under 16 on that day.

You do not usually have to pay an employee for adoption leave, unless they have a contractual or policy-based entitlement to be paid. But you may be asked by the government to pass on any payments to them under its Paid Parental Leave Scheme (PPL).

Your employee can also take unpaid pre-adoption leave of up to two days to attend interviews or examinations to get approval for the adoption.

If they have paid leave entitlements available, such as annual leave, you can require them to take these instead of unpaid pre-adoption leave. Employees still need to let you know as soon as possible when they need leave of any kind and provide evidence for it.

Employsure advisers can help you navigate every aspect of adoption related leave. For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.

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