Parents seeking to adopt children will now be entitled to leave with fullpay. This provision has been introduced through an amendment to theEmployment Act 2007 by the Employment (Amendment) Act, 2021

What you need to know about pre-adoptive leave

1. Who is eligible for pre-adoptive leave and what is the leave period
Both male and female employees seeking to adopt a child are entitled to one month leave from the date of placement of the child in their continuous care and control by the adoption society.

2. Employees duty to notify the employer
An employee who is a prospective adoptive parent has a duty to notify the employer in writing of the adoption society’s intention to place the child in the employee’s custody.

3. Documentation/Proof to accompany the notice
The notice should be accompanied with the agreement between the employee and the adoption society as well as an exit certificate as proof of the adoption society’s intention to place the child under continuous care and control of the employee. An exit certificate is the authority given by a registered adoptive society to a prospective adoptive parent to take the child from the custody of the adoptive society

4. Notice period
The employee should notify the employer at least 14 days before the date of placement of the child in the employee’s custody.

5. Rights of an employee who takes pre-adoptive leave
On resumption of work after the pre-adoptive leave, the employee has the right to:

  • return to the job they held immediately to the leave; or to
  • a reasonably suitable job on terms and conditions not less favourable than those which would have been applied had the employee not taken leave.

6. Extension of pre-adoptive leave
An employee who has taken pre-adoptive leave may seek their employer’s consent to have their leave extended. This may be necessary especially where a child is of tender age.

7. What to do if you are an employer
Employers should update their human resources policies to reflect pre-adoptive leave.