Adoption Leave


An employed parent who has recently opted for a local or an intercountry adoption is now eligible to Adoption Leave. This is similar to the recourse for maternity leave. The employee who is the parent of an adopted child shall be entitled to an uninterrupted period of eighteen weeks leave whenever a child is adopted. This is set out to improve the rights and standing of employed adoptive parents whose eligibility prior to this set of Regulations fell within the Parental Leave Regulations (S.L. 452.78), which gives an entitlement to unpaid leave.


The legislator does not extend this benefit to cases of adoptions where the person adopted is the natural offspring of either of the parents. Both the mother and father are eligible to apply for the adoption leave. In case of a single parent it can be enjoyed by that parent in full. In the event that only one of the parents is in employment on the date of the adoption, it can be enjoyed by that parent. In the event that both parents are in employment, each parent shall be entitled to such part of the adoption leave. The term of leave shall start on the date when the child passes into the care and custody of the adoptive parent/s.

An employee’s position after Adoption Leave

When an employee is on adoption leave, the employee shall be deemed to have been in employment and during any such absence s/he shall be entitled to all rights and benefits which may accrue to other employees of the same class or category of employment at the same place of work, including the right to apply for promotion opportunities at the place of work. A parent who has availed himself or herself from the adoption leave has the right to return to the same position, same role and the same wage after adoption leave or when this is no longer possible for a valid reason, to equivalent or similar work which is consistent with his/her original contract of employment. During the period of adoption leave the employee shall have no right to any bonus or allowance related to performance or production.

Rights and obligations

The employee who intends to avail himself/herself of adoption leave or who is availing of adoption leave shall not be dismissed by the employer by reason of the intention of availing or from the fact that s/he is availing himself/herself of such benefit.

Where an employee avails himself/herself of adoption leave and does not resume work without good and sufficient cause, shall be liable to pay the employer a sum equivalent to the basic wages s/he received during the adoption leave. In the event that the employee resumed work, but abandons the service of his/her employer without good and sufficient cause within two calendar months from the date of such resumption, the employee shall be liable for the equivalent sum reduced by a proportionate amount taking into account the period worked.


An employee on adoption leave shall be entitled to the first fourteen weeks of adoption leave with full wage. The employer, however, shall not be obliged to pay any wages for those weeks of adoption leave which go beyond fourteen weeks.  If the employee chooses to avail herself/himself of adoption leave beyond fourteen weeks the additional four weeks will be paid by the Government in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security Act.

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