Statutory Adoption Pay

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is paid to an employee by their employer in the same way as wages.

If your employee is entitled to adoption leave and SAP, you’ll have to:

  • allow them to take up to 52 weeks’ adoption leave
  • pay SAP for the first 39 weeks of their leave

If your employee is a member of a couple adopting a child together:

  • one member of the couple is entitled to adoption leave and pay
  • the other may be entitled to paternity leave and Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP)

Most employees who are entitled to adoption leave will also be entitled to SAP. To qualify employees must:

  • have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks into the week that the adoption agency told the adopter they had been matched with a child
  • have average earnings at least equal to the Lower Earnings Limit for NICs – £123 a week or £533 a month for 2022-23

If your employee is entitled to SAP, the amount you’ll have to pay during the first 39 weeks of their adoption leave is the lower of:

  • £184.03 from 6 April 2024
  • 90% of their average weekly earnings

You’ll be able to recover at least 92 per cent of the SAP you have to pay. If your total National Insurance payments are £45,000 a year or less, you are entitled to recover 100 per cent and an additional amount of 3 per cent of the SAP you have to pay. This is to compensate you for the employer’s National Insurance contributions (NICs) you have to pay on the SAP.

You can recover SAP by deducting it from your monthly PAYE payments. Or you can ask HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for funding in advance.

If your employee isn’t entitled to SAP, they may be entitled to other financial support from their local authority or from the Department for Work and Pensions.

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