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How to tell boss about adoption plans

(15 Posts)
poppet31 Thu 01-Nov-18 10:10:46

Just that really. We're starting home study next week so I need to tell my boss as I'll have to work a bit flexibly around appointments.

I've already told my manager, who's more like a friend, but this is her boss who I don't know well and who isn't particularly approachable or compassionate.

How do I start the conversation and what do I say? Our panel is not likely to be until April so it's not like i'll be going off on adoption leave anytime soon.

I'm really nervous about it so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Ted27 Thu 01-Nov-18 12:36:55

if you have told your manager do you have to tell anyone else ?

howmanyusernames Thu 01-Nov-18 12:51:34

When you do approach it, make them aware that you will use your holiday entitlement for any time off so they won't think you will be expecting to have this off for 'free'. Explain that while pregnant women get time off for antenatal appointments, in adoption you don't (which is really unfair). A lot of companies are really good, will let you make up the hours etc, but if your boss isn't compassionate they may do things 'by the book'. Each appointment might also be for 2-4 hours, and there will be several you have to have over 6 + months.

Also make them aware that once you are approved it could be months before you are matched. I mean it might not be, but it could be. I think a lot of employers panic and think that once you are approved you will be matched straight away! So with the time it takes to get approved, plus (potentially) time to get a match, you may not be leaving for a year! I guess it's making them aware of that so they don't panic, even though you know it could be shorter, but it also might not be depending on the child/children you are looking for.

Once matched, you are then legally allowed 5 days for 'appointments', which could be to meet the paediatrician or for intros. I think it's for 6 hours per day but most companies let you have the day off. They are legally obliged to pay you for this time off.

Then you need to find out the company adoption policy.
Is it standard or enhanced?
What is the maternity policy, does it match the adoption policy (it doesn't have to, unless they once were and one was changed and not the other)?
The size of the company might also matter, an SME may not even have an adoption policy, but legally they have to have one. Even in large national companies adoption still isn't a regular thing, and I was shocked at how little some HR departments knew about it!

I would go with as much information and facts as you can, try and preempt any questions or issues they might have, and be really really positive and happy about it (it's hard to be horrible to someone if they're being nice to you!).

Also, how long have you been in your job?

Ilovedotcotton Thu 01-Nov-18 14:36:31

howmanyusernames
I received the same amount of time off for appointments as a pregnant woman - some employers do provide this.

Poppet31
Check your company policy with regards to adoption leave. It will state clearly what you are entitled to - this is important in case your manager isn’t aware of this.

howmanyusernames Thu 01-Nov-18 15:14:07

Ilovedotcotton - Yes, some do, but a lot won't. It will depend on the employer, I was just saying it's not a legal requirement that they have to, it's discretionary.

mmci Thu 01-Nov-18 15:53:37

I'm in the ver same boat as you Poppet31, I've just started talking about the fact we're adopting in the office to different people - kinda just hoping he overhears me haha!

Ilovedotcotton Thu 01-Nov-18 17:13:08

According to the TUC:
From 5 April 2015 if you are an employee and you have been notified by an adoption agency that a child is going to be or is likely to be placed with you, then you have the right to take time off work to attend adoption appointments.
Page 5
www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/KYR_AdoptiveParents.pdf

Ilovedotcotton Thu 01-Nov-18 17:14:28

sorry, posted to soon! Have a look at the document - it’s really useful.

howmanyusernames Thu 01-Nov-18 17:58:13

Yes, that's the 5 appointments I mentioned, which is 6.5 hours per appointment you will get paid for.
We took ours for the 5 days of intros, but you can use them for approval or matching panel, or if you meet the paediatrician.
That is a useful document though!

howmanyusernames Thu 01-Nov-18 18:07:00

Also, I think it's saying that you are legally entitled to time off, but that doesn't have to be paid for by your employer, which is when you might have to use your holiday or have it as unpaid leave.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Thu 01-Nov-18 19:03:02

I would stress how long the process is, just to get approved, and then it might be ages before you are matched. So (depending on your job of course), whilst they might need to do some succession planning quietly, you can carry on 'business as usual' for the foreseeable future.

topcat2014 Fri 02-Nov-18 07:07:15

You can just book holiday, you don't 'have' to tell anyone at this stage.

As it happens, I also told my manager so he didn't think I was off for interviews. (who else books wednesdays off smile).

Most of our SW visits to home were in the evening.

poppet31 Mon 05-Nov-18 09:39:09

Thanks everyone. The reason I wanted to tell them now was that my job is quite seasonal and this is our really busy time of year when we would not normally be allowed annual leave. So it would have looked odd if I was just disappearing off to meetings etc. My employer reference will probably also be going to this person and I didn't want this just turning up out of the blue!

Anyway, by way of an update, I have told her this morning and she couldn't have been more lovely about it. They are happy for me to work flexibly around any appointments and provide any support required. I don't know why I was so anxious about it, but actually feel relieved for it to be out in the open.

Thanks again for all your help.

OP’s posts: |
howmanyusernames Mon 05-Nov-18 10:49:13

Aww, lovely update! grin

KristinaM Mon 05-Nov-18 15:40:37

Thanks for the update

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