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Adoption leave/maternity leave difference!

26 replies

howmanyusernames · 27/02/2018 12:22

My OH has just been sent his 'adoption leave' package info from HR. We have always gone on the assumption that he would get the same as the maternity package, but what he's been sent is hugely different!

Maternity package is 100% pay for 6 weeks, then 18 weeks at 50% pay, and then the remainder at Sat Mat.

Adoption package is 90% pay for 6 weeks and the rest at Sat Mat?!

Surely that can't be right, or legal? I thought that had to be the same?

The document is dated 2015 so is it just out of date (please say it is!)?


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Thepinklady77 · 27/02/2018 13:24

I am a teacher and in my la the maternity and adoption leave policy is different. Mat is 6 weeks at 90%, 12 weeks 50% and remainder at stay. Adoption is 6 weeks 90%, 6 weeks 50% and remainder stat. I was surprised at difference and accepted it was probably to do with the mothers recovery period from a birth in terms of her physically not being able to work as opposed to giving bonding time which is necessary for both Mat or adoption. However I read recently about someone challenging their work on this difference and successfully getting their policy changed. I keep meaning ring my union to enquire about this but have not had the energy with two little ones. Yours husbands seems very different though and most definitely discriminatory. Basically they have put in place the minimum that they have to offer and hope they get away with it. Perhaps there have been few adoptions and no one has challenged them on it! I would definitely challenge this. Is it a private company? If so then easier to challenge than a public body.

Jellycatspyjamas · 27/02/2018 13:25

To my knowledge enhanced packages don’t need to be the same but good practice says they should be. I’d follow it up with HR and ask for equal rights.

howmanyusernames · 27/02/2018 13:36

Thanks for the responses.
It is a private company, and he's already spoken to HR recently about discrimination as he's being asked to change his hours (no women are), he's not being paid the same as women doing the same role, and he works the more 'unpopular' hours anyway. He has also been told 2 years running that his salary would be reviewed but then nothing happened. He's quite laid-back so has never challenged it, but after they asked him (and no women) to change his hours he's now challenging everything!

The document was dated 2015, and in June 2017 they changed the maternity/paternity policy, so he's gone back saying 'the policy is out of date and should have been reviewed and reflect the maternity/shared leave policy'!

We shall see! We can but ask! Smile

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TripleB32 · 27/02/2018 14:08

It's exactly the same as maternity leave where I work. I would definitely challenge it. Look on the ACAS website perhaps?

howmanyusernames · 27/02/2018 15:21

I spoke to ACAS and they were surprisingly unhelpful (I've spoken to them in the past about something else and they were great).

The guy 'wasn't sure', but said as long as a woman can take the same adoption leave as a man it's okay. I asked about same sex couples, and he said that would be different?! And then I said it was surely discrimination if the maternity package was different to the adoption package, and he said he didn't think so!

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hidinginthenightgarden · 27/02/2018 17:40

As far as I know the packages are now supposed to be the same. Our was, our SW told us it should be.

thomassmuggit · 27/02/2018 21:25

Obviously, you don't want to be the test case going to court for this, but I'd think it would be pretty indefensible under discrimination laws. a) under sex- the set of primary parents that can only be women getting a better deal than the set of primary parents who could be men or women, sounds dodgy to me, and b) it's indirect discrimination against homosexual parents, as they are going to be potentially more likely to adopt.

Giving adoptive parents less than biological parents is not a proportional way of meeting a legitimate aim, or whatever the phrase is.

Is he in a union? I think a mention of sex discrimination, if he's going to be the primary parent, and indirect discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, may get them to revisit such things! One of our workplaces needed their own policy explaining to them. Often, HR haven't handled adoption before, so it's new to them.

tldr · 01/03/2018 20:44

My company upgraded their adoption policy to match their enhanced mat policy without me asking. I think they saw for themselves how blindingly unfair it was. (And I think that it has just not been required in the interim.)

Laurence45 · 02/03/2018 02:43

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SandyY2K · 08/03/2018 21:48

As someone who works in HR, it isn't illegal and organisations don't have to give the same benefits.

It can be different where a baby is being adopted that case the entitlement would be more in line with the maternity policy.

The thing to bear in mind is that the entitlement you mention are not statutory...but company entitlements and challenging that may prove difficult.

As far as him being asked to change his hours...he should query the fairness of this....and put in a grievance if necessary.

howmanyusernames · 08/03/2018 22:18

The hours he’s sorted now, they’ve agreed to not change them.

He emailed HR over a week ago about the adoption policy being inline with the enhanced maternity policy, but hasn’t heard back. I think he’s going to chase tomorrow.

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SandyY2K · 09/03/2018 08:20

Good to hear he's got the hours sorted out.

Is it a large organisation he works for?

howmanyusernames · 09/03/2018 08:27

Yes, it's a large private hospital.

He's going to chase up HR today, he thinks they might be 'looking into it' as adoption leave seems to still be a new thing!

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kierenthecommunity · 09/03/2018 10:51

Ours was unequal too (a police force!) and I challenged it and won. It took a while though as they certainly didn’t want to! I challenged it on how it could be discriminatory (as in if you were adopting as a gay couple, single man etc) plus from the angle of being valued as an employee compared to a woman on maternity.

It’s now been made equal for everyone Smile

I could have sworn they’d changed the law not long after that though, and it had to be equal?

howmanyusernames · 09/03/2018 12:25

I thought the law had changed too, but alas not, and as long as they offer statutory adoption pay the same as statutory maternity pay, they’re okay (I think?!).

The annoying thing is his company offer an enhanced maternity package, which was changed in June last year, but the adoption policy hasn’t been updated since 2015, so he’s hoping if he says something they might change it to mirror the new maternity package!

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howmanyusernames · 19/03/2018 17:46

Quick update on this, it's been 3 weeks (!) since my OH emailed HR, and he's done it a couple of times more to get an update, and they're just ignoring him!
He emailed again end of last week and said if he doesn't get an answer he will have to go to their office (different building).

We have a match, and intros could start the weekend of the 14th April, so we're trying to get an answer asap!

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GirlsWhoWearGlasses · 19/03/2018 18:31

How frustrating for you! Not at all what you want to be thinking about just now.

I know nothing about HR issues, but just wanted to offer some sympathy and solidarity.

howmanyusernames · 14/05/2018 19:13


So, in the end my OH had to lodge an official grievance.

He had to sit down with HR and his Manager. His Manager agreed with him, that it was unfair, much to HR's horror.
He was then asked to have a meeting with another Manager and HR, this happened a couple of weeks ago, and today he received their 'decision' and they will be granting him the enhanced pay!!!! Woo hoo!

They said they will be 'looking into' the adoption policy, and they do not discriminate Hmm .......but will give him the enhanced pay......! Lots of contradictions but amazing news!

This is also a very large, national company, so to anyone going through the same thing, fight the buggers!

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slippynips · 14/05/2018 19:25

Oh good news! And so he should too! How did your introduction meetings go?

Ted27 · 14/05/2018 20:15

congratulations on your match and sticking it out with the adoption leave

well done!

PicaK · 15/05/2018 07:00

Wonderful - great manager too.

howmanyusernames · 15/05/2018 09:22

All good, LO came home on the 20th April, and we have our 4th week review today with the SW's and the independent reviewing officer, so hopefully we can cut down on the weekly visits!

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jingscrivenshelpmaboab · 15/05/2018 11:47

Great news on the match, and well done for tackling HR.

I'd forgotten that I had to navigate some ridiculous HR rules when I went through it a few years ago - a colleague had adopted and had been told the adoption package only matched the maternity package when adopting a child under 6 months. She was adopting a 9 month old so the grudgingly moved the goalposts. Then I came along adopting a 5 year old, and was asked what I needed leave for anyway! They did change it eventually, and SWs saw this as 'a good sign' of our tenacity...

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