Guidance

Statutory Adoption Pay: manually calculate your employee's payments

Manually calculate if your payroll software or GOV.UK calculator doesn't calculate your employee’s payments.

Terminology explained

Matching date (MD)

The date when the adoption agency told your employee that they had been matched with a child.

Matching week (MW)

The week (Sunday to Saturday) when the adoption agency told your employee that they had been matched with a child.

Placed

This is when the child starts living with your employee permanently with the aim of being formally adopted in the future. The child may have stayed with them before this date.

Before you begin

Information you need to calculate your employee’s Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP):

  • a copy of the matching certificate - or in the case of an adoption from abroad, a copy of the Official Notification from the relevant UK authority that they’ve agreed that your employee is suitable to adopt a child from overseas
  • the date the child’s expected to be placed with your employee or to enter the UK
  • your employee’s gross pay and the dates they were paid
  • the date your employee started working for you
  • confirmation that your employee’s gross earnings are liable to employer’s Class 1 National Insurance contributions

Calculate Average Weekly Earnings (AWE)

AWE must include all earnings on which Class 1 National Insurance contributions are due, or would be due if they were high enough. SAP entitlement depends on your employee’s AWE in a ‘relevant period’. For the tax year 2018 to 2019 the AWE must be £116 or more. Divide all the earnings paid in that relevant period by the number of days, weeks or months in that period.

The relevant period

This is usually an 8 week period before the MW.

The end of the relevant period is the last normal payday on or before the Saturday of the MW.

The start of the relevant period is the day after the last normal payday falling at least 8 weeks before the end of the relevant period.

Example for an employee who’s weekly paid where the MD is 28 January 2018.

MW Payday Last payday at least 8 weeks before the end of the relevant period Last payday on or before the Saturday of the MW
28 January 2018 to 3 February 2018 Friday 8 December 2017 2 February 2018

The relevant period is 9 December 2017 to 2 February 2018.

Add up all the earnings paid during the relevant period and divide by 8 (the number of weeks in the relevant period).

Don’t round the figure up or down to whole pence.

Example for an employee who’s monthly paid and the MD is 28 January 2018.

MW Payday Last payday at least 8 weeks before the end of the relevant period Last payday on or before the Saturday of the MW
28 January 2018 to 3 February 2018 Last day of month 30 November 2017 31 January 2018

The relevant period is 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018.

Add up all the earnings paid between during the relevant period and:

  • divide by 2 (number of months in the relevant period)
  • multiply by 12 (number of months in the year)
  • divide by 52 (number of weeks in the year)

Don’t round the figure up or down to whole pence.

Weekly paid employees without a whole number of weeks in the relevant period

This may happen when you have to bring your employees normal payday forward because of bank holidays at Easter or Christmas. Divide the earnings by the number of week’s wages actually paid, not the number of weeks in the relevant period.

Employees paid multiples of a week

This may happen if your employee is paid fortnightly or 4 weekly. Divide the earnings by the number of whole weeks in the relevant period.

Monthly paid employees without a whole number of months in the relevant period

Work out the number of rounded months as follows:

  • count the number of whole months
  • count the numbers of odd days

Round up or down as follows:

  • February - 14 days or less round down, 15 days or more round up
  • any month except February - 15 days or less round down, 16 days or more round up

Divide the earnings by this number of rounded months.

Employees not paid in a regular pay pattern

Divide the earnings by the number of days in the relevant period and multiply by 7.

Mistimed payments

This only applies to regular payments of earnings paid other than on their normal date, for example due to a bank holiday.

A mistimed payment:

  • occurs when the date of the actual payment of earnings is made earlier or later than the normal contractual payday, such as an annual holiday
  • shouldn’t be confused with a payroll error, where a mistake is made in the payroll resulting in a shortfall of pay when working out the AWE

Divide the total earnings in the relevant period by the number of weeks wages actually paid.

Overpayment/underpayment of earnings made during the relevant period

Always calculate AWE based on all earnings actually paid to the employee within the relevant period, regardless of any over or underpaid wages in that period. Where an overpayment or underpayment of wages was made within the relevant period, you must include the overpaid or underpaid amount in the AWE calculation for deciding if SAP is due.

Non-cash payments and contractual benefits

You may normally pay some of your employee’s earnings as a non-cash payment, for example, providing board and lodging or giving them goods or services. However, you must pay any SAP in full. SAP can’t be sacrificed or offset against other benefits, it must be paid in cash.

All non-pay contractual benefits must continue during statutory adoption leave. These may include any childcare vouchers, company car or mobile phone provided to the employee as part of their contract of employment.

Calculate SAP

When you have calculated the AWE, work out how much SAP is due and pay it on the same day that you would normally pay wages and for the same period.

SAP is a weekly payment and the adoption pay period can start on any day of the week, usually the day after the last day your employee worked before starting their adoption leave. For example, an SAP pay period which starts on a Wednesday will have pay weeks within the pay period which run from Wednesday to the following Tuesday.

SAP is usually paid for 39 weeks.

SAP is payable at:

  • 90% of the employee’s AWE for the first 6 weeks
  • £145.18 from 6 April 2018 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower) for the remaining weeks

SAP paid part weekly

SAP can be paid as part weeks to help employers align the payments to their employees normal pay period by dividing the weekly rate by 7 and multiplying by the number of days SAP is to be paid in the week or month. For example, if the pay period covers the end of one month and the beginning of the next (2 days in April and 5 days at the beginning of May) then pay 2/7ths in one month and 5/7ths at the beginning of the next month.

Help and advice

You can get advice from HM Revenue and Customs Employer Helpline.

Published 18 March 2014
Last updated 6 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Rates, allowances and duties have been updated for the tax year 2018 to 2019.
  2. Rates, allowances and duties have been updated for the tax year 2017 to 2018.
  3. First published.