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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP): general information - what is SAP

SAP is intended to help employees take time off work to be with their new family by providing a measure of earnings replacement.

SAP is due to qualifying employees who are adopting a child and the child:

  • is placed with the adopter under UK law , or
  • enters the UK from abroad to live with the adopter.

It should be noted that, unlike SSP and SMP, employees who work in the UK but live in another country, will not be able to satisfy the conditions for SAP if the child is not placed for adoption under UK law or the child does not enter UK to live with the adopter.

Employers are responsible for administering the scheme, and paying their employees the SAP to which they are entitled. Legislation sets down when and how SAP should be paid.

All statutory payments are treated as earnings for income tax and NICs purposes.

Employers can recover some or all of the SAP paid to their employees. See SPM180600.

Policy responsibility for the scheme rests with:

  • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in Great Britain, and
  • The Department for Employment & Learning (DELNI) in Northern Ireland.

HMRC is responsible for ensuring that employers correctly administer the scheme and for providing employers with the funding they are entitled to.