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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP): general information - Adoption Pay Period (APP)

Overview of the APP

APP is the period for which SAP is payable.

The main features of the APP are:

  • it lasts for up to 39 weeks
  • if an employee is entitled to SAP from more than one employer each APP could be for a different period
  • the APP can start on any day of the week, depending upon the circumstances:

    • for placed for adoption under UK law, see SPM130200 
    • for adoption from abroad, see SPM130200 
  • the APP ends if the employee starts work for a new employer
  • an adopter is excluded from SAP for any weeks in which SSP is payable
  • an adopter is excluded from SAP for any weeks during which they are held in legal custody but entitlement is restored for any remaining weeks of the original APP after their release, see SPM200800.

The start of the APP - placed for adoption under UK law

The employee can choose when they want to start being paid SAP, within set limits. If the employee is also entitled to adoption leave the two periods are aligned. The APP and adoption leave can start on any day of the week.

The employee can choose to start being paid and/or start their leave:

  • from the date the child is placed, or
  • up to 14 days before the child is expected to be placed.

If the employee wants to start their leave and SAP when the child is placed, the APP will start on the first complete day of absence from work on or after that date. This ensures that the employee will not lose out on a week’s SAP should the child be placed with them after they have started work on that day.

Section 171ZN(2) of SSCBA

Regulation 21 of the Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (General) Regulations 2002.

Section 167ZN (2) of SSCB(NI)A 1992

Regulation 21 of the Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002

The start of the APP - adoption from abroad

The employee can choose to start being paid SAP and start their leave:

  • on the date the child enters the UK, or on the following day if the employee is at work that day, or
  • on a date, chosen by them, no later than 28 days after the child enters the UK.

The APP and adoption leave can start on any day of the week so these two periods are aligned. A week is any period of seven days.

SAP and adoption leave must be taken in a single period, it cannot be split and cannot be taken as odd days.

The adopter is also entitled to up to additional adoption leave after the APP to give them combined paid and unpaid adoption leave totalling 52 weeks.

Section 171ZN(2) of SSCBA 1992

Regulation 12 of the Statutory Paternity Pay (Adoption) and Statutory Adoption Pay (Adoption from Overseas) Regulations 2003.

Regulations 18 and 20 of the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002 as modified by Regulations 10 and 11 of the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Adoption from Overseas) Regulations 2003.

Section 167ZN(2) of SSCB(NI)A 1992

Regulation 12 of the Statutory Paternity Pay (Adoption) and Statutory Adoption Pay (Adoption from Overseas) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.

Regulations 18 and 20 of the Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 as modified by Regulations 10 and 11 of the Paternity and Adoption Leave (Adoption from Overseas) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.