Eligibility for adopters

To be eligible for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP), both adoptive parents must:

  • share responsibility for the child
  • meet the work and earnings criteria - these are different depending on which one of you wants to use the shared parental leave and pay

The eligibility criteria are different if you’re birth parents.

If both parents want to share the SPL and ShPP

You and your partner must:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week you were matched with the child
  • stay with the same employer while you take SPL
  • be ‘employees’ (not ‘workers’)
  • each earn on average at least £118 a week

If either of you is a ‘worker’, you can share ShPP but not SPL. If either of you earns less than £118 a week, you can share SPL but not ShPP.

If only one of the parents wants to take the SPL and ShPP

The parent who wants to take the leave and pay must:

  • have been employed continuously by the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the week you were matched with the child
  • have stayed with the same employer while they take SPL
  • be an ‘employee’ (not a ‘worker
  • earn on average at least £118 each a week

The other parent must:

  • have been working for at least 26 weeks (they do not need to be in a row) during the 66 weeks before the week the child was placed with you
  • have earned at least £390 in total in 13 of the 66 weeks (add up the highest paying weeks, they do not need to be in a row)

If the parent who wants to take the leave and pay is a ‘worker’, they can get ShPP but not SPL. If they earn less than £118 a week, they can get SPL but not ShPP.