Can I return to the same job from adoption leave?

After returning from Ordinary Adoption Leave (the first six months of leave), you have the right to go back to the job you were doing before you went on leave. After returning from Additional Adoption Leave (the second six months of leave), you have the right to return to the same job unless your employer can demonstrate that it is not reasonably practicable to have kept that job open for you. In this case, you are entitled to an alternative job that is both suitable and appropriate for you, on terms and conditions that are no less favourable, and with your pension entitlement and seniority unaffected.

If you opt to end your adoption leave and pay early and take Shared Parental Leave, your job will also be protected. Where the total number of weeks of adoption, paternity and shared parental leave are 26 weeks or less, someone returning from shared parental leave is entitled to return to work to do the same job. Unpaid parental leave of up to four weeks can be added without affecting this right to return.

Where the total number of weeks of adoption, paternity and shared parental leave exceeds 26 weeks, and where it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to the same job, you should be given a job that is suitable and appropriate in the circumstances, on no worse terms and conditions and with your pension and seniority unaffected.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.