My employers say I'm not entitled to adoption leave because I'm not an employee. Is this correct?

It is true that only employees are entitled to adoption leave. Some employers try to escape their obligations by claiming that their staff as self-employed when legally they are employees. You can even find that you are taxed as if you are employed but still denied the legal rights that an employee would enjoy.

If you are an employee, you will be entitled to take adoption leave (although to receive Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) while taking the leave, you will need to meet the eligibility criteria as to earnings and service).

Remember that either of the two adoptive parents can take adoption leave, and it is up to you to decide. If your partner is directly employed while you are self-employed or an agency worker, only your partner will be able to take the leave.

There are also new rules about sharing leave. See our Shared Parental Leave section for more information.

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.