**** Budget 2013 announced changes to adoptive leave arrangements for teachers. The ASTI is currently seeking clarity on the announced changes. Click here for more information. Circular letter 0018/2013 has now issued and includes these new changes. ****
Eligibility for Adoptive Leave
The Scheme of Adoptive Leave for Teachers applies to all female teachers and all male teachers who are sole adopters. Where a woman / male sole adopter has been appointed for a fixed term and her / his employment would have been terminated on expiry of that term had she / he not been on adoptive leave, the period of adoptive leave shall not extend beyond the day on which the employment expires. The granting or taking of adoptive leave or additional adoptive leave should not affect the day of termination of a fixed term appointment, neither should it affect the issue of renewing the appointment should that arise.
Teachers should ensure that they get the relevant application forms from both the Department of Education and Skills (Appendix A- Application form for Adoptive Leave Entitlements: see Department circular 0018/2013) and the Department of Social Protection (AB 1 Form) from either their Principal or the relevant government Department and that they are returned at least six weeks prior to the commencement of the adoptive leave to ensure that payments are made on time. The forms are also available on the relevant government websites at www.education.ie and www.welfare.ie
Claiming Adoptive Benefit
From the 1st January, 2009 teachers paying Class A PRSI must complete Part 2 "Payment Details" of the Department of Social Protections AB 1 application form - teachers no longer sign the authorisation for the Department of Social Protection to pay the benefit directly to the employer (see Department circular 0052/2009). The completed AB 1 form should be forwarded to the Adoptive Benefit Section, Department of Social Protection, McCartans Road, Ardarven, Buncrana, Co Donegal (phone: LoCall 1890 690 690). The adoptive benefit payment will then be paid directly to the teacher's bank account. Salary payable from the Department of Education and Skills during the period of paid adoptive leave will be reduced by the amount of adoptive benefit payable. From Janaury 6th 2014 the minimum and maximum payments for adoptive benefit will be standardised at €230 per week for new applicants. This will result in an increase of up to €12.20 for those receiving less than €230 per week and a reduction of up to €32 pr week for all other claimants. It is important that all application forms (AB1) are submitted in time, i.e. 6 weeks prior to commencement of leave if possible, in order to facilitate timely deductions from salary and to avoid an accumulation of deduction arrears.
Non-Permanent teachers may be entitled to adoptive benefit from the Department of Social Protection. For claims made in 2014 the relevant tax year is 2012.
To qualify for Adoptive Benefit, you must satisfy one of the following PRSI contribution conditions. You must have:
at least 39 weeks PRSI* paid contributions in the 12 month period before the date of placement of your child,
at least 39 weeks PRSI* paid contributions since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited contributions in the relevant tax year or in the year following the relevant tax year,
at least 26 weeks PRSI* paid contributions in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI* paid contributions in the tax year prior to the relevant tax year.
*Only PRSI Classes A, E and H count.
Relevant Income Tax Year
The relevant income tax year is the second last complete income tax year before the year in which the adoptive leave begins. For example, for claims that start in 2014, the relevant income tax year is 2012.
If a tax year later than the relevant income tax year has ended before the start of the adoptive leave, reckonable contributions in that tax year may be used to help a claimant qualify only. However, it is always the second last complete tax year, before the year in whch the claims made, that is used to claculate the appropriate rate of payment.
Credits are awarded automatically to recipients of Adoptive Benefit for each week of benefit paid.
Also an employment contribution may be credited to an insured person for each week during which they avail of unpaid adoptive leave under the terms of the Adoptive Leave Act, 1995.
The "PRSI credit" may be awarded in respect of each week taken if the person
- availed of additional Adoptive Leave and did not receive Adoptive Benefit from this Department (maximum of 24 weeks)
availed of additional Adoptive Leave immediately after paid Adoptive Benefit (maximum of 16 weeks).
In the case of a foreign adoption, some or all of the 16 weeks additional Adoptive Leave may be taken immediately before the day of placement. The leave is available at the request of the employee and entitlement is subject to the notification and evidence requirements set out above.
In order to receive this "PRSI credit", they must get their employer to complete an application form for Adoptive Leave Credits at the back of the SW 37, after they have returned to work. Completed forms should be sent to Adoptive Benefit Section, Department of Social Protection, McCarter's Road, Ardarvan, Buncrana, Co Donegal.
Absence from the State
Adoptive Benefit is payable in the following circumstances to claimants who are absent from the State.
1. Where a claimant receiving Adoptive Benefit goes abroad to receive approved medical treatment for their incapacity (the treatment must relate to an illness incurred before going abroad).
2. Persons who are employed abroad and continue to be insured under the Social Welfare Acts may be paid Adoptive Benefit.
3. Adoptive Benefit may be paid to a claimant in other EU members states in accordance with Council Regulation ( EC) NO 1408/71, Chapter 22.
- Notify the Board of Management / Manager in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable, but no later than six weeks before expected date of placement, of intention to take leave.
- Notify Board of Management / Manager of expected date of placement.
- Supply Board of Management / Manager with certificate of placement or other appropriate documentation no later than four weeks after date of placement.
- Complete Adoptive Leave application form (available from Principal or the Department of Education and Skills).
- Complete Department of Social Protections benefit claim form (available from Principal, Department of Education and Skills or the Department of Social Protection).
Delayed Placement of Child
A teacher is permitted to postpone commencement of adoptive leave. To do so she / he must inform the Board of Management / Manager of revised date as soon as is practical.
Additional Adoptive Leave
At the end of the paid adoptive leave a teacher will have the option of taking
(a) up to 16 consecutive weeks additional unpaid adoptive leave, or
(b) non-statutory leave of absence, without pay, to the end of the school year (31st August), subject to the discretion of the managerial authority concerned.
In the event of the illness of the adopting mother / male sole adopter the employer may agree to terminate unpaid additional adoptive leave thereby allowing her / him to transfer on to paid sick leave.
Leave Overlapping with Holidays-(until May 1st 2013)
As a consequence of Budget 2012 where paid adoptive leave overlaps with school holidays, up until May 1st 2013, a teacher will be entitled to leave in lieu with pay for the holiday days overlapped, subject to a maximum of 27 days. The overlapped days for which the teacher will be entitled to leave in lieu are general school holiday days (e.g. mid-term breaks, summer holidays, etc), including public and church holidays (where applicable) and other school closings, except that any day that counts towards the number of days of school operation is excluded.
Leave in lieu of overlapped adoptive leave as set out above will be taken by the teacher so as to follow on immediately from the end of the period of statutory unpaid adoptive leave, or from the end of the school holiday period concerned, if the adoptive leave expires within such holiday period.
Statutory Annual Leave
In accordance with circular letter 0018/2013, a teacher has a Statutory entitlement to 20 days annual leave and 9 public holidays, employees who work less than full hours are entitled to annual leave on a pro rata basis. Any entitlements in respect of public holidays occuring while on adoptive leave will be addressed by additional annual leave. These annual leave entitlements are to be taken on existing school closure days that occue in the leave year in question i.e. both before and after the adoptive leave period. Annual leave entitlements are to be taken at a time outside of the period of adoptive leave. When availing of statutory adoptive leave and there are not enough school closure days in the leave year to absorb all annual leave entitlements, it is permitted to take the necessary days immediately before the adoptive leave in the same year. Alternatively, teachers will be permitted to carry the balance forward to the following leave year but must then take these days during school closures. Teachers who resign/ retire or their employment ceases may be entitled to additional payment in lieu of their accrued leave
Calculating your adoptive Leave
1. Adoptive leave must commence from the date of placement of the child. Section 1 of the Principal Act defines “day of placement” as
(a) the day on which the child is placed physically in the care of the adopting parent with a view to the making of an adoption order, or
(b) the day on which the child is placed physically in the care of the adopting parent with a view to the effecting of a foreign adoption, or
(c) in the case of a foreign adoption, where the child has not previously been placed in the care of the adopting parent, the day on which the child has been so placed following the adoption.
Count 24 weeks from the date of commencment.
2. You may then add on up to 16 consecutive weeks of additional unpaid leave.
Foreign adoptions: Where a period of additional leave is required before the day of placement, for the purposes of familiarisation with the child who is to be adopted, some or all of the additional unpaid leave may be taken before the day of placment.
3. Where your 24 weeks and 16 weeks unpaid have been taken you may apply to take unpaid leave of absence to the end of the school year (31st August). This leave is not a statutory entitlement and is subject to obtaining written sanction from the employer at least six weeks in advance of an intention to avail of this leave.
Adoptive Leave must be taken in the following sequence:
- Paid adoptive leave (24 weeks)
- Statutory unpaid adoptive leave (up to 16 weeks)
- Unpaid leave to the end of the school year (31st August).
Adopting parents are entitled to paid time off work to attend preparation classes and pre-adoption meetings with social workers / HSE officials required during the pre-adoption process. Two weeks notice should be given for each absence referred to in this section and appropriate certification provided.
In order to qualify for adoptive leave, the adoption, whether foreign or domestic must be formalised by the Adoption Authority of Ireland. In the case of a domestic adoption, the employer must be supplied with a Certificate of Placement no later than four weeks after date of placement.
In the case of a foreign adoption the teacher must give the school a copy of the declaration of eligiblity and suitablity (issued pursuant to the Adopting Act, 1991) before the commencment of leave or additioanl leave (whichever is earlier). Particulars of the placement must be furnished as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter.
Where the adopting teacher may require a period of additional adoptive leave before the date of placement for the purposes of familiarisation with the child who is to be adopted, some, or all, of the additional 16 weeks unpaid adoptive leave may be taken before the placement of the child.
The option of applying for some, or all, of a teacher's five personal leave days is also available. Discretion lies with the school managerial authority as to whether or not a teacher may avail of these five personal leave days.
Termination of Placement
Where, other than as a result of the death of the child, the placement of a child with a teacher terminates before the expiration of the adoptive leave or statutory/ non-statutory additional unpaid adoptive leave, the teacher must notify the employer in writing of the date of termination within 7 days.
Male teachers are entitled to three days’ paternity leave with subsitution cover. This leave must be taken within four weeks of the placement of the child.