Upcoming employment law changes relating to surrogacy arrangements

For a baby due to a surrogate mother on or after 5 April 2015, new rights will be available for the individuals who become the baby’s parents through a surrogacy arrangement.  To be eligible, those parents must apply for, and expect to be granted, a Parental Order within 6 months of the child’s birth.   It is worth noting that single parents are not eligible to apply for a Parental Order.  Further information about Parental Orders can be found here.

Parents who have been granted a Parental Order will qualify for up to 52 weeks’ adoption leave providing that they inform their employer 15 weeks’ before the baby is due.   If requested, parents will be required to provide their employer with a statutory declaration stating that they will apply for a Parental Order with their spouse or partner, and that they expect the order to be granted.

In respect of the parent who chooses to take adoption leave, if the parent has 26 weeks’ continuous employment and meets the lower earnings level (which is £112 per week from April) in an 8 week test period, they will quality for 39 weeks statutory adoption pay, providing that they comply with the notification and evidence requirements.   From 5 April 2015, statutory adoption pay will be payable at the rate of 90% of the parent’s salary for the first 6 weeks.   The remaining 33 weeks will be paid at the lower of either 90% of the employee’s salary or the rate of £139.58 per week.   Employers should also be aware that the other parent may be entitled to paternity leave and pay if they meet the requirements.

Parents granted a Parental Order will also be eligible for shared parental leave.  This means the primary parent may reduce the amount of their adoption leave and pay and share the balance with their partner.

Kayleigh Leonie