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Employment Act 2002

Adoption leave and pay

202.At present, adoptive parents only have the right to unpaid parental leave. It is proposed to give one adoptive parent the statutory right to 26 weeks paid leave at £100 per week or 90% of their average earnings (whichever is lower) and an additional 26 unpaid leave. This will enable adoptive parents to spend one year with the child and establish their new relationship. These changes are expected to come into force in April 2003.

203.The beneficiaries will be adoptive parents and their children. It is estimated that there will be around 3,550 adoptions per year. They will benefit by a total of £10 million per year due to the payments. This represents a cost to the taxpayer.

204.Costs to business are to cover for the absent parent. These costs are estimated at £2-3 million per year. Business also has to introduce the necessary payment system. This will be similar to the system for maternity leave. Additional costs will be no more than £1 million.

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