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Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Section 8: Other statutory rights to leave of prospective adopters with whom looked after children are placed

Section 8 inserts provisions in the ERO which facilitate the extension of existing paternity and adoption leave rights to include FFA arrangements.

Subsections (2) and (3) amend the ERO, including the insertion of a new Article 107AB, to make relevant provision in respect of ordinary adoption leave. The amendments provide that regulations may include conditions as to being an approved foster parent, being an approved prospective adopter and being notified by a competent authority (a Health and Social Care Trust) that a child is to be placed or is likely to be placed with the employee in circumstances where a decision is pending or has already been taken that adoption is in the child's best interests. The regulations may also prescribe further conditions which, it is envisaged, will allow a specific point to be set at which entitlement will be triggered. The Department may, by order subject to the draft affirmative resolution Assembly procedure, amend certain definitions deriving from other legislation if changes are made to the definitions in that legislation.

Subsections (4) and (5) make comparable changes to the ERO, including the insertion of a new Article 112BA, so that paternity leave is available for the employed partners of adopters who have or expect to have a child placed with them in the circumstances referred to above. Subsection (4) deals with regulations to ensure that the employee, having taken paternity leave in respect of a FFA placement, has no entitlement to take paternity leave when the same child is formally placed for adoption.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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