Surrogacy and parental leave and pay
Following recent legal changes, intended parents through surrogacy can now benefit from paid time off work and leave like other parents if they meet the relevant criteria.
New adoption pay and leave for intended parents
Where a surrogate baby is due or born on or after 5 April 2015, one of the intended parents through surrogacy may be eligible for a new form of adoption leave and pay for surrogacy if they are eligible and intend to apply for a parental order (or have obtained a parental order).
Intended parents through surrogacy who qualify for adoption pay receive 90% of their salary for the first six weeks, calculated as 90% of their normal weekly earnings in the 8 week period leading up to the surrogate baby's due date. They are then entitled to 33 weeks' pay at the statutory rate of £139.58 per week from 5 April 2015 (or a lower rate depending upon their earnings). The qualifying intended parent is also entitled to a maximum of one year off work.
Only one intended parent per couple can take adoption leave and pay. The other intended parent may be eligible for paternity leave and pay.
Intended parents who are not eligible for adoption pay and leave include single intended parents, intended parent couples who have no genetic link with their surrogate baby or intended parents who do not intend to apply for a parental order.
The application for a parental order must be made within six months of the surrogate baby's birth and the intended parents must expect the parental order to be made.
Both intended parents through surrogacy may also be entitled to unpaid leave to attend up to two antenatal appointments with their surrogate mother subject to meeting certain criteria. Each antenatal appointment can last up to six and a half hours.
Paternity leave and pay
As from 5 April 2015, one of the intended parents may be eligible for statutory paternity leave and pay. To qualify, the intended parent must meet the criteria, which includes being employed continuously by their employer for 26 weeks at their surrogate baby's due date and earned at least £112 per week in the 8 week period leading up to the surrogate baby's due date.
Paternity pay is paid for up to two weeks
Shared parental leave and pay
Intended parents through surrogacy may also qualify for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).