Philippa Whitford – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Philippa Whitford on 2016-06-06.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, for what reason self-employed adoptive parents are excluded from the financial support offered to other workers to allow them to take full leave and settle an adopted child from the care system into their family.

Nick Boles

Society benefits from parents being able to take time off work to care for their children whilst remaining in employment. Employed adopters have a statutory entitlement to Adoption Leave and Pay (subject to eligibility requirements) on the basis that individual employers would otherwise not offer socially optimal levels of leave and pay.

However, self-employed adopters can decide how much time off to take. Since affordability may limit the time away from work that some self-employed adopters can take, statutory adoption guidance says that Local Authorities should consider making a payment equivalent to Maternity Allowance in cases where adopters do not qualify for any statutory payment because of self-employment. This payment is discretionary and means-tested to ensure that resources are targeted at those adopters who need it most, as part of a package of post-adoption support.