Foster carers play a vital role in giving children who can't always live with their families the best possible start in life.


An employee may be entitled to one paid half-day per week, for up to three weeks.

  • This may be extended by a further three paid half-days (following confirmation from the appropriate authorities)
  • The total paid leave must not be more than six half-days in a six-week period
  • If the child is of pre-school or primary school age, an employee may be allowed to take up to four weeks, unpaid, from the start of the child’s nursery or school placement
  • Employees can attend review meetings, but any leave of absence will be unpaid
  • Before agreeing to any request, managers will need to consider the needs of their department


An employee must have completed at least 1 year’s service with the Company before they can qualify for foster leave.  The appropriate authorities need to confirm their status as a ‘Long-term Foster Carer’.  If an employee and their partner are both employees of the Company, only one parent may be granted fostering leave.


Long-term foster carers need to apply for paid leave, in writing, to their manager, at least 2 months before the start of the foster care placement.

The appropriate authorities need to confirm details about the child, or children, being fostered - including their age, any special requirements/circumstances, and any justification if the employee is likely to request extended leave.

Where carers need to attend review meetings, they should give their manager adequate notice.

Community Parents

If an employee is a ‘Community Parent’, they may be entitled to paid leave to attend review meetings. These meetings normally last for two hours and are held every two months.

The employee must give their manager adequate notice of the meeting(s), and provide confirmation, from the appropriate authorities, about the meeting(s) and their role.​

More information about becoming a foster carer

In this guide