Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the third edition of the HR Newsletter. We would like to draw you attention in particular to the launch of our newly designed website,   Further information on the launch of this website can be found in this edition of newsletter.

We hope that you find this newsletter a useful and helpful resource.  We are keen to hear your thoughts and ideas, so please send us your feedback.


Helen Mohan, RIP

Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Helen Mohan RIP who died suddenly on Friday 27th February 2009. 

Helen’s career spanned over 30 years in UCD. Her first role was in the Veterinary College. She went on to work in the Information Office, Department of Surgery in St Vincent’s Hospital, the Library and the Registrar’s Office. Helen worked with us in HR for over 10 years. She was a respected and dedicated colleague and she will be sadly missed by all of us.

May she Rest in Peace.

In this edition



UCD HR to Launch New Website

Visit UCD HR's new web site today!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new web site which has just gone live today, June 15th. Following a consultation period with UCD staff and a review of other leading universities HR web sites, we have designed a web site that aims to be;

  1. Professional
  2. User Friendly
  3. Easy to Navigate
  4. Customer focused
  5. A gateway for easy access to HR policies, processes and forms

The new website is filled with a number of new features. For example, please try our easy to use “Ask HR” form to direct your questions to the appropriate unit or person.

UCD HR would like to thank UCD IT Web Services, UCD Communications and other staff from across University who contributed to the development and implementation of the new website.


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HR Partners & How They Work

In response to feedback from colleagues across the university almost two years ago, we restructured our delivery of HR support to include the new role of HR Partner, assigned to Colleges and Units as appropriate.  The objective of this role is to locally deliver a more comprehensive service that is closely aligned with the needs of specific areas and to improve the effectiveness of existing HR processes and procedures as experienced by the staff within these areas.

The role of the HR Partner is similar to that of a local HR Consultant/Manager. The primary function is to assist and support managers within the College, School or Unit, in the effective implementation of general best practices relating to staff management and specifically to support the effective implementation of all UCD policies, practices and initiatives. Although reporting into the HR function, HR Partners spend most of their time physically located in the College or unit they support. This ensures that they are accessible to those they are supporting, allows them to build a deep understanding of the operations of their College or unit and identify how HR policies and practices can best contribute to the success of the school or unit.

The current compliment of 6 HR Partners, their contact details and the areas of the university they support are detailed on our new website.


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Early Retirement Facility

The facility exists for the vast majority of current staff over the age of 60 to voluntarily retire early.  The key features are as follows:

  • Pension payable on retirement (day following date of retirement)
  • Retirement lump sum payable on date of retirement
  • No actuarial reduction of benefits
  • Superannuation benefits will be based on actual service, including transferred service, purchased service and professional added years. At present, the granting of added years is a discretionary function of the UCD Governing Authority.  It is intended that the current policy of granting such years will continue.  Added years are granted in respect of special qualifications or previous non-pensionable service prior to joining the University.  Up to one third of actual service, subject to a maximum of ten years, may be added for pension purposes.
  • The pension levy does not apply to pension income.

Currently, pension lump sum entitlements are not taxed and normal retirement age is 65.  If any changes occur in these provisions, it is to be assumed they will apply to UCD.

College Principals/Vice-Presidents have been requested to discuss with staff in this category whether or not they may wish to avail of this provision and to discuss any post-retirement employment arrangements which may be mutually suitable.

While staff do not have an entitlement to be re-employed following early retirement, it may be permitted to occur on a case by case basis when a full cost benefit analysis is conducted and aligned with the staff planning and budgeting process. 

It is anticipated that this planning process will be completed before the end of June and opportunities after this date for re-employment/re-engagement are likely to be extremely limited.

If you wish to contact the Pensions Office:

  • Please email with early retirement enquiries
  • The Pensions Office will give priority to all such enquiries
  • A retirement benefit statement will be sent to staff outlining benefits.  A decision form will be included which should be returned once your decision to retire is final.
  • A follow-up consultation with one of the Pensions Managers will be available on request – please email

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On-line Job Application System at UCD

UCD HR officially launched an on-line job application system in November 2008.  We have been up and running now for 7 months and the system is proving successful for all involved.

Our system allows 24/7 global access to our vacancy listings and on-line applications.  Candidates have reacted positively to the introduction and 89% have rated the system as good or excellent in our online survey.  Candidates have also commented that the system is extremely user friendly and that they are now more likely to apply to UCD since we eliminated the paper based application process.

Feedback has also been positive from UCD managers who can monitor the status of their vacancy and view or download applications real time, through their Employee Self Service (ESS) accounts.  In addition their assessment board packs are now delivered online.

stats We have seen a significant increase in the number of applications received on line, on average application number has increased by 260% (and in some cases there was a 400% increase over the average).

Since the implementation of the online system we have realised a number of benefits including an improved applicant experience with the option to apply on line and an instant response from UCD confirming receipt. There are more options for UCD managers who have visibility to applications before a competition closes.

Finally we are seeing greater efficiency and cost savings with the elimination of paper applications and assessment board packs, reduction in advertising and improvement in our turnaround times.

We will continue to monitor our results and welcome any feedback you might have on the system.  We are working closely with the software developers to include some of your suggestions in the next upgrade of the tool which will take place within the next 12 months.

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UCD PMDS was launched in May 2008 following an initial pilot phase. At this stage, PMDS training has been delivered to all staff within the University with limited mop-up training remaining for some staff members. In addition, PMDS reviews have been completed in many schools/units and are well underway in areas that have only recently completed their training. 

The PMDS process plays a key role in ensuring that the strategy of the University is shared and understood in each college/school/unit and at an individual level. It also enables tailored training to be provided to meet the needs of both individual staff members and their schools/units. 

Feedback to date has been positive and new staff will be trained on a regular basis throughout the year and their reviews can take place at a suitable time following the completion of their training.

In addition to the formal PMDS process, we would encourage reviewers and reviewees to maintain regular dialogue in order to obtain the full benefit of UCD’s tailored programme.

Further information is available on the PMDS website at

Thank you for your continued support in ensuring that UCD PMDS works for you, your school/unit and the university.

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HR Service Spotlight: Procedures for Reporting Sick Leave

This is a reminder to all staff regarding the current procedures for reporting certified and uncertified illness to their Head of School/Unit.   In addition, staff on Class A PRSI are reminded that if they are absent due to illness, they are obliged to claim social welfare benefit and return this cheque to UCD.


  • Staff member must contact head of school/unit as early as possible on the first day of illness.
  • On the fourth day of illness, the staff member must submit a medical cert to the head of school/unit for transmission to Aoife Ni Ruanaigh, UCD HR
  • If a staff member is on Class A PRSI, he/she must obtain a social welfare medical certificate, called an MC1, from his/her GP or hospital.  This form must be completed and returned to:

    Department of Social and Family Affairs
    P.O. Box 1650
    Dublin 1

  • The staff member should select the option to issue payment directly to UCD using the MC1 form.
  • If the illness continues beyond the dates of the initial medical certificate, the staff member must obtain an MC2 social welfare medical certificate from his/her GP or hospital.
  • Sick leave is calculated on a Monday to Sunday basis in the public sector, which means that if an employee is absent on a Friday and Monday, a medical certificate is required.

If you have any queries in relation to the above, please contact Aoife Ni Ruanaigh at ext. 4908, or email

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Resignation – New policy and Guidelines

UCD HR has recently developed an Employee Resignation Policy which is designed to assist Managers and Staff members when a staff member is tendering their resignation. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the correct process is followed by a manager when a staff member resigns and it also includes a checklist to assist the employee when they are writing a letter of resignation.  A form has also been developed which should be completed by managers when a member of staff resigns. For further details on the Policy and procedures involved please go to our UCD HR website,

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Challenging Stereotypes Creative Competition 2009

UCD student wins intervarsity creative competition

Mr. Graham Dwyer, a 2nd year student studying M.Sc. in Urban Design at UCD was awarded first place in this year’s intervarsity creative competition on ‘Challenging Stereotypes’. 

The winning entry ‘Equality Mobile’, an Art 3D Render, reflects the nine equality grounds as symbols. 

Mr. Dwyer was presented with a Sony e-book reader as first prize in the student category by Mr. Richard Fallon, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Equality Authority at an awards ceremony held in the Equality Authority’s Head Office on 30th April 2009.  

The aim of the competition was to challenge stereotypes in relation to the nine equality grounds and to foster a positive approach to diversity in the University sector.  Six out of the seven Universities took part in this year’s competition with entries submitted by staff and students from each of the Universities, spanning written to photographic form, each presenting their own unique way of challenging stereotypes.  The entries were judged at national level by a panel of four, which consisted of Mr. Bisi (Olabisi) Adigun, playwright, Dr. Kay Inckle, runner up from 2008’s intervarsity competition, Mr. Des Tomlinson, FAI, and Ms. Deirdre Toomey, Equality Authority.


For further information visit

This competition was supported by the Equality Authority and the ‘European Year of Equal Opportunities for All’ legacy funding.

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Support Colleagues in UCD

What is a Support Colleague?

A support colleague is a contact person appointed by the President to act (in a voluntary role) as the first point of contact for a staff member who believes that he or she is being treated in a bullying manner. The role of the support colleague is to provide independent, unbiased and non-judgemental support.  They have a listening brief and will, for example, provide copies of the University’s Dignity and Respect policy; give an outline of the procedures to be followed and will explain the role of those involved. To date there are eleven support colleagues throughout UCD, staff may contact any one of the support colleagues in UCD and are not restricted to contacting the support colleague within their own school/unit, if they so wish.

For further information and contact details:

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UCD Staff Census

The Equality & Diversity Unit would like to thank all who responded to this year’s staff census.  The response rate of 48% was one of the highest in the University sector.

The census which was circulated to all Universities by the Higher Education Authority is to enable UCD as a public sector employer to meet its requirement under the Disability Act 2005, to report each year on the number and percentage of staff with disabilities.  The high response rate to this census will help to build an accurate record of the number of staff with disabilities.

A report on the number and percentage of staff with disabilities was submitted to the HEA at the end of May.  2.5% of staff in UCD declared a disability on the census form. Further information on the staff census is available on

If you require information on disability related matters, please contact Fiona Donohue, Equality & Diversity Manager at ext: 4940 or

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Information & Training Seminars

UCD PMDS Learning & Development Programmes

If you have requested learning & development programmes through your PMDS review and have not yet received information from Training & Development, you should contact your reviewer to ensure these requests have been authorised by your Head of School/Unit and the information passed to the relevant training provider.

A number of programmes will be run over the summer months and staff that have requested this training will be contacted shortly. If you have any queries in relation to programmes you have requested please email or phone ext. 4919

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July Payroll Deadlines

Monthly Payroll - Salaried staff
Payment Date: Friday, 31st July 2009
Documentation Deadline*: Friday, 26th June 2009 (5.00 pm)

Monthly Payroll – Hourly paid staff

Payment Date:  Friday, 31st July 2009
Documentation Deadline**: Friday, 3rd July 2009 (5.00 pm)

August Payroll Deadlines

Monthly Payroll - Salaried staff
Payment Date: Monday, 31st August 2009
Documentation Deadline*: Friday, 24th July 2009 (5.00 pm)

Monthly Payroll – Hourly paid staff
Payment Date:  Monday, 31st August 2009
Documentation Deadline**: Tuesday, 4th August 2009 (1.00 pm)

September Payroll Deadlines

Monthly Payroll - Salaried staff
Payment Date: Wednesday, 30th September 2009
Documentation Deadline*: Friday, 21st August 2009 (5.00 pm)

Monthly Payroll – Hourly paid staff
Payment Date:  Wednesday, 30th September 2009
Documentation Deadline**: Thursday, 3rd September 2009 (5.00 pm)

*Receipt of Post Authorisation Forms in relation to the setting up of new staff, extension/renewal of contracts, documentation on amendments to pay, information on leavers, cost centre changes, etc. must be received by UCD HR Staffing Services, Roebuck Offices, by this date.

**Receipt of Timesheets, Overtime Claims etc must be received by UCD HR Compensation & Benefits, Roebuck Offices, by this date.

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Tá súil again gur bhain sibh taithneamh agus tairbhe as an nuachtlitir.
Beir bua agus beannacht.

If some colleagues in your area do not have access to e-mail, please print this newsletter and circulate it. If you have any suggestions about future topics or articles that you would like to see appear in this newsletter, please send your ideas / comments to