Welcome to our second HR newsletter of the 2010-11 academic year. We are pleased to bring to your attention, some developments that may be of interest to you.

In this edition of the Newsletter:


Previous editions of this news letter & other UCD HR notices are published at

Feedback is welcome by email to



Payroll information deadlines – July to November 2011



August  2011

Wednesday, 20th July 2011

September 2011

Friday, 19th August 2011

October 2011

Tuesday, 20th September  2011

November 2011

Thursday, 20th October 2011

Please note that contracts received after the payroll deadline will be processed for payment in the payroll for the following month..


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Employment Control Framework (ECF)

The HEA has just released a revised version of the ECF.  While the University maintains its position regarding the independence and autonomy of its staffing processes, there are welcome elements in the revised document.
Key features of the changed document include:

  • Greater flexibility with regard to the filling of core-funded posts subject to an overall ceiling.
  • A removal of the requirement for HEA involvement in the filling of non-core funded research and other posts and a removal of ceilings in this category.
  • The possibility of promotions, subject to the maintenance of ratios between differing bands of grades as applying in December 2008.

The ECF has been one of the most contentious issues with which the sector and UCD has been faced.  It had sought to introduce a level of restrictions within recruitment processes which caused considerable delays and frustrations for colleagues across the university.

The revision of the ECF has come about as a result of an extended period of lobbying by individual institutions and the sector as a whole. Central to this lobbying is the principle of the statutory independence of the universities in staffing matters, allied to the concrete evidence of the good faith shown by institutions with regard to numbers reductions over the last two years. These reductions have been achieved through the demonstration of extensive flexibilities and increased productivity by staff, in the face of increasing student numbers.

While neither UCD nor the sector has changed its position with regard to the issue of autonomy and independence, the revisions which have now been made are to be welcomed. Clearly, the ongoing difficult budgetary situation of the university will continue to have a very significant bearing on recruitment and promotions decisions. However, it is critical to UCD, in the delivery of its own strategy, that it is the university itself which makes these decisions based on its own priorities.

The Budget Review Committee (BRC) which considers recruitment and staffing decisions will be considering the new ECF in more detail and will be in further touch with Colleges, Schools and Units with regard to any proposed changes in the recruitment approval process.


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Civil Partnership now law in Ireland

Civil Partnership is now law in Ireland and allows same sex couples to formally and legally register their relationships.

The Civil Partnership Act provides legal recognition for same-sex couples in Ireland for the first time. It gives rise to a range of rights, obligations and protections which are broadly similar to those enjoyed by spouses, across a wide range of areas including property, social welfare, succession, maintenance, pensions and tax.

Pensions: Spouses pension benefits previously payable under the UCD Pension Scheme are now also payable equally to a civil partner.  Should a civil partnership be dissolved, pension information may need to be given to the Court and orders of the Court complied with. Similarly, attachment of earnings orders may be made over a civil partner’s salary.
The act also offers additional rights and protections for other cohabiting couples including a redress scheme for financially dependent long-term cohabitants on the end of a relationship.
GLEN (the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) have published a guide which details a comprehensive analysis of the Civil Partnership Act which can be accessed through their website
Full details on the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights of Cohabitants Act 2010


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Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for all staff

The EAP is a confidential support service available to all staff and their family members with any difficulties or challenges that they may be experiencing. It provides easy access to confidential counselling and information services dealing with a broad range of issues such as personal, work, financial or legal 365 days-a-year. To access the service, please call Free Phone 1800 300 061.
Click the link for more information on the Employee Assistance Programme


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Changes to HR Partner assignments

We are very pleased to inform you that UCD HR is in the process of putting in place new HR Partner assignments which are intended as one key element of enhancement of HR service delivery and which specifically take account of:

  • The general evolution of this role, which has now been in place for 3 years, and the objective of ensuring it continues to delivers maximum value to the university
  • Feedback from across the university and delivered as part of the recently completed HR Quality Review
  • The requirement to cater for the new academic structures which will be in place from September 2011
  • A careful analysis of the general and staffing environment and the challenges  which are presenting.

The new assignments are detailed on the HR webpage at:

The effect of these changes is that embedded HR Partner support will be extended to cover the new academic structures (2 new Colleges) and will be expanded further to provide cover into an additional large area, that of Academic Affairs (inc the Library, Registry and IT Services). This extended cover is being achieved with the existing HR Partner headcount and supported by the central HR specialist service areas.
 The effective date of these changes is 1st June, however, extensive transition arrangements are required to effect a smooth handover. These have been in progress for the last month and will continue in the background during June/July. Watch out for further local communications in this regard.

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Pension records available online

Online pension records are now available to all pension scheme members through the UCD Employee Self Service (ESS) system (
The online pension record will provide you with:

  • Freedom of access to view your pensionable salary and pensionable service which includes transfers in from previous pension schemes and notional service purchase
  • A snap shot of your normal retirement benefits
  • Your Pension Scheme Explanatory Booklet
  • FAQs document
  • Facility to update your dependants details
  • Pensions Calculator.

The Pensions Calculator allows you to model “what if” scenarios by selecting different retirement options, ages at retirement, changing work patterns or your predicted salary at retirement.  These selections will feed into calculations of your pension, retirement gratuity and benefits payable to your dependants. 
This new service will provide you with real time pension calculations at the touch of a button.  It will therefore not be necessary to issue hard copy annual pension benefit statements to all pension scheme members.  The efficiencies derived from this project will generate significant cost savings for UCD and improve accuracy of pension information.

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UCD HR Training & Development Update

The HR Training & Development event calendar is available on the HR website at This lists all training programmes and seminars available to staff.

Our schedule of programmes being run directly from requests through PMDS is available at .  This lists all programmes from HR Training & Development and will be updated in August with the programmes for the next academic year. All of these programmes should be requested under your PMDS review if you are a staff member on a minimum of a 1 year contract. Please contact Suzanne or Maeve at if you have any questions.

Staff have the option of being on the Health and Wellbeing and Skills Seminars mailing list and will be contacted directly by email when seminars are being run. Please email Jessica at  to join the mailing list and include your personnel number in your email. For further information on these seminars please view  and

HR Training & Development have developed 5 eLearning modules on Blackboard which are available to all UCD staff through UCD Connect


New Development Initiative: Next Steps – Supporting You in Your Future Career

UCD HR Training & Development have developed a modular programme for staff members who are approaching the end of their contracts in UCD. This programme will provide developmental and practical support to staff members leaving the university with a view to assisting them in their transition from UCD.

The programme consists of two modules and runs on a periodic basis and is a blend of small group workshops, online information and one-to-one coaching sessions. The first of these will commence in July and further sessions will run on demand.

Aimed at:  Staff who are approaching the end of their contract. All categories of staff are welcome and attendance is optional.

Module 1 – Preparing and Applying for a Job (1 day)      July 11th 2011
Module 2 – Personal Development (1/2 day)                   July 26th 2011

Further information and dates are available at or contact , ext. 4930

PMDS Cycle 2

Reviews for cycle 2 of PMDS are underway in many schools and units. If you have queries relating to PMDS cycle 2 in your school/unit, please contact your Head of School/Unit/ or reviewer. If your school/unit would like a refresher session on PMDS or if you have any general queries, please contact us.  Please ensure all Form 3s are authorised by the Head of School/Unit and sent to Jessica at for action. This is important to ensure staff are provided with training in a timely manner.

The joint UCD Management/Union Steering Committee which oversees the PMDS process is currently considering feedback with a view to establishing what changes may be needed in the process.

New Policy - Refund of Financial Support for Academic & Professional programmes

A new policy and form have been developed to cover the area of staff refunding financial support provided by their school/unit to pursue an academic or professional qualification. The Refund of Financial Support for Academic & Professional programmes policy is available at and the form at 

This refund would be made under the fee claw back outlined in the policy. The purpose of the policy is to ensure the school/unit is refunded any monies paid on behalf of a staff member who resigns/contract ends within the timeframe set out in the policy. This policy has been developed from feedback received from schools where they have been unable to recoup fees paid on behalf of staff. It potentially benefits the school by:

  • ensuring they get value for money by supporting a staff member complete an academic or professional qualification

  • being able to protect themselves against staff leaving immediately after the programme is completed.

Please discuss this policy and form with any relevant staff member who you are, in the future, supporting financially to complete such a qualification. The school/unit covers the cost of these courses out of the local budget at the discretion of the Head of School/Unit.
Any queries please contact Susie Ryan on ext. 4920 or


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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