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Page Updated: 27th July 2022

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

UCD believes in equality, diversity and inclusion and embeds these fairness principles into all aspects of University life. UCD’s vision for EDI is to be a leader and role model in equality and diversity in the higher education sector nationally and internationally, and for EDI to be at the heart of all we do. Learn more about how we do this in our policy on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.

View the policy in the Governance Library

More information on the EDI Policy and EDI Strategy and Action Plan can be found on our publications section.

Image of the EDI values

Gender Balance on Committees

This policy articulates UCD’s commitment to a minimum gender balance of 40% women and 40% men on all decision making committees (and among their Chairs). 

View the policy in the Governance Library

Core Meeting Hours

This policy aims to facilitate the embedding of core meeting hours across the University, as part of a range of actions to support a family-friendly working environment. Core meeting hours are defined as the hours between 9:30am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. They do not represent the working day, but rather are a subset of the working day. Meetings include all University, College and School level meetings, seminars, workshops etc. which employees are either required or invited to attend. They do not include timetabled teaching or assessment.

View the policy in the Governance Library

Dignity & Respect Policies

This Dignity & Respect website brings together information on the Bullying & Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policies in UCD. In addition to the policies, you will also find information on a range of informal and formal options for resolution. The Dignity & Respect Support Advisory service can take you through these policies and explore the range of options and supports available to you. 

Bullying & Harassment Policy - Read the policy in the Governance Library now or learn more about the scope and key features of the policy on the Dignity & Respect site.

Sexual Misconduct Policy - Read the policy in the Governance Library now or learn more on the Dignity & Respect site about the scope and key features of the policy

Gender Identity and Expression Policy

Gender identity and expression is a positive, core part, of being human and experiencing wellbeing and fulfilment. UCD celebrates its diverse community of employees and students and their diverse gender identities and expression. Fundamental equality and inclusion in UCD’s community is central to our University’s ethos of academic excellence and integrity and our aspiration to be leaders in our society.

Learn more about Gender Identity & Expression at UCD or view the policy.

UCD Support for People Taking Family-Related Leave Policy

This policy and guidelines provide support for managers and employees to navigate the period before, during and after family-related leave. Managers can also find guidance so that they can provide a high standard of support to employees during this time.

Learn more about Supports for Parents, Guardians and Carers at UCD or View the policy.

UCD Supporting the Employment of Persons with Disabilities

This policy  provides support for managers and employees to support the employment of persons with disabilities. View the policy.

UCD Mediation Service Policy and Guide

Mediation is a framework for resolving conflict in an informal manner which is impartial and objective, and aims to resolve conflict at the earliest opportunity. Find out more about mediation at UCD or view the policy

Mental Health & Wellbeing for Employees Policy

This policy sets out the University’s commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of employees in UCD as part of an overall responsibility to promote a healthy work environment where all aspects of health are championed. It is recognised that many of us will experience challenges to our mental health and wellbeing in our personal and work lives. It is the aim of the University to create a supportive, empathetic and positive environment which contributes to and fosters good mental health and wellbeing for all our colleagues. 

Read the Mental Health & Wellbeing policy now in the UCD Governance Library.

UCD Policy Supporting the Employment of People with Disabilities

UCD has developed this policy to ensure it provides equality of opportunity in the attraction, employment, retention and development of persons with disabilities. It is committed to taking proactive steps to ensure its workplace culture supports employees with disabilities to feel confident and comfortable to disclose disabilities so that supports can be provided to enable employees to thrive at work. The University seeks to create an affirmative and inclusive culture for employees who have or acquire disabilities during their working life. 

Click here to view the Policy Supporting the Employment and Careers of Persons with Disabilities

Supporting Employees who are Breastfeeding

UCD is committed to providing a supportive, family friendly environment for all our employees and has a range of family friendly policies in place. A family friendly environment includes a culture that supports and raises awareness of breastfeeding and the provision of breastfeeding/lactation facilities aligned to good practice for our employees who are currently breastfeeding.  It is important to UCD that employees who are breastfeeding can return to work and are supported during this period.  

Employees who are breastfeeding are entitled to take paid breastfeeding/lactating breaks for two years (104 weeks) after the period of confinement, which is an increase from the current 6-month entitlement. This supports employees who are breastfeeding while returning to the workplace. Employees and managers can find full details in the policy and the location of facilities below. 

Click here to view the Policy for Supporting Employees who are Breastfeeding


Out of Hours Email Policy

The purpose of this policy is to make it clear to employees that they are not expected to read or reply to emails outside of their normal working hours, except in exceptional situations. This policy is designed to promote employee wellbeing by demonstrating the importance of recovery time away from work and support other policies such as Core Meeting Hours which promote a family-friendly working environment.

View the policy in the Governance Library


The concept of ‘always on’ is widely viewed as impacting negatively on employee wellbeing. Receiving and responding to email out of hours can have a significant role in propagating this situation. Best practice in many organisations is to establish a culture where it is viewed as acceptable not to read or respond to email out of hours. 

Rollout of out of UCD’s out of hours email policy is a highly visible action demonstrating our commitment to employee wellbeing. Line managers play a pivotal role in the implementation of the policy and ultimately changing the culture of the organisation for the better.

Due to UCD’s global footprint with employees traveling and working in many time zones, a range of approaches will be needed. Potential ways line managers (and other colleagues) can support this policy are suggested below. All are adaptable and account for different working preferences and styles.

Communicate the policy

Communicate and indicate your support for the policy among your team by referencing it at team meetings and reminding colleagues as and when needed.

Avoid sending out of hours email

In recognising the spirit of the policy and the intention to promote employee wellbeing, managers should set the tone in their own areas by avoiding sending out of hours email where possible. 

When travelling

Inform your team you are away and that they may receive out of hours emails that you do not expect them to respond to until their normal working hours. This can be prior to your departure or as a footer to your email.

Delay sending out of hours emails

Many reasons including travel, absence from the office, flexible working etc may result in the need to work on email out of normal working hours. Where this occurs, technological solutions may be used to delay sending the email to the recipient(s) until their normal working hours.

For example in Google’s Gmail a simple dropdown option on the send button allows an email to be sent at a scheduled time. Similar options also exist for desktop email clients such as Outlook.

Insert an email footer

Awareness of the policy can be raise by adding a footer to email signatures to indicate that there is no expectation placed upon the recipient for a response outside of their normal working hours. Suggested wording may include the following phrases, and could be adapted by individuals:

“As UCD is a global University, it is possible that this email may reach you outside of your working hours. If so, please do not feel you have to read or respond until your normal working hours.”

It should be noted that no part of this policy prohibits an employee who chooses to read and respond to emails out of normal working hours from doing so. However, it is incumbent upon line managers and other colleagues not to create a sense of pressure to read/respond to email out of hours and to adopt the strategies above with the intention of creating a better working environment for all.  

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: edi@ucd.ie