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Family Related Leave Supports

Page Updated: 30 September 2022

UCD has a range of family-friendly policies to support those with caring responsibilities. Employees and managers should make themselves familiar with these policies so that they understand all of the options available to support them in their role as parents and carers. It is important that managers are aware of these policies so that they can provide a high standard of support their employees navigate the period before, during and after family-related leave. 

This page contains summaries of UCD policies but, in all cases, the Policy in the Governance Library remains the defintive source of information.

Support for Employees taking Family-Related Leave 

Academics who are returning from maternity, adoptive, or carers leave (24 weeks or more), are entitled to 50% teaching buy-out over two semesters on return from leave to re-establish their research career. As a research-intensive university, UCD is committed to support those returning from maternity, adoptive/surrogacy and carers leave. All Staff are entitled to an upskilling grant on return from maternity, adoptive, or carers leave (24 weeks or more).

The above policy and guidelines should be read in conjunction with UCD Family-Friendly Policies. Information on the phased return to teaching process and upskilling grant for managers and employees is outlined below.

Phased Increase in Teaching

All academic staff are entitled to a phased return to teaching when returning from maternity, adoptive/surrogacy, (and carers leave of 24 weeks or more). The Head of School is responsible for implementation.

  • The phased increase in teaching facility averaging 50% over the course of a year following a period of family related leave is intended to support faculty to re-engage with the University and to re-establish their research outputs.
  • Heads of School should ensure that faculty who are due to take maternity, adoptive/surrogacy leave and (carers leave after 24 week or more) are aware of how to plan for employees taking this leave and implement the phased return to teaching for employees.
  • The practical implementation of this support will depend on the person’s workload and a discussion will be required between the individual returning from maternity, adoptive/surrogacy, carers leave and their Head of School.
  • Employees and managers should have a conversation in advance of employees taking leave to establish a before, during, and return from, leave plan and phased return to teaching should form part of these discussions. This may assist with the planning for the additional teaching resource required to cover the phased increase in teaching.
  • The social costs fund, which provides assistance with the costs of redundancy, long-term illness and maternity, adoptive/surrogacy (and carers leave of 24 weeks or more), provides enhanced and fixed funding towards the replacement of faculty for the duration of the leave and phased return to teaching.
  • A fixed amount is transferred to schools, triggered by the hiring of a replacement, rather than a variable amount dependent on the cost of the replacement. This amount is expected to cover both:
    • The replacement during maternity, adoptive/surrogacy leave and (carers leave after 24 week or more) and
    • The replacement of the phased increase in teaching when the individual decides to avail of this upon return from maternity, adoptive/surrogacy leave and (carers leave after 24 week or more) leave.
  • The fixed amount is currently €46,000. (Together with the Social Welfare Maternity/Adoptive Leave Benefit of c. €6k, represents funding of €52,000)
  • The fixed payment is broadly similar to the maximum amount that has been payable to date (and based on replacement at the midpoint of the Assistant Professor scale).
  • This will be payable automatically for all faculty maternity/adoptive leaves. Maternity, adoptive/surrogacy replacement will continue to be funded from the social costs fund on the basis of replacement costs.
  • Please note: The online hiring form (OHF) for maternity, adoptive/surrogacy replacement, when completed,  triggers the transfer of funds to schools. These transfers are processed quarterly in mid-December, March, June and September. Where an online hiring form is not completed, a manual claim would need to be submitted to the Finance Office by the Head of School via their Finance manager.  

Further information around the operation of the social costs scheme with regard to maternity, adoptive/surrogacy (and carers leave of 24 weeks or more) is available in the FAQ on the Finance Office website.

Grant for Employees

All employees returning from maternity/adoptive/surrogacy leave are entitled to avail of a grant up to a maximum of €500. These employees may face additional costs in terms of re-skilling, networking and other such costs that will support them to re-establish their career following an extended period of being out of the workplace.  The amount will normally be availed of in the 12-18 month period following the return from maternity, adoptive/surrogacy and also carer's leave of 24 weeks or more and will be specifically for the purpose of putting supports in place to facilitate the transition of the employee back into the workplace and re-establish their careers.

Social Fund payments to Schools/Units for maternity, adoptive/surrogacy, and carer's leave will automatically incorporate an additional €500 for this purpose. Schools/Units will liaise locally with the employee re availing of the grant.  

Further information around the operation of the social costs scheme is available on the Finance Office Website.

Supporting Employees Before, During, and on Return from Family Related Leave 

You should read the policy and guidelines below in conjunction with UCD Family-Friendly Policies: 

UCD Family-related Policies

Contact UCD Equality Diversity and Inclusion

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