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Supports for Parents and Carers

UCD is made up of a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances. This includes those who have family obligations or who may be going on or returning from family-related leave. UCD is committed to providing an inclusive workplace for all employees. This is demonstrated through strategic objective 5 of UCD’s strategy 2015-2020 to ‘attract and retain an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff’, and through the UCD EDI Strategy. The University is committed to the provision of supports to employees to balance family commitments enabling them to reach their full potential at work.

UCD Family-Related Policies

UCD has a range of family friendly policies to support those with caring responsibilities. Employees should make themselves familiar with these policies so that they consider all of the options that may support them in their role as parents and carers. It is also important that managers are aware of these policies so that they can support their employees and inform them of their options.

The following is a list of policies that employees may avail of in UCD that support them to balance their work and family life: 

Managers and employees should familiarise themselves with the conditions and procedures applying to leaves (e.g. 'Maternity Leave Procedures') on the HR website.  


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Support for Employees taking Family-Related Leave Policy and Guidelines

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.

Employees should familiarise themselves with the policy and guidelines to understand the types of support available.

Academics who are returning from maternity, adoptive or carers leave 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 and carers leave. 

The below policy and guidelines should be read in conjunction with UCD Family-Friendly Policies: 

Become a Parent Buddy

Are you a parent working at UCD? Why not become a buddy and support employees who are expectant parents or parents who have recently returned to work at UCD?

What is the Buddy programme?

The Buddy programme connects employees going on and/or returning from maternity, adoption, paternity leave, parental leave or with children of any age with employees who are parents in UCD.

The Buddy programme is an informal arrangement connecting you with employees to give advice and tips on preparing for parenthood and balancing parenting with your career.

What will my role be as a Buddy?

The role of a buddy is to be a confidential informal support for the employee. Buddies are not a replacement for professional services and supports. A briefing on the role of a Buddy will be provided. Buddies should refer employees to HR and University policies to ensure consistent, up-to-date and accurate information. 

You can support colleagues in the following ways:

  • Share your experience and useful tips
  • Connect employees with other supports and resources
  • Sign-post employees to information sources and services as appropriate

This support could take the form of meeting for a coffee, an email or a call. Employees may have questions for Buddies about preparing to go on leave, transitioning back into the workplace, being a new parent and balancing workload, childcare arrangements, etc.

Time Commitment

You are available to be a Buddy for a year or for as long as both employees and Buddy consent to continuing the relationship.

A lunchtime briefing will be organised for buddies in advance of launching the programme.

How do I become a Buddy?

Please fill out the expression of interest form and email it to edi@ucd.ie by 18 December 2019. 

The Parent Buddy workshop will take place 14 January 2020, 12pm - 2pm. If you cannot attend this session and would still like to be a Buddy, please complete the expression of interest form and we will be in touch.

We welcome and encourage diverse employees of all genders who are parents to register as a Buddy. 

Please read the Code of Practice prior to filling out the expression of interest.



Breastfeeding Facilities in UCD

Childcare Facilities on Campus

Employee Assistance Programme (Log-in Required)

Inspire - Keeping Back to School Cool


HSE: https://www2.hse.ie/my-child/


Mumager: https://mumager.ie/