Career Break - Retuning to work
This page outlines the policy and procedures for staff when applying to return from a career break. Below you will find an outline of the processes involved, the form you need to complete, and some frequently asked questions.
Applying to return from Career Break
- Step 1: Read the University Career Break Policy as differing terms apply depending on the length of the break.
- Step 2: You will need to outline your intentions, in writing, to your Head of School/unit by completing the Career Break Return to Work Form
- For Career Breaks of up to 1 year this must be done at least 8 weeks prior to the end of the Career Break
- For Career Breaks over 1 year, this must be done at least 3 months rior to the end of the Career Break.
- The onus is on you to initiate contact. You must formally notify your HoS/U in writing of your intention to return to work within the timeframes indicated. Failure to apply to return to work will be taken as an intention not to resume duty and treated as a full resignation. In this case the University will have no further obligation to re-employ you. In the case where there is a post to be filled, the process of filling the post will proceed.
- Step 3: Return to Work applications are considered by the Head of School/Unit and the College Principal/Vice-President.
- For Career Breaks of up to 1 year you will return to your post.
- For a Career Break greater than 1 year, you will be offered the first available vacancy at the grade, terms and conditions previously held in the school/unit in which you worked.
- If no vacancy exists, it is up to you to review other vacancies in the University and apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
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If there is no formal contact from you to the School/Unit you departed from, and in line with the timelines indicated it will be assumed that you are not seeking to return to UCD. In this case the University will have no further obligation to re-employ you. In the case where there is a post to be filled, the process of filling the post will proceed.
If the terms of your break, confirmed in the letter from the HR Operations, were that your substantive post was being held open for you, and assuming that you fulfil the notification requirements, you would return to your employment with UCD.
If the terms of your break did not include the holding open of your substantive post, but there is a suitable, available post at your level available in the School/Unit, you will be offered that post and on acceptance resume your employment with UCD.
If you do not accept the offer of such a post, UCD has no further obligation to you.
If there is no suitable, available post at your level available in the School/Unit you departed from, then you are eligible to apply for other suitable vacancies within UCD on the same terms as staff who apply for internal vacancies. During this time you are not entitled to any form of remuneration from UCD, but may be entitled to relevant social welfare benefits applicable to job seekers. An individual’s entitlement to Social Welfare Benefits in the first instance is based on their history of social insurance contributions made and the PRSI Class at which such contributions were made. Certain Classes do not qualify people for full social welfare benefits. To determine your specific entitlement you would need to contact your local office of the Department of Social & Family Affairs and/or review the materials on their website.
UCD HR will provide a letter, if required, indicating your status in relation to employment with UCD. You should contact HR Operations at email@example.com to request this letter.
Under the terms of the policy it is clearly stated that early returns cannot usually be facilitated. However, once you have given your 3 months notice of availability to return, and if you have been advised that there is no suitable available post available in your School/Unit for the foreseeable future, you may immediately begin to apply for alternative roles in the university. If successful, the start date agreed may be some weeks earlier than your original planned return date.
You retain access to the Employee Self-Service (ESS) facility for certain purposes, for example, in order to access your previous pay slips. Once UCD HR are notified of your situation by your Head of School/Unit, your access will be extended to allow you to view and apply for current vacancies. By logging in to the ESS facility you may view current vacancies and access instructions on how to apply for vacancies of interest to you. (Please note this may take up to 2 weeks to arrange upon receipt of notification from the Head of School/Unit).
You will have access to the internal vacancies, via ESS, no later than 2 weeks from when UCD HR receives notification from your Head of School/Unit of your intent to return, subject to the notice period outlined in the Career Break policy. Once you have received this access you may apply through the online recruitment process on the same terms and conditions as those which apply to permanent staff who apply for internal vacancies.
If this is the case you may apply for vacancies through the online recruitment process on the same terms and conditions as those which apply to permanent staff applying for internal vacancies. There is no time limit on which you will be offered the next suitable, available position at your level, within your School/Unit, in this circumstance.
This will depend on the situation. If you left from a fulltime role and the available role in your School/Unit is fulltime you should resume this role and an application for part-time working will be considered under the policy in force at the time.
If you are applying for other vacancies in the university then again this will be dependent on the role and whether it requires full-time or part-time work.
From a UCD perspective there is no barrier to taking up other work outside UCD while waiting on a suitable vacancy to arise within UCD.
In some instances this may prove to be a suitable option by agreement of the parties involved and following a normal selection process. Under the terms of the Career Break policy, you will still be entitled to be offered the next permanent suitable, available post at your level which arises in the School/Unit from which you took your career Break.
Contact the HR Helpdesk
The HR Helpdesk is the primary point of contact for all your employment-related queries. We are here to help you with any queries on employee benefits, terms & conditions and HR policies & procedures. If we can’t help you directly we will refer your query to a HR specialist area.
2nd Floor Roebuck Offices,
UCD Belfield Campus.