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Maternity Leave

Page updated 9 August 2022

If you are a female employee who is pregnant, then you are entitled to maternity leave. Below you will find a brief summary of the steps you need to take to apply for maternity leave; the forms required to make the application and a detailed policy outlining your entitlement.

Risk Assessment for Pregnant Employees

In the interests of your own health and safety and of your unborn child, all pregnant employees are strongly encouraged to report their pregnancy to their Head of School / Unit Manager or to the University Safety, Insurance, Operational Risk and Compliance (SIRC) Office directly, as early as possible via (opens in a new window)sirc@ucd.ie. All notifications will be treated in the strictest confidence. This is so that a Pregnant Employee Risk Assessment can be carried out by the SIRC Office to ensure that your working conditions do not pose a risk to you or your unborn child’s health and safety.

Pregnant employees should not work with hazardous agents (biological, chemical or radioactive) until a risk assessment has been carried out and it has been deemed safe to do so.

To arrange a risk assessment or to discuss further, the employee can confidentially contact the SIRC Office by email to (opens in a new window)sirc@ucd.ie.

Further advice and information is also available on the SIRC Office website.

Maternity Leave Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that UCD employees are supported before, during and after their maternity leave.

This maternity policy applies to all UCD employees who are in receipt of a salary under a permanent contract, a contract of indefinite duration (CID), or a fixed-term contract as defined in the Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003 and who are entitled to benefit under the consolidated Maternity Protection Acts. The policy also contains important definitions and a broad overview of roles and responsibilities.

Read the (opens in a new window)Maternity Leave Policy now.

This section contains a summary of a UCD policy, however, in all cases the Policy remains the definitive source of information on the topic.

Maternity Leave Process

The maternity leave process can be separated into 4 broad steps, outlined below.

Step 1: Gather the required information

Before commencing this process you’ll need to know or consider the following information:

  • What is my baby due date (often called the Date of Confinement)? You’ll need a letter from your doctor confirming this.

  • When will I start my paid Maternity Leave?

  • When will I end my paid Maternity Leave?

  • Will I take additional unpaid Maternity Leave immediately after the 26 weeks paid leave finishes?

  • Will I propose to take additional unpaid or paid (annual) Leave?

  • Do any public holidays fall during this period?

  • Taking all the above into account, what date do I propose to return? 

Maternity Benefit Section (Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection)

Step 2: Have a conversation

Once you’ve considered or gathered the information above, you’ll need to download and complete the UCD Maternity Leave Application form and have a conversation with your Head of School / Head of Unit or Nominee. They will need to sign off on the UCD Maternity Leave Application Form, confirming approval to take additional paid/leave.

Step 3: Submit your documentation to HR

Following the conversation with your HOS / HOU you can submit your documentation to HR for implementation:

Step 4: Submit your documentation to the Maternity Benefit Section

When your MB2 form has been completed by UCD HR and UCD Payroll, we will send it back to either your place of work or home address. You will then need to send it onto the Department of Social Protection, Maternity Benefit Section.

What happens next?

You will receive a letter from UCD HR confirming:

  • Receipt of your “Notification of Intention to Take Maternity Leave” form.

  • Your maternity leave dates.

  • The date you are due to return to the university following the leave concerned.

Note: The Maternity Leave - Return to work form‌ will be enclosed with the maternity leave acknowledgement letter.‌

Completing Maternity Forms

Maternity Benefit Form (MB1, MB2 & MB3):

  • UCD Employees need to complete MB1 (Part 1 of the form).
  • UCD Employees need to send in MB2 (Part 2- Employer’s Certificate for Maternity Benefit) to UCD HR for completion*.
  • UCD Employees do not need to complete MB3 section of the form (part 3 -Medical certificate for maternity benefit).

When your MB2 form has been completed by UCD HR and UCD Payroll, we will send it back to either your place of work or home address. You will then need to send it onto the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Maternity Benefit Section - along with MB1 and MB3 sections.

UCD Support for taking Family Related Leave - Policy and Guidelines

This policy and guidelines provides guidance for employees and managers in preparation for taking family related leave, during and on return from leave. 

This policy includes the following benefits

Faculty employees

Faculty employees returning from maternity leave are entitled under University policy to a phased return to teaching over the course of the first calendar year following their return, typically averaging 50% commitment over that year.

Ideally, a conversation about phased return to teaching should form part of the preparation for taking family related leave conversations with your manager.         

All Employees

Returning from maternity leave are entitled to avail of a grant up to a maximum of €500 for re-skilling and networking. 

For further information for line managers on accessing funding for maternity/adoptive/surrogacy cover and phased return to teaching which is allocated in one tranche by the Bursar on receipt of notification of an employees intention to take maternity leave, visit here

Breastfeeding Policy and Facilities

Employees 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

Parent buddy programmes and more

Information on parent buddy programmes and other supports are available on the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion website.

Employee Assistance Service

The UCD (EAS) is a 24/7 free and confidential support service designed to assist you in dealing more effectively with any personal or work-related problems you might be facing. The service is operated confidentially by Spectrum.Life, the largest provider of employee health and wellness services in Ireland.

The service can be used by a UCD employee, their spouse, civil partner and dependents where the family member can be described as over the age of 18 and residing in the family home.

Contact the HR Helpdesk

The HR Helpdesk is the primary point of contact for all your employment-related queries by email and telephone.  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.

All visitors to UCD HR, Roebuck offices should be by appointment only and arrangements to be made with specific HR staff members.

(opens in a new window)hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie

+ 353-1-716-4900

Roebuck Offices,
UCD Belfield Campus.

UCD Human Resources

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4900 | E: hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)