Staff Handbook

Staff Handbook

This Handbook has been prepared to provide new and existing staff with an overview of the University in terms of governance, policies, procedures and physical layout. To get a good understanding of the University, this document should be read in conjunction with the University's Policies and Procedures Manual, the University's Strategic Plan and the UCC Calendar of Events.

The Handbook is divided into the following parts:

Leave Snapshot






Adoptive Leave


24 weeks paid

18 weeks unpaid



 Leave to adopt a child



Career Break



Not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years unpaid leave



 Unpaid Leave for a period not less than 1 year and not more than 5 years.



Carer’s Leave



Up to 104 weeks (unpaid)


Unpaid leave up to a maximum of 104 weeks per qualifying relevant person.


The minimum that may be taken in one period is 13 weeks.



Compassionate Leave



1 to 3 days paid


3 days paid leave in the event of the death of a parent, spouse/partner, brother/sister, child, a person to whom the employee is in loco parentis, a dependent residing with the employee, uncle/aunt.


1 day’s paid leave in the event of the death of mother/father-in-law, grandparent, grandchild.



Conferring Leave


1 day paid



1 day’s paid leave on the occasion of an employee’s conferring, on production of official notice. Applicable only to a working day



Exam Leave





Paid leave may be allowed for the duration of attendance for exam only. Applicable only to a working day



Force Majeure Leave



3 to 5 days paid


3 days paid leave in a 12-month period, no more than 5 days paid leave in a 36-month period



Jury Duty




Paid Leave may be allowed for the duration of attendance at Court when such attendance is required on College Service, Duty as witness on behalf of State or in the service of the community or Jury Duty



Marriage/Civil Partnership Leave



5 days paid


5 days paid leave on the occasion of marriage/civil union



Maternity Leave


26 weeks paid

16 weeks unpaid



26 weeks paid leave or to the end of current contract. Paid leave consists of UCC pay minus social welfare payment



Military Leave


5 days paid



5 days paid Military Training Leave


5 days unpaid leave for Annual Training for F.C.A., First Line Reserve or Naval Service



Parental Leave



18 weeks (90 days) unpaid leave per child (pro-rata if part-time)


18 weeks (90 days) unpaid leave for a child up to 13 years of age or up to 16 years of age in the case of a child with a disability.


Leave for an adopted child (aged between 6 & 8) may be taken up to 2 years after the date of the adoption order.



Paternity Leave



2 consecutive weeks paid leave


The commencement date must not be earlier than the date of birth/day of placement of the child and end no later than 26 weeks after that date. 



Reduced Working Week







Reduction in the normal contracted number of hours/days in the working week.  Arrangement in place normally for up to one year.



Sabbatical Leave


12 months paid or unpaid



Eligibility requirement is 3 years continuous service required to apply for 6 months leave or 6 years continuous service to apply for 12 months leave. Sabbatical Leave Committee must approve applications.


Shorter Working Year


Minimum of 2 weeks up to maximum of 13 weeks unpaid leave


Replaced Term Time Leave.  Special unpaid leave for one or more continuous periods of not less than 2 and not more than 13 weeks at any time during the year.  A maximum of 3 periods amounting to 13 weeks in total may be applied for.


Sick Leave (Certified)






Sick Leave (Casual)


Paid sick leave of up to 3 months (92 days) on full pay in a rolling one year period, followed by 3 months (91 days) on half pay subject to a maximum of 6 months (183 days) in any rolling 4 year period.


7 days in 2 years



Leave in order to aid recovery

Temporary staff have a pro-rata entitlement based on service


Sporting Competition


4 weeks unpaid


If applicant is representing the country, up to 4 weeks unpaid leave.


If the sporting body involved does not compensate for expenses, the Finance Committee may consider granting 5 days paid leave in any period of 2 years.


Study Leave



Paid Leave

Maximum 10 days paid leave over duration of Degree or Diploma, must be pre-approved by HR. Pro-rata basis for part time staff


Training Leave





Paid Leave


Paid leave to attend a full or part time course required by the University if the Department is in agreement.  Applies to short courses & conferences (internal & external).


Unpaid Leave of Absence





From one week up to a maximum of one year unpaid


Unpaid leave for personal reasons


Wedding Leave


1 day paid

1 day’s paid leave for an immediate relative (i.e. mother, father, brother, sister, child). Applicable only to a working day




Governance and Management

The Governing Body


Comprehensive information on Governing Body is provided by the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs.  On their site you will find [amongst other things ]information on the following:

  • Members
  • Committees
  • Schedule of Meetings
  • Reports to Staff of Meetings
  • Minutes
  • Code of Practice - GB Members


Academic Council


Responsibility for the academic affairs of the University lies with the Academic Council, subject to review by the Governing Body. Members ofthe Academic Council include officers of the University, senior academic staff and heads of departments. The Academic Council has the following specific responsibilities:

  • to manage and carry out the curriculum, instruction and education afforded by the University
  • to make recommendations for scholarships and other prizes
  • to carry out the regulations made by the Governing Body on the above matters
  • to regulate and carry out the discipline of the students of the University
  • to transact such other matters as may be committed to the Academic Council by the Governing Body
The following sub-committees of Academic Council hold responsibility for the development of policy in certain areas:
  • Inter-faculty Graduate Studies Board
  • Research Committee
  • Staff Enhancement & Development Committee
  • Student Needs Teaching and Curriculum Development Committee


Academic Board


The Academic Council has delegated certain responsibilities to an Academic Board. The Resigtrar chairs the Academic Board on behalf of the President.  The Academic Board comprises members nominated by Academic Council and ex-officio members. The Academic board takes decisions and makes recommendations to Governing Body and Academic Council in regard to the following matters:

  • Student Discipline
  • Scholarships and Prizes
  • Ratification of Examination Results
  • Appointment of Examiners and Examination Boards
  • Appointment of Selection Committees
  • Approval of recommendations of Board of Assessors and Promotions and Establishment Boards
  • Temporary and Part-time Staff Appointments
  • Nomination of Emeritus Professors
  • Minor Changes in Courses and Regulations
  • Matters of a routine nature

Schools and Departments

Full list of Schools and Departments

Policies & Procedures

Full list of policies and procedures

Code of Conduct

Telephone Use

Staff are permitted to make occasional use of the University's telephone system for urgent private business, provided that the call is a local one and of short duration. They may also occasionally use the telephone system for long distance calls, provided that these are placed through the University switchboard and are identified as private calls. The switchboard staff will issue an invoice in respect of the cost

Computer and Network Systems Acceptable Use Policy

Providing an efficient and reliable computing and networking service depends on the co-operation of all users. It is therefore important that you are aware of your responsibilities to other users and to the providers of the service. You must use the resources in a responsible manner and you must respect the integrity of computer systems, networks and data to which you have access, and follow any rules and regulations governing their use.

In particular staff are not permitted to:

engage in activities which waste resources (people, networks, computers) engage in activities which are liable to cause a disruption or denial or service to other users use computer or network resources to access or distribute offensive, obscene, abusive, or threatening material use computer or network resources for any activities which contravene the laws of the State, or of the destination country in the case of data being transmitted abroad use computer or network resources for commercial activities which are not a part of your work in UCC infringe copyright or the proprietary rights of software share user IDs or usernames, transfer them to other users, or divulge your passwords to other users access, modify, or interfere with computer material, data, displays, or storage media belonging to the University or another user, except with their permission connect unauthorised equipment to the campus network or public data networks



There is a general obligation on all staff of the University to respect the confidentiality of the business of the University. If approached by the press or communications media for a comment on matters concerning the business of the University, staff should refer such enquiries to the Office of Media and Communications on extn: 2371.

While staff members are quite entitled to write to editors of newspapers, journals, etc., expressing their views on current topics, they should refrain from using University headed notepaper, or using the title "University College Cork" as an address, lest their views be interpreted as in any way reflecting the opinion of the University.

Identity Cards

Each member of University staff is advised to carry an official identity card (ID), available on application from the Department of Human Resources on extension 3603. This ID card must be used to access the Library, avail of staff discounts through the UCC Advantage Scheme. ID cards must be returned on termination of employment with the University.

Changes to Personal Data

Staff members should notify the Department of Human Resources in the event of changes of address, contact details or personal circumstances which may be relevant to the processing of data or benefits related to the employee.

Security of Personal Property

All staff members should take every precaution to safeguard personal as well as University property by keeping all valuables locked away. This applies particularly to valuable goods of any kind, e.g. cash, cheques, petty cash, handbags, purses, briefcases, jewellery, etc. The University does not hold itself responsible for the safety of any articles or valuables left on University premises. Doors, office drawers, filing cabinets, etc., should be locked where possible.

Pay & Tax

Pay arrangements

Depending on grade/category, employees are paid weekly or monthly. Weekly-paid staff are normally paid on Thursdays (in respect of the week ended on the previous Saturday); pay day may be adjusted on an ad hoc basis for certain shift staff. Monthly paid staff are normally paid on the last working day of each month in respect of the current month.

Employees are paid by cheque or direct deposit to a bank account.  In the case of direct deposit, new staff members receive a form with their offer of employment in which they are requested to provide details of their bank account. On completion and submission of this form to the Payroll Office, staff will receive pay by direct transfer.  This facility is available to both permanent and temporary staff.

Further information is available from the Payroll office on extn 2360


On commencement of employment with the University, employees should submit to the Payroll Office a P45 from their previous employer, of a tax credit certificate from the Tax Office. Should up-to-date documentation not be provided, tax at emergency rates will be deducted initially. Further information is available from the Revenue Commissioners  orUCC Payroll Office. 


Disability Census

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) requests UCC to furnish statistical information on the number of people with disabilities employed in the university on an annual basis. This request is made on foot of Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005 which requires all public sector bodies to reach a minimum 3% target of the employment of people with disabilities.


  1. Legal context
  2. Definition of disability
  3. Collecting the data
  4. Use of the data
  5. Confidentiality
  6. Your right to see or alter the data
  7. Related policies and publications

1. Legal context

Under the Disability Act 2005, public sector bodies are obliged to:

  • promote and support the employment of people with disabilities
  • ensure, where practicable, that 3% of all staff employed are people with disabilities
  • report each year on the number and percentage of staff with disabilities

To achieve these aims, UCC must build an accurate record of the number of staff members with disabilities who come within the legal definition.

2. Definition of disability

The Disability Act 2005 defines disability as:

'Disability, in relation to a person, means a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment'.

3. Collecting the data

To enable UCC to meet its requirement to report each year on the number and percentage of staff members with disabilities, and to ensure that the returns are accurate and complete, every new staff member is asked to complete a disability request form enclosed with their employment pack.

The completion of this form is voluntary and the information disclosed is kept separate to all personnel files.

Completed forms should be returned to Catherine Murphy, HR Department, Block E-Food Science Building, UCC. The envelope should be marked Personal and Confidential. 

4. Use of the data

Each year, the number and percentage of staff with disabilities employed by UCC will be reported to the Department of Education Disability Act Monitoring Committee via the HEA. This Committee monitors the achievement of the 3% employment target in educational bodies, and furnishes statistical data to the National Disability Authority (NDA).

The NDA provides an annual progress report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. This report is made available to the public on the NDA website:-

The information provided by UCC to the HEA is provided on an anonymous basis. The information collected is kept on file until staff leave employment with the university, or if the HR Department is informed by an individual that there is a change in their disability status. 

Any staff member can ask to change the information on a disability record at any time if it is believed that it is no longer accurate.

5. Confidentiality

Only nominated staff, authorised for this purpose, will be allowed to access the information on the disability status of staff. The information that UCC supplies to the HEA is anonymous group statistical information.

The information on the disability status of staff will be kept separate from the main HR personnel file and therefore will never be used for any purpose other than reporting to the HEA on the number of people with disabilities employed by the university.

6. Your right to see or alter the data

You have a legal right to see the information on record about your disability status, and to seek to change it if you believe it is no longer accurate. Please contact the HR Department for further details.

7. Related policies and publications

UCC Code of Practice on the Employment of People with Disabilities

Guide to the 2005 Disability Act

For further information on the 3% people with disabilities employment target you may also contact the National Disability Authority

Dispute Resolution

Staff Charter

The UCC Staff Charter outlines the responsibilities of UCC as the employer and UCC Staff as employees to each other. It is not a legal document and does not establish legal obligations on the University, but is intended to help create a positive and supportive work environment for all the staff of the University.

Dispute Resolution Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures for resolving disputes in the university are encompassed in the following five documents:

  • The UCC Grievance Procedure
  • Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy
  • The Dispute Resolution Procedure
  • The UCC Disciplinary Procedures
  • UCC Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy

Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in UCC

The head of school/department/discipline is responsible for resolving disputes in their area of responsibility.

The Employee Relations team in the Department of Human Resources and/or local HR Managers are available to provide assistance and advice.

The Welfare Contact Person in the Department of Human Resources is available for confidential one-to-one consultations.

The Independent Staff Ombudsman is appointed by the President and endorsed by both Management and Unions. It is anticipated that the holder[s] of the role will provide greater access to local resolution, both directly and through mediation, to the University community.

Staff Training & Development

Training and Development courses are listed on the webpages

Safety, Health and Welfare

Overview of Occupational H&S at Work download (2014) (88kB)

For any queries contact the Health and Safety Office, 021 490 2817 / 

An Ghaeilge

Is mian leis na hÚdaráis go gcuirfí an Ghaeilge chun cinn i ngnáthshaol an Choláiste i measc na foirne agus na mac léinn. Chuige seo tá an bheartaíocht seo leanas déanta acu i measc nithe eile:


  • Cúrsaí deonacha sa Ghaeilge labhartha a chur ar fáil don fhoireann agus do na mic léinn nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge mar ábhar scrúdaithe acu.
  • Cúrsaí Gaeilge i scileanna feidhmeacha e.g. ríomhaireachta
  • Dioplóma sna hEalaíona (An Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach)
  • Cúrsaí seachtaine agus deireadh seachtaine a sholáthar do mhic léinn i nDún Chíomháin, áitreabh de chuid an Choláiste i nGaeltacht Chorca Dhuibhne, i gcaitheamh na bliana.
  • Scéim na dTeaghlach a eagraítear i rith an tSamhraidh i nDún Chíomháin
  • Sraith léachtaí poiblí as Gaeilge ar ábhair speisiúla le cainteoirí aithnidiúla
  • Cabhrú le himeachtaí áirithe i measc na mac léinn (agus an phobail), ar nós Spraoi Cois Laoi.
  • Seomra Caidrimh Gaeilge don fhoireann: bíonn cead isteach ag mic léinnann faoi stiúrú baill den fhoireann. Bíonn irisí, nuachtáin agus leabhair Ghaeilge ar fáil ann
  • Seisiúin Cheoil - Am lóin gach Céadaoin i rith an téarma bíonn seisiún ceoil traidisiúnta sa Seomra Caidrimh agus fáilte roimh chách ann
  • Cnuasach de théipeanna bunaidh (fís agus fuaim) ón nGaeltacht

Is féidir gach eolas faoi na cúrsaí teanga agus na himeachtaí thuas afháil ó Phól Ruiséal, Stiúrthóir, Ionad na Gaeilge Labhartha, Áras Úi Rathaille, Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh. Láithreán Idirlín:

Strategic Development

Please click here for information on the strategic plan of the university

Staff Wellbeing & Development

First Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC, T12 YN60