Managers Handbook

A comprehensive guide for Managers to Maternity and Paternity

 As a major employer the University recognises the importance of supporting and retaining female staff who take maternity leave, and also the impact that taking time out of the workplace to raise a family can have on the careers of some women. We also appreciate the importance of supporting fathers in balancing work and family life. With this in mind, UCC has developed this guidance handbook of relevant policies and information that managers supporting staff in such circumstances should have to hand. As well as this comprehensive guide, HR are available to coach managers on how best to comply with the relevant policies and how to support the initiatives designed to provide a positive environment for staff availing of family leave.

Downloadable booklet: A Comprehensive Guide for Managers to Maternity & Paternity at UCC

Maternity Checklist for Line managers

Employee Name: ____________________________________________________________________


School / Unit: ____________________________________________________________________


Expected week of childbirth (EWC): ____________________________________________________________________


Maternity leave start date: ____________________________________________________________________



Before Maternity Leave







Make sure your member of staff is aware of the maternity policy.


Discuss with her when and how she wishes to share the news.



All the information about leave and pay can be found in the University’s maternity policy and in the Guidelines for line managers


All pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave regardless of length of service or hours worked. Fathers/partners of mothers are entitled to paternity leave following the birth of a child.



Carry out a risk assessment as soon as possible to make sure your staff member is working safely during pregnancy.


HR will issue the employee with a copy of UCC's Pregnancy Job Risk Assessment Form. This must be completed in conjunction with your member of staff and submitted to the Health and Safety Office.

The Health and Safety Office will submit the completed form to the University Occupational Health Physician who will advise if any modifications are required to the work activities during pregnancy or whilst nursing a new born child.


Ask your member of staff to notify you and HR in writing that she is pregnant. She needs to confirm due date, when she would like her maternity leave to start.


Entitlements to paid leave and unpaid leave are outlined in the Universities Maternity Leave Policy.  


Pregnant employees are entitled to reasonable paid time off during working hours for antenatal care.


Members of staff are encouraged to arrange appointments at times that will minimise disruption but this may not always be possible.



Agree when any outstanding leave should be used.


Remember that members of staff continue to accrue annual leave during maternity leave. Discuss taking any outstanding leave before maternity leave commences and consider how accrued leave might be taken before returning to work. Accrued leave could be taken as a block at the end of maternity leave or used to help your staff member settle back into work gradually.



Agree how much contact your staff member would like when she is on maternity leave and how you will communicate (email/ text etc). Discuss if she would be interested in Keeping in Touch (KIT) days.


Up to 3 Keeping in Touch (KIT) days can be worked during maternity leave e.g. to attend meetings, training etc. KIT days are unpaid but are given as time off in lieu. While the use of KIT days is optional, these can be beneficial for your staff member in easing their transition back into work, and for you in receiving continued input from staff with valued skills.



Consider if the post needs to be / can be covered during the maternity leave period.


If a maternity cover will not be in place agree which elements of work need to continue in your staff member’s absence and how these will be covered.


If you need a maternity cover post the usual recruitment practices will apply and the post will need to go through the university approval mechanism.





During maternity leave





If your staff member is interested in KIT days keep in touch and let her know about events, meetings etc that you think she would find useful.


Paid time off in lieu is given for any KIT days worked.



When your staff member lets you know the date she wishes to return to work make sure you inform HR


Agree how your member of staff wishes to take her accrued annual leave.









Returning to work








Arrange a return to work meeting to agree with your staff member how she will be reintroduced to her work. Make sure she is aware of any administrative or organisational changes that have taken place in her absence.


Having a conversation can help you and your staff member to plan for a successful and effective return to work.



If your member of staff indicates she wishes to continue to breastfeed/ express milk please advise her to contact the Welfare Officer in HR


It is a requirement for the University to support mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work.



Your staff member may indicate her desire to explore flexible working options

If a flexi leave arrangement is being requested by your staff member you need to have a conversation together to explore possible options that may be available.  You may also discuss this with your HR Business Manager. Flexible working is not an automatic right and requests can be refused if there is a clear business reason for doing so. 



Support your staff member to rebuild their networks and make them aware of mentoring/coaching opportunities.

Support from a mentor or maternity transition coach may be beneficial to your staff member in returning to their career after a period of leave.



Familiarise yourself with relevant policies.


Your local HR Manager will be happy to provide advice on these policies.

Parental Leave Parents with one year’s service are entitled to unpaid leave in relation to a child.


Carer's Leave unpaid leave from work to allow staff to provide full-time care and attention to a care recipient who needs continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions or, need continual supervision in order to avoid danger to themselves.


 Downloadable version: Maternity Checklist for Line managers

Staff Wellbeing & Development

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