Parents at Work

Parents at Work

These webpages have been developed to provide a comprehensive source of information for parents before, during and after maternity or paternity leave. The handbook is supported by a number of policies which are available on the HR website.

A comprehensive guide for Parents at University College Cork

This handbook has been developed to provide a comprehensive source of information for parents working in University College Cork and hopefully this handbook be able to answer most questions you may have. As a major employer the University recognises the importance of supporting parents in balancing work and family life. With this in mind, UCC has developed this guidance handbook of relevant policies and information. HR are available to coach and advise you on the supports designed to provide a positive environment for staff availing of family leave. The handbook is supported by a number of policies which are available on the HR website.


Parents at Work  (Downloadable booklet)

Attending Antenatal Care

Parents are entitled to paid leave to attend two antenatal classes, immediately prior to the birth. Applications must be accompanied by a certificate to confirm appointments.

Paternity Leave

With effect from the 1st September 2016, university staff are entitled to revised Paternity Leave entitlements of a period of two consecutive weeks paid leave to a relevant parent on the birth/adoption of a child, where the date of birth /placement of the child falls on or after 1 st September 2016. For more information see the Paternity Leave Policy.

Adoptive Leave

If an employee is adopting a child and has been identified as the primary carer they may be entitled to take up to 40 weeks adoption leave. The employee must inform their Line Manager in writing of the pending adoptive leave as soon as is practicable, but no later than fifteen weeks’ before the commencement of adoptive leave. For practical reasons, it is desirable that employees provide as much notice as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made, vis-à-vis, workload distribution or replacement. The employee applies to the Department of Human Resources for adoptive leave using an Application for Adoption Leave Form AL1. A certificate of placement must be submitted to the Department of Human Resources as soon as is reasonably practicable, but no later than four weeks after the placement. For further information please consult the university’s Adoptive Leave Policy

Parent's Leave

Parent’s Leave & Benefit Act 2019 came into operation from 1st November 2019. This Act provides employees who are relevant parents are entitled to leave to assist in the provision of care to the child within 12 months of the birth or adoption placement date of the child. This leave is referred to as “Parent’s Leave” and applies to births or adoptions which occur on or after 1st November 2019. The current entitlement is 2 weeks which can be taken consecutively or in separate blocks of 1 week each. The Act provides for the payment of parent’s benefit from Dept of 
Employment Affairs and Social Protection to eligible employees who satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions. For further details, please refer to


Parental Leave

Parental Leave is a statutory right designed to enable staff that have at least one year’s continuous service to spend more time with their children while keeping their employment open. Parental Leave will not be regarded as a break in service as the staff member will still remain employed during this time. For more information see the Parental Leave Policy

Carer's Leave

Carer's Leave is 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. Carer's Leave is unpaid leave up to a maximum of 104 weeks per qualifying relevant person. The minimum statutory entitlement that may be taken in one period is 13 weeks. For more information see the Carer’s Leave Policy.


Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool. It is a partnership between two people normally working in a similar field but not within the same Unit. It is a mutually beneficial learning exchange of perspectives and informal knowledge. Mentoring relationships are goal-oriented and based upon mutual trust and respect. Mentoring is an effective way of helping people to:

  • reflect on their current roles and identify areas for personal and professional development, to enable them deliver to their potential in their role
  • progress in their careers,
  • assimilate into their surroundings and new position (for new staff) or new role (for existing staff) ,
  • achieve a greater work life balance.

Work & Family Initiatives

There are multiple support services available on campus to assist with positive wellbeing. They are offered to staff to help meet their personal and professional goals and for additional assistance during life's planned and unplanned challenges. UCC is committed to enhancing staff welfare and positive wellbeing in the University and a wellbeing plan has been prepared to underline that commitment. The activities identified will benefit staff by improving the quality of the workplace experience. The plan will also help to improve staff engagement thus enabling schools and departments to flourish and achieve their full potential. 

Flexible Working

Flexible working and Flexi-time are terms used to describe a wide range of working styles that differ from the traditional nine-to-five full-time job. UCC accommodates a range of such schemes including, but not limited to EA/SEA flexible working scheme, Job Sharing, change of working hours, part-time working or working term time only. Flexible working is not an automatic right and requests can be refused if there is a clear business reason for doing so. If a flexi leave arrangement is being requested you need to have a conversation together with your line manager to explore possible options that may be available. You may also discuss this with your HR Business Manager.

University Creche

Crèche Cois Laoi provides the highest quality childcare for the children of staff and students of UCC. It is a safe, loving and accepting environment, within which, each child is supported in developing their full potential at their own pace, and where self-respect and respect for others is consistently promoted. Crèche Cois Laoi is a center of excellence providing focused, integrated services. The caring staff encourage children to express themselves freely and spontaneously, and promote enthusiasm for learning. Children, parents and staff regard the facility as an extension of the home. The service is equal for all and positive interactions are encouraged between all parties.

Staff Wellbeing & Development

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