EDI Policies and Toolkits

An A - Z listing of all DCU HR policies can be found on our main HR homepage.

Our Dignity and Respect Policy sets out our commitment to the promotion of a campus that recognises and respects individual difference and that rejects harassment or bullying as destructive to the recipient, the harasser or bully, and the university.


DCU is committed to providing equality of opportunity to people with disabilities in all aspects of employment. As part of this commitment, DCU aims to ensure that people with disabilities have full access to employment, training, promotion and career development within the University. The purpose of this Code of Practice is to state the University’s policy in relation to the employment of people with disabilities, and to provide information within the University on the recruitment of people with disabilities.

The Policy on Equality and Access aims to ensure no job applicant or employee, prospective student or student, receives less favourable treatment on any grounds such as gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, membership of the traveller community, religious beliefs, age, civil partnership status or family status.

There are several family-related leave policies within the University to support staff members who are parents / guardians / carer's. A summary sheet of all these leave policies has been developed by the DCU EDI unit.

Below you will also find details of relevant policies. 


Adoptive Leave

Under the Adoptive Leave Policy, general Leave with pay may be granted to eligible female staff members or an eligible sole male adopter who legally adopts a child. Adoptive leave will consist of 24 consecutive weeks leave with pay (less social welfare benefit) and will commence on the day of placement of the child. Similar to maternity leave provisions, at the end of the adoptive leave a staff member may, on application, be granted 16 weeks additional adoptive leave without pay

Carer's Leave

The Carer's Leave Act, 2001, came into operation in July 2001. The purpose of this Act is to provide for the temporary absence from employment of employees for the purpose of the provision of full-time care and attention to a person requiring it, while protecting the employee's employment rights

Maternity Leave

DCU recognises that it has a responsibility to support employees before, during and after maternity leave. Our Maternity Leave Tip Sheet provides a high-level overview of the policy and additional supports available, while the Maternity Leave Toolkit provides full details of the DCU Maternity Leave Policy, as well as the roles and responsibilities of both management and staff as they relate to the policy.

Please note there is a separate Maternity Leave Policy for Researchers.

Below you’ll find more information on some of the additional supports provided by DCU to staff availing of maternity leave.

  1. Maternity Buddy Scheme

All expectant parents have access to a buddy through pregnancy, maternity leave and until six months after their return to work. Please read full details of the scheme.

  1. Keep in Touch (KIT) Days

Staff on maternity leave have the option of availing a maximum of three Keep in Touch (KIT) days during the period of their maternity leave without affecting maternity pay. The days can be used for any activity which would ordinarily be classed as work under their contract of employment. KIT days are optional and the activities to be undertaken should be agreed in advance between the staff member and their line manager. Staff will be entitled to apply for paid time off in lieu (on their return from maternity leave) for any KIT days worked. The administration of KIT days will be managed locally between the manager and staff member.

  1. Teaching Free Period (upon return)

Academic staff with teaching commitments may apply for a research exclusive period following their maternity leave. This is available for one semester and must be availed of within the first 12 months of returning to their post. Full details on the conditions of the teaching free period can be found on page 2-3 of the Policy document. 

Mother’s Rest Room Policy

DCU recognises the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, and understands that many women will return to work or study while they continue to breastfeed. The University is therefore committed to providing mothers who are staff members with flexibility to take breaks (lactation breaks) during their workday for the purpose of expressing and storing breast milk. This Mother’s Rest Room policy seeks to accommodate the needs of employees within the context of the needs of the University and individual work units. 

Parental Leave Policy

The purpose of the Parental Leave Policy is to entitle a working parent to unpaid leave from work to enable them to take care of their child in accordance with Parental Leave Acts 1998 – 2019 and European Union (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013.

Parent’s Leave

The purpose of the Parents’ Leave Policy is to entitle a working parent to five weeks paid leave from work to enable them to take care of their child in accordance with Parent’s Leave and Benefits Acts 2019. It is a statutory leave type separate to Maternity Leave, Parental Leave and/or Paternity Leave.

Paternity Leave

The Paternity Leave Policy provides clarity regarding paternity leave entitlements within DCU. Paternity Leave is a period of two consecutive weeks paid leave available to a relevant parent on the birth/adoption of a child, where the date of birth/day of placement falls on or after 1st September 2016.


The purpose of the Gender Identity Policy is to ensure that members of our staff who wish recognition of their gender identity are facilitated to do so in a manner that respects their human rights and dignity. 

In addition to the policy document linked above, the following toolkit was developed to support staff in engaging with the policy. 

Checklist for DCU Human Resources and Staff

Role of the Employee

DCU LGBTQ+ Terminology

DCU Gender Identity Policy Information Sources