Wellbeing at Work: Maternity Buddy Scheme
DCU is committed to the Health and Wellbeing of all staff and to providing appropriate supports through key transition points in their careers.
The Maternity and Paternity Buddy Scheme supports staff who are preparing for, taking or returning from maternity, paternity or adoption leave by providing access to a ‘buddy’. A buddy has first-hand experience of becoming a parent and can share their personal experience of the transition to the dual role of parent and employee. All expectant parents have access to a buddy through pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave and until six months after their/their partner’s return from leave.
The scheme allows for informal exchange of information, support and advice on matters relating to maternity/paternity and adoption leave. The buddy can provide support and advice during the return to work phase providing the returner with the opportunity to benefit from the experience of another member of staff who has been through the process themselves.
The scheme is employee led – it's up to the expectant parent and their buddy to decide on the schedule of meetings or whether they would prefer a more informal arrangement (contact of up to one hour per month is the recommended guideline). Examples of topics that might be discussed include:
- The lines of communication with your manager before during and after maternity leave
- Challenges during the pregnancy – providing a listening ear and sharing experiences
- Specific challenges for expectant/new fathers
- Managing the competing demands of being a working parent
Expectant parents should continue to contact HR for information on relevant leave procedures and entitlements as buddies are not expected to provide this information.
Making contact with a Buddy
If you or your partner are preparing for the arrival of, or adopting a new baby, and would like to pair up with a maternity/paternity buddy please contact email@example.com or HR on 700 5194 to request access to the buddy database. You are then free to select your chosen buddy and make contact with them directly.
Volunteer as a Buddy
Would you like to share your experience and support a colleague who is approaching this key transition point in their career/personal life?
If so we'd be delighted to hear from you.
The expected time commitment for buddies is a maximum of one hour per month. Training and supports will be provided.
Staff working in central services/faculty administration/support functions/school offices should liaise with their line manager when arranging time away from their role.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer as a buddy or get further information.