A package of measures to improve work-life balance

External practice
HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions
HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions





Reason it was developed

The challenges faced by the union members relating to reconciling work and life commitments relate to extra hours after work, additional work hours imposed during recession, high stress levels, CPD requirements, members’ expectations of themselves, the pressure to ‘Publish or perish’ and commuting distances.


The union is undertaking a range of activities: • Negotiating parental leave, additional maternity leave including 30-day overlap, foreign adoption leave, emergency services leave, carer’s leave over 100 weeks now, professional time, bereavement leave claim up to 20 days; • Examining whether email and social media policies should be provided by employers; • Trying to set limits on workload e.g. 2016 workload agreement. • Insisting that CPD should be available but not compulsory (especially out of normal work hours); • ‘Labelling’ what already is done; • Organising the Equality Council and conferences (e.g. combined equity / education conference 2018).


One of the key achievements of the union has been the negotiated leave entitlements. The remaining challenges relate to not having addressed the male/female take-up of leave or sharing of caring responsibilities. Equally, the union hasn’t been able to address the issue for our own staff as they tend to use phone and email a lot even during annual leave.


Combination of union internal funds and government funding.



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