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Leave policy (with effect from 01.01.2017)

Policy information | Policy summary | Principles | Applicable to | Not applicable to | Policy details | Related links

Policy details section: Definition | General | Annual leave | Sick leave | Parental leave | Family responsibility leave | Special leave |
Payment and transfer of leave | Unpaid leave | Absence without leave (AWOL)

Policy information

Approved by Council Date December 2015
Reviewed by HRMAG, ERMC, VCMAG, UHRC, IF, Staff Bodies (view acronym list)
Policy owner Director: Compensation & Benefits
Enquiries HR Client Services (view contacts)

Policy summary

Provision Academics: Permanent FT and PT staff, Deans, Deputy Deans, Research Officers, and T2 contracts PASS: Permanent FT and PT staff, T2 contracts Executive staff T1 contracts (PASS and Academic) Ad hoc and paid-on-claim
1. Total annual leave entitlement per year (compulsory plus accumulative leave) 26 days 26 days VC and DVCs:
26 days

PASS EDs and The Registrar:
34 days
15 days Variable, as per Basic Conditions of Employment Act
2. Compulsory annual leave (portion that is lost) 22 days at any time, plus 23rd December to 31st December PC 1-12:
19 days per year.

PC 13 PG 4-5:
18 days per year

T2: 26 days (all leave is compulsory)
PC 13 PG 1-3

VC:
19 days per year

DVCs:
19 days per year

PASS EDs and the Registrar:
26 days per year
1.25 days per month worked 1 hour per every 17 hours worked
3. Forfeiture and carry-over of annual leave Leave not taken in a calendar year is not carried forward. Compulsory leave not taken by end of following calendar year is lost. Accumulative leave up to max. is carried forward. For T2, compulsory leave not taken by end of June of following calendar year is lost, no accumulative leave. Compulsory leave not taken by end of following calendar year is lost. Accumulative leave up to max. is carried forward. Leave not taken by June of following calendar year is lost. Not applicable
4. Accumulative annual leave (portion that is carried over) Not applicable PC 1-12
7 days per year

PC 13 PG 4-5
8 days per year

T2: Not applicable

Maximums:
PC 1-4: 28,
PC 5-12: 42,
PC 13: 50

Note: Once max is reached, accumulative leave is added to compulsory leave total.
VC: 7 days

DVCs: 7 days

PASS EDs and The Registrar (PG 3): 8 days

Maximums:
50

Note: Once max is reached, accumulative leave is added to compulsory leave total.
Not applicable Not applicable
5. Taking of annual leave 22 days leave may be taken at any time of year, subject to approval. If 23rd to 31st December must be worked, the days can be taken as above. Only leave that has accrued to date may be taken. Leave may be taken at any time of year, subject to approval. Only leave that has accrued to date may be taken.Leave may be taken at any time of year, subject to approval. Only leave that has accrued to date may be taken. Leave may be taken at any time during contract, subject to approval Leave entitlement may be taken - or claimed - at any time of year during contract, subject to approval.
6. Pay out of annual leave Leave is paid out on retirement, resignation, dismissal, retrenchment or death. Leave is paid out on retirement, resignation, dismissal, retrenchment or death. Leave is paid out on retirement, resignation, dismissal, retrenchment or death. Leave is paid out on end of contract if person has worked for more than 4 months. Leave is paid out on end of contract if person has worked for more than 4 months.
7. Long leave (This leave type has now been discontinued) Not eligible PASS staff who were employed prior to 1977 were eligible. Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible
8. Sick leave There is a 6-year sick leave cycle. T2 see T1 conditions. There is a 6-year sick leave cycle. T2 see T1 conditions. There is a 6-year sick leave cycle. 1 day per month worked 1 day per 26 days worked
9. Parental leave (formerly maternity and paternity) 4 calendar months (formerly maternity) or 5 days (formerly paternity) on full pay with benefits 4 calendar months (formerly maternity) or 5 days (formerly paternity) on full pay with benefits 4 calendar months (formerly maternity) or 5 days (formerly paternity) on full pay with benefits 4 calendar months unpaid + UIF. Paternity see Family responsibility leave below. Not eligible
10. Family responsibility leave 5 days per year on anniversary date 5 days per year on anniversary date 5 days per year on anniversary date 3 days per year (incl. paternity) on anniversary date Not eligible
11. Special leave with pay and rights (e.g. UCT business) Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible Not eligible
12. Special leave without pay but with rights (e.g. professional business) Eligible Eligible Eligible Not eligible Not eligible
13. Special leave without pay and without rights (e.g. personal business) Eligible Eligible Eligible Not eligible Not eligible
14. Study and research leave
See separate policy
Deans, FT academics: 2 months/year

HODs, Deputy Deans: 2 months/year plus 1 or 2 weeks depending on length of contract.

Maximum: 16 months

T2: Not normally eligible.
Not eligible VC & DVCs: 1 month/year

Deans: 2 months/year

Maximum: 16 months
Not eligible Not eligible
15. Study and examination leave
See separate policy
Not eligible 12 days per year on anniversary date PASS EDs and The Registrar: 12 days per year on anniversary date Not eligible Not eligible
16. Unpaid leave 1 – 15 days, after that special leave without pay 1 – 15 days, after that special leave without pay 1 – 15 days, after that special leave without pay Not eligible Not eligible
17. Application for leave Form HR140 plus supporting documents where applicable

Form HR141 for Study and research leave application.
Form HR140 plus supporting documents where applicable Form HR140 plus supporting documents where applicable.

Form HR141 for Study and research leave application.
Form HR140 plus supporting documents where applicable Form HR106 for leave payout, plus supporting documents where applicable

Principles

UCT, as an employer of choice, offers various types of leave to all staff members in line with - and in excess of - the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

Annual leave is granted at times mutually agreed between the staff member and his or her line manager consistent with reasonable operational requirements.

From a wellness point of view, staff are encouraged to take their annual leave, as it reduces stress and improves quality of work. Sick leave is provided in times of illness or injury to ensure that our staff do not have to work while sick.

Applicable to

  • Senior leadership group (VC, DVCs, Deans, EDs, GSB Director, Registrar)
  • All academic and PASS staff on permanent conditions of service whether in full- or part-time employment
  • Joint staff (with conditions)
  • All academic and PASS staff on fixed-term contracts (T1 and T2 leave conditions)
  • Post-retirement contracts (usually T1 leave conditions)
  • Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff (staff of a temporary nature, with variable hours)
  • Internships and learnerships (usually T1 leave conditions)

Not applicable to

  • Volunteers
  • Visiting academics and other staff
  • Staff not on UCT conditions of service, for example SHAWCO.
  • Time off as a result of injury on duty is covered by the Occupational health policy.

Policy details

Definition | General | Annual leave | Sick leave | Parental leave | Family responsibility leave | Special leave | Payment and transfer of leave | Unpaid leave | Absence without leave (AWOL)

  1. Definition
    1. 1.1. There is an obligation on the staff member to be working in order to be remunerated. Leave is permission, usually from the line manager, to be away from work - under one of the leave categories contained in this policy.

  2. General
    1. 2.1. The University closes on public holidays, when the only staff required to report for duty are those in whose areas services must be maintained. These include, but are not limited to, Campus Protection Services, the residences and the medical school.

      2.2. Leave is managed by line managers and heads of department, who approve leave according to operational requirements and in the interests of staff wellness. In particular, the amount of untaken leave needs to be monitored as this is a liability on departmental budgets.

      2.3. In the case of extended sick leave due to poor health, proper leave records are necessary to access the Income Continuation and Rehabilitation benefit.

      2.4. Proper recording of sick and annual leave is essential as an accurate record is required in situations of poor performance, or when a disciplinary process becomes necessary.

  3. Annual leave
    1. Annual leave subsections:

    2. 3.1. Permanent and T2 academic and joint staff

      1. Accrual and carry over

      2. 3.1.1. The number of annual leave days which accrue each year is 22, to be taken each calendar year in agreement with the Head of Department in general and with the Dean for Heads of Department. In setting the guidelines of 22 days per annum, the University recognises that academics ordinarily do not work during the period between Christmas and New Year (23 December – 31 December). Where the staff member is required to work in this period, the corresponding number of working days is granted as leave during the year, to be arranged in advance as no leave is carried forward to the following year.

      3. Application and taking of annual leave

      4. 3.1.2. Academic staff wishing to take annual leave must obtain approval from the Head of Department. A form is not required centrally but records must be kept in the department.

      5. 3.1.3. Approval of leave rests with the line manager or HOD provided that operational requirements allow for it. If a Head of Department, approval is given by the Dean and if a Dean by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor nominated for this purpose by the Vice-Chancellor.

    3. 3.2. Permanent and T2 PASS staff

      1. Accrual and carry over

      2. 3.2.1. Annual leave accrues monthly at the rate of 2.17 or 2.83 days, based on 26 or 34 working days per annum in calendar year cycles (see summary table).

      3. 3.2.2. Depending on the level of staff, annual leave is made up of (see summary table):

        • PC 1 - 12: 19 compulsory leave days and 7 accumulative leave days
        • PC 13 peromnes grade 4-5: 18 compulsory leave days and 8 accumulative leave days
        • Executive Directors and The Registrar: 26 compulsory leave days and 8 accumulative leave days
      4. 3.2.3. Staff employed prior to 1977 who are entitled to long leave (a historical type of leave which has been discontinued) are not entitled to accumulative annual leave.

      5. 3.2.4. A staff member may not take leave before it has accrued. He or she may take annual leave in the year in which he or she earns it, or in the calendar year following the year in which he or she earns it (for T2, by end of June of the following year).

        1. Example
          A member of staff who joins on 1 January of a given year will be allowed to take annual leave that has accrued to a particular moment in time. In other words, if he or she wanted to take leave in June, 13 days would be available (2.17 days per month x 6 months).

      6. 3.2.5. Accrued compulsory annual leave not taken by the end of the following calendar year is lost (for T2, by end of June of the following year), unless the Head of Department can show, via a written motivation to the satisfaction of the Executive Director: HR that there were good operational reasons why the leave could not be taken. Leave to be postponed in this way must be requested before completion of the calendar year concerned and must be taken as early as possible in the following year.

      7. 3.2.6. Accumulative annual leave (permanent only, not T2) has the following maximums, which may be carried over indefinitely:

        Staff grouping Maximum accumulative leave
        PC 1-4 up to 28
        PC 5-12 up to 42
        PC 13 PG 4-5
        PC 13 PG 3 (EDs and Registrar)
        up to 50
      8. 3.2.7. Once the maximum has been reached, accumulative leave is accrued as compulsory leave and must be used as per 3.2.5.

      9. Application for annual leave

      10. 3.2.8. PASS staff wishing to take annual leave must apply to their line manager, using the standard leave application form (HR140).

      11. 3.2.9. The decision to grant leave rests with the line manager provided that operational requirements reasonably allow for it and the staff member has leave due to him/her.

      12. Taking of leave

      13. 3.2.10. The maximum leave that can be taken at any one time is 50 working days.

      14. 3.2.11. Staff who take leave between the Day of Goodwill (26th December) and New Year's day must apply for leave in the usual way.

      15. 3.2.12. A staff member is not permitted to take annual leave in excess of his or her total leave credit (i.e. current accrual of compulsory leave plus any accumulated leave). Any leave taken in excess of this will be unpaid leave (see: Unpaid leave).

      16. 3.2.13. A Head of Department may refuse to grant leave during a staff member's notice period, prior to resignation.

    4. 3.3. PASS and academic staff on T1 contracts

      1. 3.3.1. In line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1.25 days per month worked (or 15 working days per year from the anniversary date) is accrued as annual leave.

      2. 3.3.2. Only leave which has accrued to date may be taken as annual leave.

    5. 3.4. Part-time staff and parts of a month

      1. 3.4.1. For part-time staff, leave is accrued as per 3.1. (academic and joint staff), 3.2. (PASS) or 3.3. (T1 contracts) and pro-rated as follows:

        Working.. Earns..
        1 day per week 20% of the full-time entitlement
        2 days per week 40% of the full-time entitlement
        3 days per week 60% of the full-time entitlement
        4 days per week 80% of the full-time entitlement
        This calculation also applies to the other types of leave.
      2. 3.4.2. If a person works part of a month, annual leave entitlement is calculated as follows:

        Formula   Full-time entitlement
        ÷ Calendar days in the month
        x Calendar days employed
        Worked example:
        A staff member starts work on November 10.
          2.17 days
        ÷ 30 days
        x 21 days
        = 1.5 days [Result]
    6. 3.5. Conversion of annual leave to sick leave

      1. 3.5.1. Annual leave may be converted to sick leave under exceptional circumstances only. A written motivation with HOD/line manager’s support must be supplied as well as a medical certificate, and final approval rests with the EDHR.

    7. 3.6. Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff

      1. 3.6.1. In line with the BCEA, leave accrues at the rate of 1 hour per 17 hours worked, provided the staff member works more than 24 hours in the month.

      2. 3.6.2. Leave may be taken subject to approval during the contract, or the hours claimed as leave pay on a monthly basis.

  4. Sick leave
    1. 4.1. Legal definitions

      1. 4.1.1. Ill-health incapacity is the failure or inability of a staff member to work according to the requirements of the position as a result of ill-health (including mental ill-health) or injury. In the case of incapacity for reasons of ill-health or injury, no fault can be attributed to the staff member, and is not the same as poor performance incapacity.

      2. 4.1.2. Incapacity due to ill health or injury is assessed relative to the requirements of the position. It can be a partial, temporary, short-term, long-term, or permanent condition and is managed accordingly. See also: Disability through ill health.

      3. 4.1.3. Sick leave is provided for in cases of temporary, short-term incapacity for reasons of ill health or injury as per 4.1.1.

      4. 4.1.4. Sick leave is not provided if a staff member is fit to work.

    2. 4.2. Accruals: Permanent PASS and academic staff

      1. 4.2.1. A staff member may be granted sick leave on full pay for a total of not more than 30 calendar days during the first year of service, for a total of not more than 60 calendar days during the first two years of service, and for a total of not more than 90 calendar days during the first three years of service.

      2. 4.2.2. A person who has completed at least three years of service may, in each cycle of six years from the date of appointment, be granted sick leave for a total of 180 calendar days of which not more than 90 shall be on full pay and the remainder on half pay.

        Summary: A permanent staff member earns 30 calendar days full pay sick leave per annum on the anniversary date for the first 3 years of the 6 year cycle. He or she earns 30 calendar days half pay sick leave per annum for years 4 to 6 of the 6 year cycle. In total this will be 90 calendar days full pay and 90 calendar days half pay over 6 years. In the second and subsequent cycles, all sick leave accrues in advance.

    3. 4.3. Accruals: PASS and academic staff on T1/T2 contracts

      1. 4.3.1. In line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1 day per month worked is accrued as sick leave.

      2. 4.3.2. Only sick leave which has accrued to date may be taken.

    4. 4.4. Accruals: Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff

      1. 4.4.1. In line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, leave accrues at the rate of 1 day paid sick leave per 26 days worked. This will be prorated according to the number of hours worked.

      2. 4.4.2. Only sick leave which has accrued to date may be taken.

    5. 4.5. Application for sick leave

      1. 4.5.1. If a staff member becomes unable to perform in his or her position due to ill health or injury (see Section 4.1 Legal definitions) during the course of the working day, at whatever time, and is given leave to go home by his or her line manager, a full day’s sick leave must be taken.

      2. 4.5.2. All staff members must produce a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner in respect of any sick leave for periods of more than two days. At the discretion of the Head of Department, a medical certificate may be required for all periods of sick leave especially where there is a pattern or suspicion of abuse.

      3. 4.5.3. The diagnosis indicated on the certificate need not be fully disclosed but must be within the expected competencies and permitted practices for the licensed individual who is issuing it. The certificate must clearly state that the person is unfit for work (see Section 4.1 Legal definitions) and give the dates for which he or she is booked off.

      4. 4.5.4. A staff member who is absent from work owing to injury or illness must immediately make every effort to inform his or her head of department or line manager of the reason for the absence and he or she must continue to do so daily until a medical certificate, which specifies the period of sick leave, has been provided. This practice applies to any day which is not covered by a sick leave certificate.

      5. 4.5.5. On returning to work, the sick leave taken must be reported using form HR140.

    6. 4.6. When sick leave runs out

      1. 4.6.1. The following measures may be possible in exceptional circumstances when sick leave runs out, with a written motivation and HOD/line manager’s support:

        1. sick leave may be taken as unpaid and/or;

        2. available half pay sick leave may be converted to full pay sick leave and/or;

        3. annual leave may be recorded as sick leave at the rate of 1 day’s annual leave for 1 day’s sick leave if annual leave is available.

      2. 4.6.2. Final approval for the above measures lies with the Executive Director: Human Resources and will not, as a general rule, be granted unless:

        1. a medical certificate has been provided; and

        2. the period of absence on sick leave is longer than 14 days; and

        3. the absence on sick leave was the result of serious illness or injury, other than that for which a claim has been approved under Workmen’s Compensation Assistance (WCA); and/or failure to do so would lead to a staff member experiencing extraordinary financial hardship.

    7. 4.7. Return to work and light duty

      1. 4.7.1. There shall be reasonable accommodation for a staff member affected by an injury or illness-related condition following a period of sick leave. Partial incapacity is normally a temporary condition and is managed accordingly (see Section 4.1 for a definition of incapacity).

      2. 4.7.2. If light duty has been requested, it must be supported with a certificate from a registered medical practitioner.

      3. 4.7.3. Light duty, if operationally possible, will be determined by the line manager and Human Resources in consultation with the medical practitioner.

      4. 4.7.4. Where it is not possible to accommodate light duty, and full, long-term or permanent incapacity is determined, the staff member may be able to access the Income Continuation and Rehabilitation benefit. See: Disability through ill health.

  5. Parental leave (incorporates both previous categories of maternity and paternity leave)
    1. 5.1. Guiding principles

      1. 5.1.1. UCT's parental leave policy is structured to be as inclusive of as many family arrangements as possible.

      2. 5.1.2. Where both parents are UCT staff, they are given the flexibility to decide how the parental leave entitlement will be shared between them, see Section 5.2.6.

    2. 5.2. Entitlement

      1. 5.2.1. A permanent or T2 staff member is entitled to four months' full pay parental leave if he or she is giving birth and keeping the child, or is the primary adoptive parent (formerly maternity leave).

      2. 5.2.2. Alternatively, a permanent or T2 staff member is entitled to five days full pay parenting partner leave if he or she is the legal guardian in either a case of adoption or birth (formerly paternity leave).

      3. 5.2.3. A birth mother or primary adoptive parent on a T1 contract is entitled to four months unpaid parental leave.

      4. 5.2.4. Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff are not entitled to paid or unpaid parental leave. If the pregnancy and birth fall within the period of the ad hoc contract, the contract staff member and line manager should re-negotiate the contract.

      5. 5.2.5. Any additional time off required for medical reasons must meet the requirements for incapacity (see 4.1.1), be supported by a valid medical certificate and be taken as sick leave.

      6. 5.2.6. Where both parents are UCT staff members:

        1. they must declare via affidavit that they are taking parental leave for the same child(ren), and must submit their leave applications together;

        2. the leave entitlement (parental or adoption, plus parenting partner leave) may be shared between the two parents, taking into account the legislative requirements in clause 5.3; and

        3. leave periods of a shared leave entitlement may overlap or run concurrently.

    3. 5.3. Legislative requirements

      1. 5.3.1. A pregnant staff member who is entitled to parental leave as per section 5.2 may commence parental leave:

        1. any time from four weeks before the expected date of birth, unless otherwise agreed between the staff member and her Head of Department;

        2. on a date from which a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that it is necessary for the health of the staff member or her unborn child.

      2. 5.3.2. In compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, a staff member may not work for six weeks after the birth of her child, unless a medical practitioner or midwife certifies that she is fit to do so.

    4. 5.4. Adoption

      1. 5.4.1. Where a staff member gives up her baby for adoption, parental leave will end no later than six weeks after the birth of the child.

      2. 5.4.2. Where a permanent or T2 staff member adopts a child (under one year of age), he or she is entitled to four months paid parental leave if the primary adoptive parent. This may be shared, as per Section 5.2.6, if both adoptive parents work at UCT.

      3. 5.4.3. Where a permanent or T2 staff member adopts an older child, she or he may apply via their line manager to the Executive Director: Human Resources for parental leave.

      4. 5.4.4. Each case is considered on its merits, and the amount of parental leave granted depends on the circumstances of each case (to the maximum of four months paid parental leave if the primary adoptive parent).

    5. 5.5. Application

      1. 5.5.1. The staff member must notify his or her line manager in writing of the date on which he or she intends to commence parental leave and return to work afterwards, using form HR140.

      2. 5.5.2. Such notification must be given four weeks before the staff member intends to commence parental leave, or as soon as possible thereafter.

      3. 5.5.3. Supporting documentation may be required either before or after the birth/adoption from the birth parent and/or non-birth parent in the form of a marriage certificate, declaration or affidavit, birth registration papers or adoption papers.

    6. 5.6. Miscarriage

      1. 5.6.1. A staff member who has a miscarriage during the third trimester of pregnancy or bears a still-born child is entitled to parental leave for six weeks regardless of whether or not she had commenced parental leave at the time. Should the staff member require additional time off work for either medical or compassionate reasons, application can be made for sick leave or family responsibility leave. A certificate from a registered medical practitioner is required.

      2. 5.6.2. Should the miscarriage occur prior to the third trimester, sick leave must be used. See: Sick leave.

    7. 5.7. Additional leave

      1. 5.7.1. Where requested, additional leave must be granted immediately following a period of parental leave as follows:

        1. a birth mother or primary adoptive parent will be granted unpaid leave or annual leave, or a combination of annual and unpaid leave until the child is six months old. See: Unpaid leave.

        2. a parenting partner will be granted an additional five working days of leave, either as part of his or her annual leave or as unpaid leave.

      2. 5.7.2. Additional unpaid leave for an adoption would be part of the negotiated leave amount as per 5.4.4.

    8. 5.8. Flexible working hours

      1. 5.8.1. Parents are entitled to request flexible working hours for a period of up to six months after returning to work. While this may not be possible in all cases, the request will receive due consideration and will not be unreasonably withheld.

      2. 5.8.2. Time worked in a flexible capacity may not be less than twenty hours per week.

      3. 5.8.3. Payment will be pro-rated on the basis of hours worked in the month. A new COE (Cost of Employment) schedule must be signed, indicating how the staff member wishes to structure his or her COE.

    9. 5.9. Health, safety and welfare of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers

      1. 5.9.1. Time off work is granted for pregnant staff members to visit routine antenatal clinics once a month during the term of pregnancy, subject to:

        1. only the necessary time being taken and return to work after the appointment if this is before the end of the working day;

        2. submission of a medical certificate confirming pregnancy;

        3. authorisation for such leave of absence being obtained 24 hours in advance (where possible); and

        4. proof of attendance being subsequently furnished by the staff member.

      2. 5.9.2. A pregnant staff member, or one who is nursing a child, will not be engaged in work that would be hazardous to her health or the health of the child. During the staff member's pregnancy, and for up to six months after the birth of the child, UCT will provide suitable, alternative employment on terms and conditions that are no less favourable than her ordinary terms and conditions of employment, provided that it is practicable to do so.

      3. 5.9.3. There shall be reasonable accommodation for breastfeeding mothers with regard to work schedules and facilities for a period of at least 12 months from the date of birth.

    10. 5.10. Return to work

      1. 5.10.1. On his or her return to work, the staff member's COE will be at least at the same level as it had been when he or she went on parental leave.

      2. 5.10.2. If the COE of other staff in his or her department has been reviewed during the period of parental leave, the Head of Department will review and, if appropriate, adjust the staff member’s COE when he or she returns to work.

  6. Family responsibility leave
    1. 6.1. Eligibility

      1. 6.1.1. Permanent and T2 staff, employed for more than 4 days per week, are entitled to 5 days family responsibility leave per year from the anniversary date of the current employment contract.

      2. 6.1.2. Staff on T1 contracts are entitled to 3 days family responsibility leave per year, as provided for in section 27 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997.

      3. 6.1.3. Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff are not entitled to family responsibility leave.

      4. 6.1.4. Family responsibility leave expires each year on the anniversary date.

    2. 6.2. Definition

      1. 6.2.1. Family responsibility leave may be granted where:

        1. an immediate family member is ill and in need of medical attention from a registered medical practitioner, and where the staff member is required to take care of the ill person; or

        2. upon the death of an immediate family member.

      2. 6.2.2. In the case of 6.2.1 above immediate family members include spouse, life partner, parent, adoptive parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, child, adoptive child, grandchild and sibling.

      3. 6.2.3. The decision to grant leave rests with the Head of Department provided that the staff member has family responsibility leave due to him or her and operational requirements allow for it.

    3. 6.3. Application for family responsibility leave

      1. 6.3.1. Application for family responsibility leave must be made in advance if possible, using form HR140. The leave can be taken from the total allocation as a block of consecutive days or in any other combination.

      2. 6.3.2. A staff member who is absent from work owing to a family responsibility must immediately inform his or her Head of Department or line manager of the reason for the absence.

      3. 6.3.3. Family responsibility leave in the case of illness is granted subject to the provision of a medical certificate for days 3, 4 or 5 of the entitlement (for T1 staff a medical certificate is required for day 3 of the entitlement), which explains the use of this leave to look after an ill immediate family member. A medical certificate is not required for days 1 and 2 of the entitlement.

      4. 6.3.4. Family responsibility leave in the case of death, is granted subject to the staff member providing a death certificate for any day of the entitlement.

    4. 6.4. Additional days

      1. 6.4.1. A staff member needing to look after a seriously ill immediate family member beyond the allotted days, may apply to take annual leave or, if necessary, unpaid leave.

  7. Special Leave
    1. 7.1. Eligibility

      1. 7.1.1. Permanent PASS and academic staff, and staff on T2 contracts, are eligible for special leave.

      2. 7.1.2. Staff on T1 contracts are eligible for special leave with rights and pay on UCT business, but not for any other type of special leave.

      3. 7.1.3. Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff, are not eligible for special leave.

    2. 7.2. Absences on University business (special leave with rights and pay)

      1. 7.2.1. Special leave with rights and pay is granted when a staff member is to be away from UCT on University business, for example when attending a conference or undertaking field work for periods of up to 15 working days. For academic staff, periods in excess of 15 working days are normally taken as contact leave. In rare cases, motivations for special leave with pay for continuous periods in excess of 15 working days will require the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor responsible for academic staff or the Executive Director: Human Resources for PASS staff.

      2. 7.2.2. The staff member continues to be paid his or her normal salary and to enjoy his or her normal staff benefits. Leave accrues during special leave with pay.

    3. 7.3. Absences when summonsed for a court appearance (special leave with rights and pay)

      1. 7.3.1. Special leave may be applied for where a staff member has been subpoenaed to appear in court as a witness. Proof in the form of a court notice to appear as well as proof of attendance is required. Note: Appearances in court for traffic or other motor vehicle violations, as a party in a lawsuit or as a spectator are annual leave.

    4. 7.4. Absences to participate in sporting events (special leave with rights and pay)

      1. 7.4.1. Staff wishing to be absent from the University in order to participate in sport, whether at international or other level, must use their annual leave in the first instance and thereafter apply for special leave. All categories of sport are considered and each application is considered on its merits.

    5. 7.5. Absences on professional business (special leave without pay but with rights)

      1. 7.5.1. Special leave without pay but with rights is granted when a staff member is away from UCT on business that is not UCT business but is related to his or her discipline or profession. For example this would be granted to a staff member taking up a short term appointment at another university, after which he or she would return to normal duties at UCT.

      2. 7.5.2. The staff member is not paid during this period.

      3. 7.5.3. Membership of the UCT Retirement Fund or the Associated Institutions Pension Fund continues for this period. The University meets only part of its normal contribution (up to 22.5% of the staff member’s retirement-funding income), but the staff member must make prior arrangements to meet any further contributions to the fund that may be required.

      4. 7.5.4. Group Life cover continues for this period, as part of the 22.5% mentioned above. Where the staff member has optional multiple cover, he or she must make prior arrangements to meet these contributions.

      5. 7.5.5. The staff member is required to retain medical aid cover during this period and must make prior arrangements to meet the full cost of this cover.

      6. 7.5.6. No leave of any kind accrues during this period.

    6. 7.6. Absences on personal business (special leave without pay and without rights)

      1. 7.6.1. Special leave without pay and without rights is granted when a staff member is away from UCT on personal business.

      2. 7.6.2. The staff member is not paid during this period.

      3. 7.6.3. Members of the UCTRF during the absence:

        1. must contribute 6.5% (risk cover) or;

        2. may contribute 22.5% (risk cover and retirement funding).

      4. 7.6.4. While on leave without pay and without rights, a staff member will have to make arrangements to meet the cost of his/her choice above.

      5. 7.6.5. Where the period of leave is 120 days or less, members of the Associated Institutions Pension Fund must retain their membership and the University will pay its contributions. Members of the UCT Retirement Fund may elect to make retirement funding contributions during such periods entirely at their own cost. However staff are obliged, whatever they elect to do, to pay the full cost of risk and death benefits.

      6. 7.6.6. Group Life cover continues for the period, but entirely at the cost of the staff member. In the case of UCTRF members the Group Life cost is part of the full cost of risk and death benefits.

      7. 7.6.7. The staff member is required to retain medical aid cover and must make prior arrangements to meet the full cost of this cover.

      8. 7.6.8. No leave of any kind accrues during this period.

  8. Payment and transfer of leave
    1. 8.1. Pay out on termination

      1. 8.1.1. Staff on academic conditions of service may claim leave pay at completion of contract, resignation, dismissal, retrenchment or retirement if they were unable to take it during the year. This must be supported in writing by the HOD and Dean.

      2. 8.1.2. Any outstanding leave for permanent and T2 PASS staff is paid out on completion of contract, resignation, dismissal, retrenchment or retirement.

      3. 8.1.3. Untaken leave for T1 contract staff is only paid out at end of contract if the contractor was unable to take leave during the contract. This must be supported in writing by the HOD or line manager.

      4. 8.1.4. Ad hoc and paid-on-claim staff may only claim leave pay at end of contract if they were unable to take or claim leave during the contract. This must be supported in writing by the HOD or line manager and is subject to 3.6.1., which states that they must have worked more than 24 hours in those months for which leave is claimed.

      5. 8.1.5. A gratuity in respect of the balance of unutilised study and research leave standing to the credit of the staff member may be paid on death or retirement, subject to approval of the Dean, and is calculated on the basis of a formula. See Study and Research Leave Policy.

      6. 8.1.6. Where possible, leave is paid out two weeks after the last day of service.

      7. 8.1.7. All liabilities due by the staff member to the University will be recovered from this leave pay.

    2. 8.2. Changes of appointment

      1. 8.2.1. When a T1 staff member moves from one department to another, leave is paid out. The new department or fund holder cannot take responsibility for taking of or payout of previous leave.

      2. 8.2.2. When a permanent staff member moves to another department, leave must be transferred.

      3. 8.2.3. When contract staff are reappointed in the same department, leave is transferred.

  9. Unpaid leave
    1. 9.1. Unpaid leave is commonly used when annual leave has run out and will come into effect automatically when other leave quotas have been depleted.

    2. 9.2. Staff may use, or apply for, up to 15 days unpaid leave when necessary. After 15 days unpaid leave, special leave without pay comes into effect.

    3. 9.3. Unpaid leave is allowed following a period of parental leave until the child is 6 months old, see clause 5.7.

    4. 9.4. An application for unpaid leave is made using form HR140, and is granted at the discretion of the line manager.

    5. 9.5. COE for unpaid leave is zero but benefits do continue. The cost of benefits is recovered from any remaining salary. It is advised that staff in this situation speak to their HR Practitioner to understand the financial implications.

    6. 9.6. Annual leave does not accrue during a period of unpaid leave.

  10. Absence without leave (AWOL)
    1. 10.1. Any absence without prior leave, without the staff member informing his or her line manager within a reasonable period, or without a medical certificate, will be deemed as unauthorised absence.

    2. 10.2. Absence without leave (AWOL) must be reported using form HR140, and should be reported by the line manager after two days if the staff member is not present.

    3. 10.3. The University will withhold pay for a staff member who is absent without leave.

    4. 10.4. Once reported, unauthorised absence could lead to disciplinary action and may result in dismissal. See: Disciplinary policy (academic staff and PASS staff).

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Page last updated: 18 September 2017