UCT’s approach to leave during COVID-19 crisis

31 March 2020 | Photo Pixabay.

Leave during the COVID-19 crisis

During these unusual times the university’s approach to leave will be guided by whether there is a need for work to be performed. The following will apply to remote and on-site work:

  • If a staff member suspects that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are feeling unwell, they must complete the “special leave” process online or via HR forms submitted via email. The COVID-19 guideline for special leave of 14 days will apply.
  • A staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 must complete the sick leave process and notify UCT’s Occupational Health and Safety unit.
  • A member of staff who has recovered from COVID-19 must contact their line manager for back-to-work discussions and provide the necessary health records to work as required.
  • Staff are reminded that they are required to complete normal leave applications for the various types of leave whether they are working remotely or on-site.

Special leave for staff who must care for children at home

The principle of special leave will apply to staff who are working in critical/essential areas and are now required to take care of children as a result of schools closing. This principle will apply in cases where staff are unable to perform their duties at home. These members of staff will be required to complete the special leave process for line management’s approval.

HR support for staff who are already immunocompromised

Immunocompromised (as defined by the World Health Organization report 2019) staff are a special area of consideration for line managers and supervisors. Line managers need to identify such staff members under their care, but staff may also self-identify. Line managers must ensure confidentiality in cases where staff have a particular diagnosis linked to their immunocompromised status.

Staff who fall within this category are better protected from exposure to COVID-19 by working remotely, where this is possible, and will not be required to perform on-site work. Staff members who fulfil essential/critical functions and are unable to work on-site due to their immunocompromised status will therefore be covered by special leave provisions.

Remote HR processes, forms and operations

To facilitate the completion and submission of HR forms in accordance with the Council approved HR delegations of authority (HRDoA):

  • With immediate effect, all HR forms are to be completed online/electronically and submitted to HR via email.
  • E-signatures / thread of email correspondence must indicate approval from all authorities as per Council approved HRDoA.

All other HR services will be delivered in accordance with the principle of social distancing and making use of appropriate remote-working technology where possible.

Access UCT HR forms online.

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