The Remote Connectivity Policy was formulated to ensure business continuity in response to the need for remote working in March 2020. It was an interim policy, as the focus was on ensuring staff were operationally productive for the duration of the forced remote working, and that additional data costs required were compensated.
At the time, no one expected this to last for over a year and a review of the policy is opportune given what we know now.
The basis of the initial policy was that additional data costs were to be reimbursed to staff members who incurred them. As such, there were three data categories – those who already had adequate connectivity at home; those who had a device but inadequate data; and those who had neither a device nor data. These categories have been merged in the updated policy.
With the extension of this remote working period, and more reasonably priced data deals, the University of Cape Town executive has agreed to give staff who require remote connectivity as part of their job functions a R700 per month Remote Work Allowance (RWA). As technologies merge, the introduction of the RWA will also include a review of current cell phone allowances.
Staff will be responsible for obtaining the most cost-effective connectivity device and data package available in their personal capacities. In addition, staff will be required to have a backup plan in the event of load shedding to prevent business disruption at critical times.
The transition to RWA was effective from 1 August 2021, with those job functions requiring it receiving a R700 per month allowance. The alignment to previous categories is as follows:
Line managers will need to manage the transition for staff in their area, in consultation with their HR Business Practitioners.
The updated interim Remote Connectivity Policy has details on how to initiate the changes.
The university thanks staff members for their constant striving to keep UCT operational during these remote working and uncertain times.
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