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:
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):
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.
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COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March and implement a national lockdown from 26 March.
UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information.
Getting credible, evidence-based, accessible information and recommendations relating to COVID-19
The Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, are producing educational video material for use on digital platforms and in multiple languages. The information contained in these videos is authenticated and endorsed by the team of experts based in the Department of Medicine. Many of the recommendations are based on current best evidence and are aligned to provincial, national and international guidelines. For more information on UCT’s Department of Medicine, please visit the website.
To watch more videos like these, visit the Department of Medicine’s YouTube channel.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on and evolves, civil society groups are responding to growing and diversifying needs – just when access to resources is becoming more insecure, writes UCT’s Prof Ralph Hamann.03 Jul 2020 - 6 min read Republished
The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the global consequences of fragmented, inadequate and inequitable healthcare systems and the damage caused by hesitant and poorly communicated responses.24 Jun 2020 - >10 min read Opinion
Our scientists must not practise in isolation, but be encouraged to be creative and increase our knowledge of the needs of developing economies, write Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice-chancellor of UCT, and Professor Thokozani Majozi from the University of the Witwatersrand.09 Jun 2020 - 6 min read Republished
South Africa has been recognised globally for its success in flattening the curve, which came as a result of President Ramaphosa responding quickly to the crisis, writes Prof Alan Hirsch.28 Apr 2020 - 6 min read Republished
In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”
We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.