Introduction | Applicable to | Not applicable to | General conditions of service | Related links


In general, the conditions of appointment and benefits applying to academic staff apply to the academic staff employed under the joint staff scheme on University conditions of service. However, there are differences as outlined in this document. It should be read in conjunction with the specific details in the letter of appointment, which takes precedence. Links are provided wherever a more in-depth policy exists on a condition of service.

Applicable to

Joint staff on academic conditions of service, who fall under the University’s agreements with the Western Cape Government (WCG) and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) with respect to staff in teaching hospitals. Joint staff include but are not limited to:

  • the Dean and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences;
  • certain academic staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences (excluding those provided for by separate agreement);

Not applicable to

  • Academic staff who are not on the joint staff.
  • PASS staff.

General conditions of service

  1. Values and principles
    1. 1.1. As an employee of the University you are required to be familiar with, and heed the UCT Mission statement and the UCT Statement of values (on the same web page).

  2. Induction and requirements prior to taking up appointment
    1. 2.1. In the case of citizens of countries other than South Africa who do not have residency status, the appointment is offered subject to the staff member fulfilling any legal requirements in South Africa.

      2.2. Qualification and criminal checks must be cleared prior to the appointment being taken up.

      2.3. Academic staff must go through an induction programme prepared by the head of department, as appropriate for the position. An induction checklist is available to facilitate this process.

  3. Agreements with the Western Cape Government
    1. 3.1. The University has agreements with the Western Cape Government for the joint operation of the teaching hospitals.

      3.2. The agreements identify teaching hospitals, deal with the organisation of shared accommodation and staff and define financial arrangements.

      1. In terms of the joint agreement with the Western Cape Government, the University compensates the Western Cape Government for the teaching performed by staff members whose salaries are paid by the Western Cape Government, and the Western Cape Government compensates the University for the clinical work performed by staff whose salaries are paid by the University, in accordance with agreed formulae.
      2. In the case of the Tripartite Agreement, Western Cape Government carries all the costs, including salaries.
  4. Agreements with the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)
    1. 4.1. The University has an agreement with the National Health Laboratory Service to constitute a joint staff, to regulate the work of the joint staff (of UCT and the NHLS) and to regulate access to the facilities of NHLS by UCT and vice versa.

      4.2. The agreements identify academic complex laboratories, deal with the organisation of shared accommodation and staff and define financial arrangements. In terms of the agreement with the NHLS, the NHLS compensates the University for pathology services performed by joint staff whose salaries are paid by the University, in accordance with agreed formulae. The University compensates the NHLS for the teaching performed by joint staff members whose salaries are paid by the NHLS, in accordance with the Educational Services Fee.

      4.3. All members of the joint UCT/NHLS staff on the payroll of the NHLS are members of the University staff. As such they are eligible for the conditions of service described in this document.

  5. Probation and confirmation
    1. 5.1. All newly appointed, permanent joint staff on university conditions of service must fulfil probation requirements. Certain contract staff may also be required to serve probation. The normal period of probation is three years.

      5.2. The probationary period tests the presumption of the appointment, namely, that there is a basis for a long term employment relationship between the member of staff and the University. It also gives the new academic the opportunity of a planned induction, training and appropriate support to gain experience and competence in teaching, research and administration so as to ensure a smooth transition from being a new staff member to becoming an established member of the University, and affords a period of adjustment for an established academic to become acquainted with the University and its academic and governance systems, and structures.

      5.3. On transfer from WCG or NHLS conditions of service to university conditions of service (for example when taking up a new position), up to two years of prior service may be recognised for probation and deducted from the normal requirement of three years probation for new appointees.

      See: Academic probation policy.

  6. Heads of academic departments
    1. 6.1. Joint staff may be appointed as a Head of Department (HOD). In this pivotal position he or she provides leadership and development, and ensures that his or her department flourishes as a well-functioning academic unit. For a full description of this role, see: Roles and responsibilities: Headships of academic departments.

  7. Copyrights and licence
    1. 7.1. Teaching and examination material: Joint staff are required to grant the University free licence to reproduce (for teaching and examination purposes within the University only), all teaching and examination material as they may produce in the course of their duties. This provides that such licence would be regarded as having lapsed should the material in question be published in book form by the staff member.

      7.2. Research: UCT encourages research that will lead to the filing of patents for inventions. This appointment is subject to the regulations prescribed in UCT's Intellectual Property policy which deals with, amongst other issues, patents and inventions and with the rules and procedures pertaining to intellectual property and copyright ownership.

      7.3. Commercialisation: In terms of UCT's Intellectual Property policy: ownership of patents and inventions vests in the University; but the benefits arising from the successful commercialisation of any patents, inventions and other non-copyright IP, are shared between the University and the inventor in accordance with the IP policy.

  8. Additional teaching and private work
    1. 8.1. Joint staff are not permitted to engage in remunerative private work except under the RWOPS (Remunerated Work Outside the Public Service) scheme.

      8.2. Joint staff must meet their teaching, research and clinical service obligations. Full-time joint staff may not undertake private work or additional work, including Limited Private Practice (LPP), whether inside or outside the Western Cape Government Hospitals, or the NHLS equivalent. This is a condition of the Joint Agreement and of individual contracts. However, provided teaching, research and clinical obligations are met, exceptions may be negotiated and permitted.

      Private and professional work policy for academic staff on the joint staff
      Procedures for private and additional work (including Limited Private Practice)

  9. Performance management
    1. 9.1. The joint approach between the WCG and UCT contains provisions for performance management in the form of a Personal Performance Plan (PPP) which will be initiated on appointment.

      9.2. In general, UCT seeks to provide academic staff with optimal opportunities for professional development and career advancement. To this end, opportunities are afforded annually to each member of the academic staff for planning and reviewing performance with the Head of Department (HOD) and for discussing development issues. Formal performance assessments occur at mid-year.

      9.3. The joint approach between the NHLS and UCT contains provisions for performance management in the form of a bi-annual joint assessment using a jointly agreed performance management tool in accordance with the Performance Management policies and procedures of both parties.

      See: Performance planning, performance reviews and staff development for academic staff

  10. Promotion
    1. 10.1. Promotion of joint academic staff is through the ad hominem promotion process.

      10.2. This is only available to staff whose appointments have been confirmed (probation has been completed with a favourable outcome).

      10.3. Each faculty has its own ad hominem committee and procedures and makes recommendations for ad hominem promotion to Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor, depending on the level.

      See: Ad hominem promotion.

  11. Retirement funding and risk cover
    1. 11.1. For the purpose of undertaking limited private practice, the University reserves the right to require appointees to clinical posts to carry personal professional indemnity insurance, at their own cost, through a group scheme, a designated scheme or an approved scheme.

      11.2.  All permanent and T2 staff are required to become a member of the University's Retirement Fund (UCTRF). An allocation is made to this from your cost of employment (COE). As a member you will receive UCTRF provident retirement benefits as well as death-in-service, funeral and disability cover. The UCTRF allows members to elect their contribution rate, multiple of death cover and a choice of 3 investment portfolios to direct the investment of the monthly retirement funding contributions paid by the University on behalf of the staff member. Further information about the UCTRF and these choices is available on the UCTRF website.

      *other than members who had investments in the Smoothed Bonus Portfolio on 30 June 2020, who may remain invested in this portfolio.

  12. Medical aid
    1. 12.1. Permanent and T2 joint staff are required to become members of the University's medical aid scheme unless they are a spouse/partner dependant on a registered South African medical aid scheme.

      12.2. Joint staff on T1 conditions of service do not qualify to belong to UCT's medical aid scheme.

      12.3. A choice of levels and types of cover within the scheme is allowed. The medical aid contribution is a direct deduction from net pay and attracts tax relief as allowed by SARS.

      See: Medical aid policy.

  13. Tuition fees
    1. 13.1 Joint staff who undertake study at UCT, or whose dependant partner or dependent children do so, may be eligible for a staff rate on tuition fees.

      See: Staff tuition rate policy.

  14. Hours of work and overtime
    1. 14.1. The notional work hours for academic staff used as a basis for benefits calculation are 40 hours per week.

      14.2. The expectations for actual hours of work and presence on campus are a matter of individual arrangement between the staff member and his or her Head of Department.

      14.3. The Western Cape Government pays commuted overtime allowances to medical staff on the joint staff, where a contract for overtime duties on an ongoing basis is entered into between the staff member and the Western Cape Government. Time spent on training and research has been provisionally accepted as part of this, subject to a national decision.

      14.4. The standard form of contract must be submitted via the Dean to the Chief Executive Officer concerned. The rate at which commuted overtime is paid is determined by the State from time to time.

  15. Leave
    1. 15.1 The academic year extends from 1 February to 31 December.

      15.2. Annual leave for joint academic staff is one month to be taken at such times as may be agreed by the Head of Department or line manager. January is often taken as annual leave.

      15.3. Service for part of a year entitles you to pro-rata annual leave.

      15.4. Annual leave not used in the year it accrues may not be carried over, and is lost.

      15.5. Applications for leave must be accompanied by a recommendation obtained by the Head of Department from the Chief Executive Officer/Business Manager in relation to the applicant's proposed absence from clinical/service duty.

      15.6. Several other types of leave may be approved as necessary. Annual, sick, family responsibility, parental leave (previously maternity and paternity) and special leave are each described in more detail in the University's Leave policy.

      15.7. Joint staff are eligible for Study & research and contact leave to enable them to devote themselves to a period of uninterrupted study and/or research (sabbatical) of a kind that is of benefit to the University and scholarship generally. Permanent full-time joint staff who fulfil the requirements of teaching and learning, research and administration are eligible for this benefit. See: Study & research and contact leave policy.

      15.8. Any leave which you may have to your credit as a member of the Western Cape Government/National Health Laboratory Services staff employed under the Joint Agreements may be converted to a study & research and contact leave credit. The number of days is converted to the next number of whole months subject to a maximum conversion of six months.

  16. Religious holidays
    1. 16.1. Staff members wishing to take time off to observe a religious holiday that is not a public holiday are required to use annual leave.

      16.2. Muslim staff members wishing to take time off to attend midday prayer meetings on Fridays are required to make up the time lost by arrangement with their Head of Department.

  17. Discipline and grievances
    1. 17.1. According to the Agreement, joint staff are subject to the disciplinary code of the authority under whose conditions of service they are appointed.

      17.2. In addition to the conditions of service outlined in this policy, an employee is required to maintain certain standards of conduct and performance. Failure to do so may result in a disciplinary process being initiated. See: Disciplinary procedures.

      17.3. Grievance procedures exist for any serious matters, other than conditions of service and salary, which a staff member wishes to bring to the attention of management. See: Academic grievance procedures.

  18. Confidentiality and security
    1. 18.1. A staff member may not disclose or communicate to any unauthorised person any information relating to the work entrusted to him or her or relating to the work of any other staff member or UCT student. Neither may information obtained in the course of employment at the University and relating to any staff member, student or University activity be communicated.

      18.2. A staff member may not use information obtained in the course of employment at the University for personal gain or for the benefit of any other person or organisation without written authority to do so.

      18.3. It is a dismissible offence for any staff member to communicate information as defined in point 18.1 above to the South African Police Service or to any other state or private security agency without written authority.

  19. Conflict of interest
    1. 19.1. In order to ensure compliance with Section 34(4) of the Higher Education Act, all staff are required to declare any business or relationships that may raise a conflict of interest, or possibility of conflict of interest with the University.

      19.2. Researchers, especially Principal Investigators (PIs), have special obligations to make full declarations of any financial interest when involved or intent to be involved in any U.S. federally funded project, and if in doubt must consult the office of the Manager of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

      See: Conflict of interest policy.

  20. Equipment and clothing
    1. 20.1. Staff members are responsible for University property issued to them.

      20.2. Written or oral instructions about the operation of equipment or machinery must be strictly observed. Staff are not to operate machinery, motors, power switches, pipes or valves, unless specifically authorised to do so.

      20.3. Where overalls and other protective clothing are provided by the University staff are required to wear them when working. Staff working in dangerous conditions are required to wear the protective clothing provided (such as helmet or safety goggles). Failure to comply with this provision may result in disciplinary action being taken against the staff member.

      20.4. If provided with such apparel, the cost will be covered by UCT. However if lost or damaged, excluding normal wear and tear, the University is entitled to recover the cost of such article from your earnings.

      20.5. Clothing shall remain your property and you are required to clean it in your own time.

  21. Occupational health and safety
    1. 21.1 UCT is committed to promoting safety at work. As a member of staff you are expected to promote occupational safety and refrain from unsafe practices. When the need arises, you may be required by your line manager, in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to undertake specific duties relating to health and safety at the workplace. See: UCT's Health and safety policy and our Occupational health and safety page.

      21.2. If a staff member is injured while on duty, he or she is required to report the accident immediately to his or her head of department or supervisor. See: Occupational Health resources.

  22. Resignation and notice periods
    1. 22.1 A permanent academic member of staff may terminate his or her appointment by giving six months' notice, in writing, provided that, where the last day of the notice period would have fallen in January, the notice period be shortened so that the appointment terminates in December.

      22.2. Any departure from this provision is subject to the approval of the Head of Department, supported by the Dean and the Executive Officer.

  23. Retirement and emeritus status
    1. 23.1. Retirement and post-retirement appointments are subject to the provisions of the Retirement policy.

      23.2. Deferred retirement is available for A and B1 rated researchers only.

      23.3. An academic staff member who retires from the University as a Professor or an Associate Professor may be elected by Senate on the nomination of the Dean to be an Emeritus Professor or an Emeritus Associate Professor as the case may be, and shall on election enjoy the rights and privileges of emeritus rank. Normally at least ten years' service at the University is a prerequisite but Senate does consider exceptions. See: Emeritus professors and emeritus associate professors.

  24. Gifts
    1. 24.1. The acceptance by staff of gifts and/or hospitality from applicants, relatives of applicants, or suppliers of goods or services is, in general, forbidden. It could lead to disciplinary action, summary dismissal and the termination of dealings with the supplier concerned.

      24.2. This rule does not apply to acceptance of:

      1. advertising matter of little value on which the name of the advertiser is indelibly imprinted, such as pens, diaries or calendars
      2. occasional entertainment such as lunches, cocktail parties and dinners
      3. occasional personal hospitality such as tickets to sporting or theatrical events - provided that the cost of any transportation and/or accommodation is borne by the recipient.

      24.3. Favours that fall outside these limits must be declined. This applies particularly to offers of materials or services from suppliers free of charge or at artificially low prices, weekends at holiday resorts or payment of hotel or entertainment bills and free aircraft tickets while travelling locally or abroad.

      24.4. Further to the above, the giving and receiving of gifts is subject to ethical, financial and tax considerations as outlined in UCT’s finance policies: Staff functions and gifts and Gift vouchers.

  25. Smoking
    1. 25.1. Smoking is banned in all University buildings on all campuses.

  26. Firearms and dangerous weapons
    1. 26.1. The carrying of firearms and dangerous weapons is prohibited on University property.

Related links

Page last updated: 3 November 2022