Policy | Standard overtime | Assignment overtime | Guidelines for administration and application of overtime at UCT


All stand-by duties and overtime work must be approved in advance by the Manager whose budget will carry the costs incurred. Such budget must have been approved in advance so that other funds are not diverted for this purpose.

The policy applies to all PASS staff in payclasses 5 - 10 inclusive. Staff in payclasses 11 and 12 are covered by this policy if they are not in managerial posts (this is at the discretion of the Senior Line Manager). This policy excludes those whose position descriptions or conditions of service specifically provide for shifts or irregular hours of work (e.g. Campus Protection Services and the Baxter Theatre Centre).

The policy does not apply to hourly-paid contractors.

The duties of staff to whom this policy applies should be arranged so that, as far as possible, they can be performed during the normal working day. Although PASS staff normally work office hours, it is recognised that the occasional need will arise for them to undertake specific, immediate-term operational duties which (for good reasons, must be performed outside of normal working hours).

Where such duties have been specifically approved in advance by an authorised Manager this will constitute official overtime. The staff who performed the work should be compensated with the following types of overtime:

Standard overtime

Time off in lieu of hours worked occurs at the rate of an hour and a half off for an hour worked and two hours off for every hour worked on Sundays and public holidays.

Assignment overtime

Overtime compensation will be negotiated in advance on the basis of a fixed agreed amount, not on actual hours taken to complete a task. The formula may vary and may depend on the cost of alternative ways of achieving the end result or on an estimate of the time needed (which will be fixed, irrespective of actual time taken). Factors beyond the employee's control may call for occasional re-negotiation, but extra compensation may not always be granted. This measure is taken to provide incentive to complete assignments in the minimum amount of time.

Guidelines for administration and application of overtime at UCT

1. Overtime determination

  1. 1.1. Only duties in excess of the prescribed hours of work authorised by the Head of Department (HOD) may be considered for overtime compensation.
  2. 1.2. Duties performed by staff during periods of leave are not considered for purposes of the overtime compensation.
  3. 1.3. When the necessity for overtime duty arises, the HOD should decide (with due consideration of the circumstances and after consultation with the staff concerned) whether overtime duty should be compensated by remuneration or awarding time off.
  4. 1.4. Where agreement has been reached that a staff member would not be paid, but allowed time-off in lieu of overtime worked, this time-off should be taken within the month in which the employee worked, unless otherwise agreed. The parties may agree on an extension of the period within which overtime should be taken for up to 12 months. This is in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
  5. 1.5. The availability of funds must at all times be taken into consideration and where no overtime budget is planned for, approval must be obtained from the Executive Director / Dean for payment thereof.

2. Application procedure

  1. 2.1. Applications for remunerated overtime must be fully motivated with convincing reasons why it should be worked.
  2. 2.2. All attempts to avoid the necessity of working of overtime should be included in the motivation.
  3. 2.3. Overtime should be prior approved before any work commences, preferably quarterly.
  4. 2.4. The application for overtime should furnish the following:
    • Period during which anticipated overtime will be worked.
    • Estimated hours each person will work.
    • The names, staff numbers and section as well as location where overtime will be worked.

3. Awarding of time off in lieu

All staff who perform duties over and above their official hours of duty may be granted paid time-off, if not compensated for ordinary and Sunday overtime worked.

4. Control of paid overtime

  1. 4.1. Request for paid overtime can only be recommended or approved if the necessary funds are available.
  2. 4.2. To ensure a continuous review of projects and functions in respect of paid overtime, approval granted in this regard will only be valid for a period of one month, and may be extended (on approval by the Executive Director / Dean) up to a maximum period of three months.
  3. 4.3. It is further the responsibility of the immediate supervisor to ensure that:
    • There is adequate supervision and control during the performance of paid overtime duty.
    • The paid overtime duty is not authorised for less busy periods, wherein the workload does not warrant working outside of normal working hours.
    • Record of all overtime duty is kept.
    • An attendance register is kept.
    • Overtime remuneration is efficient and/or cost-effective.

5. The extent and periods of overtime duty

A staff member may not be required or be permitted to work more than:

  • Three hours overtime in one day or
  • Ten hours overtime in one week

6. General measures

  1. 6.1. Overtime duty is reserved for the performance of essential projects or functions only i.e. those that cannot be postponed without serious consequences.
  2. 6.2. Applications have to be made in advance and approval granted in this regard is only valid for mentioned periods.
  3. 6.3. Approved overtime cannot be carried over into a new time period. A new application is required in such instances.
  4. 6.4. Claims for paid overtime duty will be rejected if the period of overtime duty claimed falls outside the start and end date.
  5. 6.5. Claims for remunerated overtime duty will be rejected if the amount that has been authorised is exceeded.
  6. 6.6 HR must keep records of all approvals and claims submitted for payment.
  7. 6.7 The time register must be kept at the office or place where overtime has been performed for audit purposes.

7. Monitoring and evaluation

The UCT Human Resource Department shall monitor and ensure adherence to these provisions and report on specific cases as and when required to do so.

Page last updated: 20 September 2011