Performance ratings and the link to remuneration and reward

Each rating is likely to have the following remuneration link or outcome:

Exceeding Meeting Not Meeting Unrated
Likely to qualify for Exceeds award May qualify for Discretionary Reward, if performance is above this performance category, but falls short of the exceeds criteria. Would not qualify for either and Exceeds award or a Discretionary Reward.
A PIP should have been in place for the last 3-6 months or should be put in place immediately.
Performance should be reassessed after 3-6 months.
Would not qualify for either and Exceeds award or a Discretionary Reward.
Has recently been appointed to the post, has been on extended leave or the post has changed substantially.

Recognising exceptional performance through 'Exceeds 1' and 'Exceeds 2' awards

Should the staff member be rated 'Exceeding' and have shown exceptional performance, either the PASS staff member, a colleague of the PASS staff member or the line manager of the PASS staff member may motivate for that staff member to be awarded an 'Exceeds 1' or 'Exceeds 2' award. Criteria may include but are not limited to the following:

Exceeds 1 and 2 criteria


The  HR211 form is used to motivate for exceeds awards.

Discretionary Rewards

‘Discretionary’ is not a performance rating and Discretionary Rewards are not discussed at Development Dialogues. Staff may not put themselves forward for a Discretionary Reward, and the rewarding of same is not recorded on the HR210. They are not a grounds for appeal.
Discretionary Rewards are rewarded at the discretion of line management, for performance above the ‘Meeting’ performance rating, but that which falls short of the Exceeds criteria.  

The rewarding of Discretionary Rewards is considered through the Development Dialogue mechanism of the Development Forum to ensure consistency, and line managers may be asked to provide supporting information to the Development Forum. There are no criteria for Discretionary Rewards (they are rewarded at the line’s discretion), although Development Forums may choose to create these for themselves to assist them in ensuring consistency over the department or faculty, over time.

The payment of Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards

  1. Eligibility for payment of awards and rewards
    Staff members are only eligible for payment of awards and rewards if they are in service on 1 January after the assessment period, or if the union agreement is signed later than 1 January, at the time of the signing of the agreement. This is stipulated in the signed union salary agreements.
  2. Eligibility and payment for Post-Retirement appointees
    Post Retiree appointments are not the norm and the work of a post-retiree is essentially project-based or skills-transfer based which would fall outside of our standard performance management process as the criteria are clearly set out in the motivation for the appointment and do not form part of the Development Dialogue or other performance management processes at UCT. Post Retirees are therefore not eligible for Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards.
  3. Payment for those who have had a break in service
    A break in service is defined as any break in service where the SAP rules indicate that there has been a break in service (triggering the payment of leave balances, pension etc). This could be as little as one day. This applies to both permanent and fixed term contracts, or a combination thereof. The reason for leaving the earlier appointment is of no matter — any exit without immediate re-employment constitutes a break in service.
    Where there is a break in service after the performance cycle, but before the agreed Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards payment date per the union agreement, the staff member would not be eligible for Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards for the previous appointment. The only exception to this would be in the event of a retrenchment.
  4. Payment for no-fault terminations (Retirees, Death and Retrenchment)
    Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards are payable in the event of a staff member retiring, passing away or being retrenched provided that the award is approved by the relevant delegated authority before the termination date.
  5. Payment for those who are not on Standard Package (SP) regardless of fault (eg department cannot afford to place person on SP)
    A staff member is not eligible for the payment of an Exceeds Award or Discretionary Reward if the Department and Faculty does not align the COE to standard package. In instances where there are funding constraints line managers are advised to increase the annual increase % as close to standard package as possible or consider reducing working hours to mitigate risk in terms of equal work for equal pay.
  6. Payments for those have not completed a whole performance cycle or moved positions mid-cycle
    While motivations for awards are unusual for periods of less than 12 months, payments are pro-rated according to the length of time and payclass in the DD Assessment period for which an award was approved.
    Where there has been a break in service during the performance cycle, only the most recent appointment is eligible for Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards if approved for that appointment. Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards are pro-rated for that portion of the performance cycle in the new appointment, and only payable if the person is still in the employ of UCT as at the agreed Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards payment date per the union agreement.
  7. Payments for those where a position has been evaluated mid-cycle
    Where a staff members position has been upgraded mid-cycle in the performance assessment period, the Exceeds Award or Discretionary Reward must be pro-rated accordingly based on the relevant payclass for the period.
  8. Payment of Exceeds Awards and Discretionary Rewards for those who have received an acting allowance for the acting position
    Where a staff member is performing the acting position fully and been assessed at the level of the acting positions, the award should be paid at that level and pro-rated accordingly for the acting period within the assessment cycle.
  9. Payment for those who have received ad hom promotion
    Any candidate applying for Adhom promotion and if they are successful, will not be eligible for an Exceeds Awards or Discretionary Rewards in that cycle (i.e. in the year of application for promotion) should they qualify for one as part of the Development Dialogue process. This is referred to in the PASS Scientific and Technical staff promotion policy.

Page last updated: 20 February 2024