Purpose | Policy | Process flows


The purpose of this policy is to clarify University of Cape Town's employee assistance programme for staff who are substance dependant.


UCT recognises that substance abuse may be disruptive and detrimental to a safe working environment, employee morale, attendance and productivity. We view substance dependency as in many cases an incurable but treatable and controllable health problem. This document sets out what assistance will be provided, and under what terms that assistance will be provided by UCT to employees who are affected if that is what they choose.

Employees who are subject to substance dependency may seek support, or may be counselled to seek support through the employee assistance programme in which case they will be referred to the Organisational Health Advisor through the line manager. Where an employee who is being assisted under this programme refuses the assistance offered or where the counsellor reports a relapse as a result of non-compliance with an agreed-upon programme, further assistance may be denied.

We recognise the value of preventative education on the subject of substances and will ensure that relevant information is available to staff supported by HR and line management.

We do not allow employees

  • to appear to be or be under the influence of substances or engage in substance-related activities in the workplace; or
  • to have in their possession intoxicating liquor or illegal drugs in the workplace.
    (Alcohol may, however, be consumed at University functions and licensed premises on campus. We require individuals not to abuse this privilege.)

Substance abuse/dependency can result in misconduct (i.e. a breach of a work requirement or standard of behaviour) or incapacity (i.e. inability to perform services to the required standard). Substance-related misconduct or incapacity or poor performance may lead to disciplinary action especially but not only where:

  1. an employee has refused the assistance offered and/or
  2. failed to co-operate with treatment/counselling as agreed upon and/or
  3. has had a relapse as a result of non-compliance with treatment/counselling.
  4. where safety is compromised.

Process flows