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Covid-19 Update 54: All services must be operational

- VCO

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa's address.

Following the announcement of lockdown level 1 regulations, it was agreed that all University services would be operational from 5 October 2020. We would like to express our appreciation to all staff members who have continued to serve the University during this difficult time and who have reported for duty when requested to do so. Thank you.

It has, however, been brought to our attention that there have been service lapses in some areas, and that some staff members have not been reporting for duty or fulfilling their duties.

We would therefore like to reiterate the following:

Managers of all service units must ensure that their units function effectively, which means that professional and administrative staff from every unit are expected to report to work at all times, either simultaneously or on a rotational basis. Line managers must take overall responsibility for this decision. Staff members must report to work when requested to do so by their line managers. There should be no reduction in the quality, scope or volume of work at any time.

The only exceptions are as follows:

  • Staff members who have co-morbidities (as determined by a medical practitioner or the Wits-appointed healthcare practitioner based at the WDGMC) and as described in the HR Practice Note on this matter, should for the time being, with the approval of their line manager, work productively from home and undertake work that is assigned to them.
  • Staff members over the age of 60, who may be at risk, should be enabled to work from home as per national regulations and the University’s practice note around this matter. Employees over the age of 60 who do not have co-morbidities, and who are healthy, may return to the workplace at their own risk.
  • In cases where the environment does not enable social distancing and the observance of all occupational health and safety protocols, executives and line managers must put in place working arrangements that comply with these protocols, as recommended by the assigned occupational health and safety officer.

All managers must submit revised risk assessment and mitigation plans, which must be agreed upon with the assigned Occupational Health and Safety Officer before staff return to the workplace. In open plan areas and congested spaces, staff may be required to return on a rotational basis, as determined by line managers, and with the approval of Occupational Health and Safety Officers.

Should you have any further queries, please direct these to your respective line manager and if required, escalate issues to your respective Head of School, Divisional Head, or SET member.

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