Merit Awards

Reward and encourage excellence

Review Period 01 September 2015 to 31 August 2016


The University sets aside a budget to reward excellence among the support staff. A person’s performance is deemed meritorious if they have exceeded expectations during the period under review. The Key Responsibility Areas  as set out in the job profile are used as criteria against which to measure this performance.
HR would like to encourage all line managers to make use of the Merit Award system to reward and encourage excellence amongst their staff. Some of the benefits of doing this are: 

  •  Increased staff motivation, particularly if you use the opportunity of completing the Merit Award documentation to engage with your staff on a one-on-one basis.
  • Increased motivation and satisfaction on the part of staff who are nominated. 
  • When line managers work with their staff in completing the documentation training and development needs are often discovered. Plans can be made to address these.
  • By engaging with staff in this process it shows that we care about their performance and their contribution.
  • Staff who engage in this process generally find it beneficial and more often than not the process reinforces strong work ethics, productivity and efficiency.
  • Staff who are engaged in this process benefit from the feedback that they are given.  
  • It encourages dialogue between staff and supervisors with regards to expectations.
  • It can improve succession planning.

Application process and guidelines

  • There are currently no Merit Awards for staff in Grades 1 - 5 as the union, NEHAWU traded this in during the wage negotiation process. Only staff in Grades 6 -17 may apply for Merit Awards in 2016.

  • Line Managers and Supervisors may nominate their staff for a Merit Award.
  • Nominations must be accompanied by the Merit Award Application Form for 2016. The information in the application form for the Key Responsibility Areas must match the most recent job profile. Please attach the profile you have referenced as part of your supporting documentation.
  • Application forms must be signed by the nominee, line manager and Head of Department/Division.
  • Staff who have not been nominated by their supervisors and/or managers and feel that they should be considered for a Merit Award may apply. Please note: should a staff member apply they need to advise their direct supervisor/manager and have their supervisor/manager sign their application form as well as the Head of Department/Division. Where there are problems in this regard the staff member is required to advise HR in writing. Failure to comply with this requirement will mean that the application cannot be considered.
  • It is recommended that you read all the documents pertaining to the Merit Award process before completing the application form.

Completing the Application Form

  • Please read the eligibility criteria carefully. Note that if you answer is yes to any of the conduct questions that this will disqualify the person from being considered for a Merit Award. The necessary documentation must be in place in order for you to choose a yes answer. Illustratively this means that you cannot choose yes to abuse of sick leave if there is no written record that this has been raised with the staff member concerned and evidence that abuse has occurred.
  • Copy the Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs)  into the table from the job profile. A rating out of 5 must be given. The guidelines must be used in conjunction with the standards required for the job when you do your rating. You may attach supporting evidence to your application if need be.
  • If you are weighting the KRA’s then you need to fill in the weighted column with the weighted percentage for the KRA’s. Please note that if you are weighting the KRA’s the weightings must add up to 100%. (See “What Constitutes Evidence” for further guidance).
  • Any specific achievements that you feel have not been covered in the rating of KRA’s must be listed on another page with supporting comments and evidence.
  • IMPORTANT: Please do not worry about adding up the scores and working out the final scores. HR will do this for you!

Merit Award Application Form

Eligibility for Merit

What Constitutes Evidence

Rating Scales 6-17

Guidelines with Regards to Nominations

Each Committee has a bonus pool calculated from the total salary bill for the support staff in that area of the University. This is to be used as a guideline for the number of nominations that can be made per Committee.
Committees do not have to use the whole bonus pool if there is a view that there are insufficient deserving nominations. In addition to this if a Committee feels that they need to exceed the bonus pool in respect of their nominations a motivation to the Director of Human Resources can be made.

Awards are based on the following principles:

  • The Merit Award will be a set value per grade with two values being set, one for those that exceed the requirements of the job and those that significantly exceed the requirements of the job.
  • Staff whose scores show that they are exceeding expectations (score should be between 3 and 4 if done accurately) will be awarded bonuses of not more than 50% of the minimum basic salary for the grade of the post.
  • Staff whose scores show that they are significantly exceeding expectations (should be greater than 4) will be awarded bonuses of not more than 60% of the minimum basic salary for the grade of the post.
  • Individual awards will be capped at not more than either 50% or 60% of the minimum basic salary for the grade of the post.
  • Staff who are still in the employ of the University in December 2016 and who are not serving their notice period.

As agreed, a single committee will be appointed to consider all the merit applications

Last Modified: Fri, 05 Aug 2016 15:48:20 SAST