The NWU strive to empower and assist employees by:

  • providing effective mechanisms for communication and participation,
  • encouraging staff to articulate concerns and conflict and seek resolution,
  • providing channels for conflict and anticipating and defusing conflict wherever possible.


Disciplinary matters

Employees of the university are required to maintain certain standards of conduct. Any staff member who fails to maintain acceptable standards of conduct in accordance with his/her employment contract, specific job requirements and/or the university's rules, renders himself/herself liable to disciplinary action.

The aim with disciplinary action is designed to correct behaviour and to improve conduct (other than where dismissal is warranted) and should be taken as soon as possible after the event.

If an employee is absent for three or more working days without notification or prior arrangement and/or without a valid reason, the relevant Human Capital practitioner must be informed of the employee's absence in writing, who will assist the manager with the necessary process.

Should an employee appear to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, Protection Services should be contacted immediately to test the employee. Should the employee be found to be intoxicated, Protection Services will refer the matter to the Employee Relations office for to schedule a disciplinary hearing.

If it is ascertained that the employee has a substance abuse problem, the employee assistance practitioner at the Employee Assistance Programme must be contacted to assist the employee with possible rehabilitation.

Useful documentation:

Behavioural Manual


Should an employee pose a threat to a colleague, himself and/or may interfere with the investigation of allegations against him, such an employee may be suspended after consultation with the Employee Relations office.

Useful documentation:

Behavioural Manual


Incapacity matters are addressed in conjunction with the Employee Assistance Programme.

The NWU addresses incapacity matters according to the following categories:

Poor work performance - issues such as the performance output of employees, that do not comply with expectations as agreed in their task agreement and as verified by merit assessment and performance appraisal programmes due to motivational problems, personality issues, performance barriers, training needs, incompatibility, etc.

Incompatibility - the inability on the part of the employee to work in harmony either within the corporate culture of the university, or with fellow employees, resulting in incapacitation.

Ill health or injury.

Useful documentation:

Behavioural Manual


A grievance is any feeling of dissatisfaction, unhappiness or injustice allegedly experienced by an employee or a group of employees and which involves:

The behaviour of another employee or supervisor/manager toward the aggrieved employee; and/or

Circumstances in the workplace (e.g. equipment, occupational health and safety); and/or

The infringement of the employment rights of an employee.

Useful documentation:

Behavioural Manual


Harassment refers to any form of submission or rejection which is made either explicitly or implied as a term or condition of an individual's employment or status as a student, or by an individual as a basis for employment or academic decision; or for withholding favourable employment or academic opportunities, evaluation or assistance; or of which the purpose or effect is interference with the individual's performance at work or in study by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment in which to work or study.

Useful documentation:

Behavioural Manual


The NWU appointed an ombudsperson to assist with cases of sexual harassment.
For more information, please contact:

Ms Lizelda Goslin

Human rights

Any complaint regarding infringements of an employee or student's human rights will be addressed by the NWU Human Rights Committee.

Useful documentation:

NWU Human Rights Policy

Contact us:
Complaints can be lodged at:
  018 299 4816/7


Retrenchments are dismissals based on operational requirements of the university and are handled according to the provisions of the Labour Relations Act. When an employer contemplates dismissing one or more employees for reasons based on the employer's operational requirements, the employer must consult with the employee and/or the recognised union.

The Employee Relations office assists with the process of retrenchments and also ensure that the legal requirements for retrenchments are adhered to. Please contact this office when there is a possibility of retrenchments.

Employee organisations (unions)


The university currently recognise SAPTU (South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union) as the employee organisation/trade union who enjoys collective bargaining rights within the university at the Institutional Office, Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle Campus. A formal recognition agreement was signed between the university and SAPTU which regulates and recognises the procedural (collective and individual) relationship between the parties and to develop and foster fair and equitable employer/employee relations.


SAPTU's contact details:


Executive Officer:
 Ms Odette Murray
  018 299  4227
 Ms Margaret van der Spoel
  018 299  4070




Procedures and Guidelines


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