Staffing provisions and travel

Updated in relation to COVID-19 pandemic: 31 March 2020. This information will be reviewed on 30 April 2020, or earlier as required.

We moved to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 at 11.59 pm on Wednesday 25 March for a period of 4 weeks and people are instructed to stay at home.

Whilst your school or kura is closed – important information / actions to take now

Important guidance for Payroll

Payroll administrators may wish to refer the following summary of arrangements in place for the lockdown period:

Staff who work regular fixed hours:

  • Staff who work regular fixed hours will continue to be paid as normal. This includes all teachers and kaiako who are engaged for the year and non-teaching staff or kaimahi with permanent hours.

  • Non-teaching staff or kaimahi who work regular fixed hours will continue to receive their regular fortnightly payment.

  • Term time only staff will have a full pay paid on both 8 April and 22 April. Due to the urgent change to term dates it is not possible to bring forward the holiday dates for payroll purposes to the new date that Term 1 ends. Staff will be paid for 8 April as usual and, as staff need to be available to support students for start of term 2 (that is from 13 April), they will be paid full pay on 22 April. The same payment provisions will apply to staff in schools where term dates have not changed.

Staff who are paid by timesheet:

  • Day relief teachers or kairīwhi who regularly work with schools or kura who have been set up by those schools or kura with part-time fixed hours as an interim measure, will receive payment for these hours for the duration of the lockdown period.

  • Day relief teachers or kairīwhi who have not been loaded for any payment will receive an emergency payment over the lockdown, if they have worked and been paid at least once during the last 4 pay periods (i.e. during Term 1)

  • Non-teaching staff or kaimahi with regular hours who are normally paid by timesheet will receive payment for their regular hours, plus any further hours which have been loaded by schools or kura as an interim measure, for the duration of the lockdown period

  • Non-teaching staff or kaimahi who do not have regular hours, and have not been loaded for any payment by a school or kura as an interim measure, will receive an emergency payment over the lockdown, if they have worked and been paid at least once during the last 4 pay periods (i.e. during Term 1). 

Further actions for payroll

The cut-off date for submission of timesheets for employees is 5 pm, Wednesday 1 April 2020. Please load timesheets which include the hours that the employee would have worked had the school or kura been open.

We are putting in place an emergency payment for day relievers, kairīwhi and non-teaching staff or kaimahi who are paid by timesheet and for whom no income has been provided during the lockdown. There is no longer a need to move timesheet employees to fixed-term or permanent part-time jobs (i.e. to set them up on autopay). We will calculate an emergency payment for these employees based on the average for the hours they have worked during Term 1.

Read more about the emergency payment.

Currently, fixed term agreements will continue to end on the date agreed in the letter of offer and as set up in Novopay. As schools and kura may find it difficult to action changes to the payroll during the lockdown, fixed term engagements that are currently loaded to end between 30 March and 30 April will be automatically extended by Education Payroll Limited (EPL) to end on 5 May.

Payroll Administrators who are able access to the payroll remotely can override this date. If you are able, you should re-employ staff and kaimahi now for the beginning of Term 2 and load this onto the payroll as usual.

Authorised payroll users

Where possible, ensure that there are at least three authorised users who can process the fortnightly pay in Novopay and/or Ed Pay. Ideally these people will have had experience in running the pay at least once.

If you need to set up a new authorised user please send an instruction to EDPay on a Novo5 form. Usually the Novo5 form requires a Board signature however, in these circumstances this can be omitted if necessary and added at a later date.

Funding

Funding will be available to those schools and kura that incur additional costs resulting from the change to term dates and as a result of moving timesheet staff to fixed-term or permanent part-time jobs.

In order to claim for any additional costs please email the resourcing helpdesk: resourcing@education.govt.nz, with the details and we will get back to you whilst schools and kura are closed.

Schools and kura will not incur any costs in relation to the emergency payments as it will be centrally funded.

When your school or kura re-opens – important information and actions to take

Managing staff leave

The following leave provisions are available to schools and kura, including information how to make claims:

Situation

Leave Type

How to claim

Teachers or Principals who are not attending/returning to school because they have:

  • contracted COVID-19 and/or
  • been in direct contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19
  • returned to New Zealand from international travel
  • are required to care for a person dependent on them for care, as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis or COVID-19 isolation
  • are at high risk as they are over 70 or have a compromised immune system, or have underlying health conditions
  • a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or 4
  • for medical reasons

Where staff are, in accordance with the COVID-19 Alert Level or public health advice, required to self-isolate they should work from home where possible.

If the staff member is working from home no absence needs to be recorded.

If the Teacher or Principal is self-isolating and unable to work from home, or caring for dependants who are self-isolating, the absence should be recorded as discretionary paid leave, unless the staff member has undertaken personal travel overseas after 16 March.

If the Teacher or Principal is sick, or required to care for a sick dependent, the absence should be recorded as sick leave or domestic sick leave. At the conclusion of the leave the Teacher or Principal can request disregarded sick leave.

A claim is not required if the staff member is working from home or is closed due to the COVID-19 Alert Level (ie from 26 March).

To apply for discretionary paid leave schools should complete a Novo12 form using the DISCR. If you have any issues processing discretionary paid leave, please contact employment relations using the email address below. Schools should hold evidence for the reason of the period of that leave applies.

To apply for disregarded sick leave please email:
employment.relations@education.govt.nz


Include evidence that the period of leave was due to contracting COVID-19 or caring for a dependent who has contracted COVID-19.

Non-teaching staff who are not attending/returning to school because they have:

  • contracted COVID-19 and/or
  • been in direct contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19
  • returned to New Zealand from international travel
  • are required to care for a person dependent on them for care, as a result of a COVID-19
  • diagnosis or COVID-19 isolation
  • are at high risk as they are over 70 or have a compromised immune system, or have underlying health conditions
  • a COVID-19 Alert Level 3 or 4
  • for medical reasons.

Where staff are, in accordance with the COVID-19 Alert Level or public health advice, required to self-isolate they should work from home where possible. If the staff member is working from home no absence needs to be recorded.

If the staff member is self-isolating and unable to work from home, or caring for dependants who are self-isolating, the absence should be recorded as discretionary paid leave, unless the staff member has undertaken personal travel overseas after 16 March.

If the staff member is sick or required to care for a sick dependent, the absence should be recorded as sick leave or domestic sick leave. Anticipated sick leave can be provided.

 

A claim is not required if the staff member is working from home or is closed due to the COVID-19 Alert Level (ie from 26 March).

In other circumstances schools can forward leave forms or enter leave in the usual manner.

To apply for discretionary paid leave schools should complete a Novo12 form using the DISCR. If you have any issues processing discretionary paid leave email:
employment.relations@education.govt.nz

For employees who usually complete a timesheet, the school should indicate what hours they would have been required to work had the employee not had to take leave or self-isolate.

Schools should hold evidence for the reason of the period of that leave applies.

Information about seeking additional funding is outlined further down this page.

Schools have been closed

Depending on the circumstances staff may be able to continue working at the school. If the site is completely closed they should work from home where this is possible. In some circumstances learning may be able to be delivered remotely.

A claim is not required but the Ministry may contact your school for further information.

Note: Discretionary paid leave covers working days/hours the staff member would have normally worked.

Note: Disregarded sick leave means time off for sickness or injury isn’t deducted from a teacher’s or principal’s sick leave balance. Only teachers and principals qualify for disregarded sick leave and it only applies where certain criteria are met.

What if our school has a hostel or is a boarding school?

Our most up to date advice for schools with a hostel is available here (external link)  under the heading 'More advice for schools/kura'.

Funding

Additional relief teacher funding

Schools can claim for additional relief teacher funding if relief cover is required for a teacher who is in isolation for a specified period because they:

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or,
  • have recently travelled overseas (other than to the Pacific) or,
  • are required to be in self-isolation or,
  • are required to care for dependents who are either sick or in self-isolation or,
  • are over the age of 70 or,
  • are high-risk due to a compromised immune system or an underlying health condition

To make a request for additional relief teacher funding, use the Education Resourcing System (ERS) using this link: http://services.education.govt.nz/ers (external link)

Additional funding for non-teaching staff

Up to two weeks’ cover is available for schools that need to employ additional non-teaching staff to cover those who:

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or,
  • have recently travelled overseas (other than to the Pacific) or,
  • are required to be in self-isolation or,
  • are required to care for dependents who are either sick or in self-isolation or,
  • are over the age of 70 or,
  • are high-risk due to a compromised immune system or an underlying health condition

If a non-teaching staff member is required by health authorities to be absent from school for a period longer than two weeks, as a result of being a close contact or having contracted the COVID-19, please contact our Ministry Resourcing Contact Centre for further advice on 04 463 8383.

To make a request for additional non-teaching staff funding, email resourcing@education.govt.nz with details including:

  • the details and days the additional staff were employed
  • a copy of travel itinerary showing evidence of relevant overseas travel and/or letter from GP or local health authority outlining diagnosis or need for isolation.

Any other queries, please contact our Resourcing Contact Centre on 04 463 8383.

COVID-19 advice from the Ministry of Health

Information and general health advice regarding COVID-19 can be found on the Ministry of Health website unsing the links below:

Travel

New Zealand is currently on COVID-19 Alert Level 4. New Zealanders are advised not to undertake any non-essential travel.

The Government’s advice regarding overseas travel is "do not travel" - the highest level - regardless of destination.

COVID-19 advice – SafeTravel website (external link)

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