Staff travelling to Australia from 19 April

From 19 April, quarantine free travel will begin between New Zealand and Australia, meaning from this date people will be able to travel between the countries without the requirement to enter managed isolation on arrival. We know it has been a difficult year for many, including those who may have been separated from friends and whānau in Australia.

The current travel advisory notes that there is a possibility that quarantine free travel could pause (to assess risk) or suspend for a longer period of time and travellers should be prepared for their travel plans to be disrupted.

Upcoming personal travel

Staff who choose to undertake travel overseas during the upcoming school holidays and who are required to enter managed isolation on their return to New Zealand will not be entitled to Ministry funded discretionary paid leave. Boards are able to provide any of the following forms of leave:

Teaching staff

  • Unpaid discretionary leave
  • In rare circumstances a Board may fund paid discretionary leave where the reason for travel is agreed beforehand as necessary and compelling. The Ministry will not provide funding for this.
  • Making arrangements to working from managed isolation (where possible) – this will be paid as normal

Specialist and support (non-teaching) staff

  • Unpaid discretionary leave
  • Paid annual leave where the employee has sufficient annual leave available
  • In rare circumstances a Board may fund paid discretionary leave where the reason for travel is agreed beforehand as necessary and compelling. The Ministry will not provide funding for this.
  • Making arrangements to work from managed isolation (where possible) – this will be paid as normal.

Day relief and casual staff

  • Casual employees will not be entitled to leave, unless a pre-arranged booking exists for the start of Term 2, in which the leave outlined above applies. These employees will not be entitled to support provided by the Ministry if they required to enter managed isolation on their return to New Zealand.

More information

More information about overseas travel and advisories can be found at safetravel.govt.nz(external link).

For queries regarding leave types or other employment related questions email NZSTA eradvice@nzsta.org.nz, call 0800 782 435 (option 2) or check out more information on their website - www.nzsta.org.nz(external link).

Frequently asked questions

What happens if a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 while travelling or on return to New Zealand?

If a teacher or principal is sick with COVID-19 during the school term then sick leave should be recorded and they are entitled to have this sick leave disregarded on application. Additional Relief Teacher Funding (ARTF) will also apply as usual.

For other staff, normal sick leave arrangements will continue to apply.

What happens if a staff member becomes unwell with a non-COVID related illness while they are overseas or in managed isolation?

If a staff member becomes ill or is injured (either while in Australia or New Zealand) and is unable to return to work during term time then sick leave applies as usual. This includes if they fall sick or are injured during a period of managed isolation.

 

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