Refreshment leave

Refreshment leave is a period of unpaid time off that allows principals and teachers to take a break and return to your role feeling rejuvenated.

Principals - primary, secondary and area school

If you’ve reached the professional standards that apply to your length of service as a principal, you can take unpaid refreshment leave of:

  • 1 school term after 3 years of working at your school, or 
  • 1 school year after 5 years of working at your school.

After you’ve taken refreshment leave you’ll need to work at the school for another 3 or 5 years respectively before you can apply for more refreshment leave.

You’ll only be able to take refreshment leave if your school is able to find a suitable relief principal to fill in for you while you’re on leave.

Your employment agreement

Refreshment leave entitlements for principals are set out in the collective agreements as follows:

Clause 7.11 – Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Clause 5.6 – Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Clause 5.7 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Area school principals should refer to clause 5.7 of the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

Teachers - primary, secondary and area school

If you’re a full-time teacher (or at least 0.8 of full-time equivalent) and have reached the experienced teacher professional standards, you can take unpaid refreshment leave of:

  • 1 school term after 3 years of working at your school, or
  • 1 school year after 5 years of working at your school.

You’ll only be able to take refreshment leave if your school is able to find a suitable relief teacher to fill in for you while you’re on leave.

After you’ve taken refreshment leave you’ll need to work at the school for another 3 or 5 years respectively before you can apply for more refreshment leave.

Your employment agreement

Refreshment leave entitlements for teachers, including the maximum number of teachers who can be on refreshment leave from a school at any one time, are set out in the collective agreements as follows:

Clause 4.9 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 6.7 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 5.7 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

How to apply for refreshment leave

To apply for refreshment leave, write to your school board explaining why you want to take leave and the time period you’re requesting.

Your board can approve or decline your request; they don’t have to apply to the Ministry of Education.

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