Resignation, dismissal and retirement

Employment can end through resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy.

When ending employment, the employer and employee must comply with the provisions of the employment agreement and the Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link) .

Voluntary resignation – teachers and principals

Employees may resign at any time, provided they give the required notice. For all teachers and principals, this is 2 months. The employment relationship continues until that date.

If an employee provides 2 months’ notice, you must pay the employee to the end of that notice period, unless the employee is justifiably dismissed during the notice period.

Resignation is covered in these clauses of the collective agreements:

Voluntary resignation – other staff

Employees covered by either of the following 2 collective agreements are required to give one month’s notice when they resign:

  • Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement – clause 9.1
  • Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement – clause 9.1

Employees covered by either of the following 2 collective agreements are required to give 2 weeks’ notice when they resign:

  • Secondary and Area School Groundstaff Collective Agreement – clause 4.7
  • School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ (incl Canteen Workers) Collective Agreement – clause 6.11

Forced resignation

If an employee feels pressured to resign or feels that their work situation is intolerable and feels forced to resign, this may be called a ‘forced resignation’ or ‘constructive dismissal’. The normal notice period applies. However, it may also lead to a personal grievance or other employment dispute that requires mediation. This is covered in the collective agreements:

  • primary teachers – clause 10.8 and part 11
  • primary principals – clauses 8.8 and clause 10.1, and appendix 3
  • secondary teachers – part 9
  • secondary principals – clause 11.1
  • area school teachers – part 8
  • area school principals – part 10
  • Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement – part 9
  • Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement – part 8
  • Secondary and Area School Groundstaff Collective Agreement – part 7
  • School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ (incl Canteen Workers) Collective Agreement – part 7

Dismissal – teachers and principals

There must be a good reason for a dismissal and the dismissal must be carried out fairly. If this does not happen, the employee may have grounds for a personal grievance claim.

What is fair depends on the circumstances. You must follow the dismissal provisions in the employment agreement. For all teachers and principals, you must give at least 2 months’ notice of dismissal.

The collective agreements set out the notice periods and other aspects of the dismissal process: 

Dismissal – other staff

There must be a good reason for a dismissal and the dismissal must be carried out fairly. If this does not happen, the employee may have grounds for a personal grievance claim.

What is fair depends on the circumstances. You must follow the dismissal provisions in the employment agreement.

For employees covered by either of the following 2 collective agreements, you must give one month’s notice of dismissal. These clauses set out the notice periods and other aspects of the dismissals process:

  • Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement – part 9 and part 8
  • Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement – part 9 and part 8

For employees covered by either of the following 2 collective agreements, you must give 2 weeks’ notice of dismissal. These clauses set out the notice periods and other aspects of the dismissal process:

Retirement

There is no set age that an employee must retire from work. You cannot require any employees to retire because of their age.

The notice period for intending retirement is the same as for resignation.

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