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Frequently Asked Questions about sick leave

06 Dec 2023

This website was last updated on 4 December 2023. This information will be updated from time to time as more questions come in or payroll problems become apparent, so please feel free to check this information from time to time. 

  1. I am working as a short-term reliever, so I am not in ongoing employment. Do I accumulate sick leave for my relieving work?

    Yes. Every 190 relieving days or 950 hours count as one year of aggregate employment.

  2. How do I check that my sick leave translation has been calculated correctly?

    We recommend that you check your sick leave balance in pay period 22. Then, refer to the general guidance in Part IV of this resource and estimate where your sick leave balance should be in the following pay period based on this guidance. Then, check your first pay slip in February 2024 (pay period 23) to compare the amount of sick leave on your payslip with your estimate. Obviously, if you have taken any sick leave at the beginning of the 2024 school year, you will need to account for this when doing your calculations.

  3. Where do I go for help if there is an issue with my sick leave translation?

    In the first instance, we recommend having a conversation with your payroll administrator who may be able to provide you with some guidance. If this does not resolve the issue, you can contact NZEI TRR on 0800 693 443 for further information. Principals can also contact the Principal Helpline on 0508 774 624 725.

  4. Can short term relievers take sick leave?

    Yes, a reliever with a positive sick leave balance can take sick leave if they have work booked and they (or someone dependent on them) are unwell.

  5. Is the new sick leave system not simply an adoption of the minimum statutory entitlements under the Holidays Act?

    No. Under the Holidays Act, you do not become entitled to sick leave for the first 6 months of employment, you do not carry over unused sick leave from job to job and you also can only accrue up to a maximum of 20 days of sick leave. The sick leave provisions in the new Collective Agreements provide significantly enhanced provisions over and above the Holidays Act. If a situation were to arise where a teacher received less than the minimum statutory entitlements to sick leave, the statutory entitlements would supersede the wording in the Collective Agreement.