Resignation, dismissal and retirement

You may need to leave your job through resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy. Your employment agreement sets out your entitlements for each of these situations.

Legislation

When your employment as a teacher or principal ends, both you and your employer must comply with the provisions of your employment agreement and the Employment Relations Act 2000.

Employment agreements

Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)

Voluntary resignation – teachers and principals

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

If you provide 2 months’ notice, your employer must pay you to the end of that notice period, unless you’re justifiably dismissed during the notice period.

Voluntary resignation provisions are set out in the collective agreements as follows:

Clause 2.9 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 10.2 – Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Clause 3.11.1 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 9.1 - Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Clause 2.8 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 9.1 – Area School Principals’ Collective Agreement

Voluntary resignation – other staff

You must give 1 months’ notice when you resign if you’re covered by either the:

  • Support Staff in Schools employment agreements, or
  • Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ employment agreements.

This requirement is set out in the collective agreements as follows:

Clause 9.1 - Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement

Clause 9.1 - Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement

You must give 2 weeks’ notice when you resign if you’re covered by either the:

  • Secondary and Area School Groundstaff employment agreements, or
  • School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ (including Canteen Workers’) employment agreements.

This requirement is set out in the collective agreements as follows:

Clause 4.7 - Secondary and Area School Groundstaff Collective Agreement

Clause 6.11 - School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement

Forced resignation

If you feel pressured to resign or feel that your work situation is intolerable and feel 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.

Employment relationship problem resolution

Forced resignation provisions are set out in the collective agreements.

Primary teachers

Clause 10.8 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Part 11 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Primary principals

Clauses 8.8 - Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Clause 10.1 - Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Appendix 3 - Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Secondary teachers and principals

Clause 11.1 - Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 11.1 - Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Area school teachers and principals

Part 8 - Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Part 10 - Area School Principals’ Collective Agreement

Non-teaching staff

Part 9 - Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement

Part 8 - Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement

Part 7 - Secondary and Area School Groundstaff Collective Agreement

Part 7 - School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement

Dismissal – teachers and principals

There must be a good reason for a dismissal and the dismissal must be carried out fairly. If this doesn’t happen, you may have grounds for a personal grievance claim.

What is fair depends on the circumstances. Your employer must follow the dismissal provisions in your employment agreement. All teachers and principals, must be given at least 2 months’ notice of dismissal.

Dismissal provisions, including notice periods, are set out in the collective agreements.

Primary teachers

Clause 2.9.2 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Part 10 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Primary principals

Clause 10.2 – Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Part 8 – Primary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Secondary teachers

Clause 3.11 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 3.4 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Secondary principals

Clause 6.5 – Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Part 6 – Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement

Area school teachers

Clause 2.8 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Clause 2.4 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Area school principals

Clause 6.2 – Area School Principals’ Collective Agreement

Part 6 – Area School Principals’ Collective Agreement

Dismissal – other staff

There must be a good reason for a dismissal and the dismissal must be carried out fairly. If this doesn’t happen, you may have grounds for a personal grievance claim.

What is fair depends on the circumstances. Your employer must follow the dismissal provisions in your employment agreement.

Support staff and Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants

Your employer must give 1 months’ notice of dismissal if you’re covered by either the:

  • Support Staff in Schools employment agreements, or
  • Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ employment agreements.

Dismissal provisions, including notice periods, are set out in the collective agreements.

Part 9 - Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement

Part 8 - Support Staff in Schools’ Collective Agreement

Part 9 - Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement

Part 8 - Kaiarahi i te Reo, Therapists’, ATSSD and Special Education Assistants’ Collective Agreement 

Caretakers, cleaners and canteen staff, and groundstaff

Your employer must give 2 weeks’ notice of dismissal if your employment is covered by either the:

  • Secondary and Area School Groundstaff employment agreements, or
  • School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ (including Canteen Workers) employment agreements.

Dismissal provisions, including notice periods, are set out in the collective agreements.

Clause 4.7 - Secondary and Area School Groundstaff Collective Agreement

Clause 4.6 - Secondary and Area School Groundstaff Collective Agreement

Clause 6.11 - School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement

Clause 6.8 - School Caretakers’ and Cleaners’ and Canteen Staff Collective Agreement

Retirement

There’s no set age that you must retire from work. Your employer can’t require you to retire because of your age.

The notice you must give for intending retirement is the same as for resignation.

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