COVID-19 update for Schools - 31 March

Employment matters

We would like to thank schools and kura for showing extraordinary leadership and effort around staffing matters during these unprecedented times. School and kura employees are our top priority and it is important that they have income security during the Alert Level 4 Lockdown. Our payroll services through Education Payroll Ltd (EPL) are continuing to operate as normal.

Due to the emergency change to Term 2 dates, the income provided over the lockdown will vary depending on each individual staff member’s type of employment. Not everybody will be treated the same, as each person’s employment circumstances varies and there are limitations around the flexibility of the payroll system.

This Bulletin provides important information about these changes and we appreciate your assistance with the actions required. If you need support please let us know, as our priority is to ensure payments continue while schools and kura are closed.

This morning’s bulletin focuses entirely on employment matters. We will be sending a second Bulletin later this afternoon that will include a reminder about the risks of online harm and responses to a couple of common questions, including managing a suspension process during the lockdown and some further information on access to school and kura sites.

What income provision is available for staff?

We are receiving a number of enquiries from people who are anxious to understand what income provision will be available for them.

Employees should contact their school payroll administrator with any questions. Questions from school payroll administrators about how payments will be processed can be sent to support@novopay.govt.nz

Further information can be found on the Novopay website

Any employee who does not have a school payroll administrator can email: employment.relations@education.govt.nz

Payroll administrators may wish to refer to the following summary of the arrangements in place for the lockdown period:

Staff who work regular fixed hours:

  • Staff who work regular fixed hours will continue to be paid as normal. This includes all teachers and kaiako who are engaged for the year and non-teaching staff or kaimahi with permanent hours.
  • Non-teaching staff or kaimahi who work regular fixed hours will continue to receive their regular fortnightly payment.

Term time only staff will have a full pay paid on both 8 April and 22 April. Due to the urgent change to term dates, it is not possible to bring forward the holiday dates for payroll purposes to the new date that Term 1 ends. Staff will be paid for 8 April as usual and, as staff need to be available to support students for start of term 2 (that is from 13 April), they will be paid a full pay on 22 April.

The same payment provisions will apply to staff in schools where term dates have not changed.

Staff who are paid by timesheet:

  • Day relief teachers or kairīwhi who regularly work with schools or kura who have been set up by those schools or kura with part-time fixed hours as an interim measure, will receive payment for these hours for the duration of the lockdown period.
  • Day relief teachers or kairīwhi who have not been loaded for any payment will receive an emergency payment over the lockdown, if they have worked and been paid at least once during the last 4 pay periods (i.e. during Term 1)
  • Non-teaching staff or kaimahi with regular hours who are normally paid by timesheet will receive payment for their regular hours, plus any further hours which have been loaded by schools or kura as an interim measure, for the duration of the lockdown period
  • Non-teaching staff or kaimahi who do not have regular hours, and have not been loaded for any payment by a school or kura as an interim measure, will receive an emergency payment over the lockdown, if they have worked and been paid at least once during the last 4 pay periods (i.e. during Term 1).

Further actions to take

The cut-off date for submission of timesheets for employees is 5 pm, Wednesday 1 April 2020. Please load timesheets, which include the hours that the employee would have worked had the school or kura been open.

We are putting in place an emergency payment for day relievers, kairīwhi and non-teaching staff or kaimahi who are paid by timesheet and for whom no income has been provided during the lockdown.

There is no longer a need to move timesheet employees to fixed-term or permanent part-time jobs (i.e. to set them up on autopay). We will calculate an emergency payment for these employees based on the average for the hours they have worked during Term 1.

Currently, fixed term agreements will continue to end on the date agreed in the letter of offer and as set up in Novopay.  

As schools and kura may find it difficult to action changes to the payroll during the lockdown, fixed term engagements that are currently loaded to end between 30 March and 30 April will be automatically extended by Education Payroll Limited (EPL) to end on 5 May.

Payroll Administrators who are able to access the payroll remotely can override this date. If you are able, you should re-employ staff and kaimahi now for the beginning of Term 2 and load this onto the payroll as usual.

How will the emergency payment work?

We recognise that there are employees and kaimahi who have casual pay arrangements with variable income which is dependent on schools and kura being open.

In order to provide security of income at this time, we will provide an emergency ex gratia payment for current education sector employees who are not receiving a payment from a school or kura.

This payment is not compensation for their anticipated earnings lost during the lockdown, but it will be proportionate as it will be based on the average hours they worked in Term 1.

The emergency payment will be made automatically to the following people:

  • All current relief teachers and kairīwhi who are not receiving any scheduled wage payments from a state or state integrated school or kura.
  • All non-teaching employees and kaimahi whose hours are loaded via timesheet and who are not receiving any scheduled wage payments or timesheet wage payments from a state or state integrated school or kura.

These employees and kaimahi must have worked and been paid at least once during the last 4 pay periods (i.e. during Term 1) at a school and kura including wharekura, primary, intermediate, secondary, area, and special schools to be eligible for the payment.

Schools will not see these payments on their Staffing, Usage and Expenditure (SUE) reports, nor will they be charged for them. Staff will see a payment on their payslips.

People who are already setup in the system to receive a payment from a school or kura will not receive an emergency payment. Currently we expect this emergency payment to be made twice, on 8 April 2020 and again on 22 April 2020.

Anyone receiving these emergency payments should not also apply for other COVID-19 wage payments provided by the Government. If they do, the matter may be referred to the Teaching Council.
 
Schools and kura that pay staff outside of the EPL system are encouraged to put in place the same financial support for their casual non-teaching staff and kaimahi who will not be receiving an income as a result of the school and kura closures. The Ministry will reimburse non-EPL schools and kura the cost of these additional payments.

More information is available here: Emergency payment for day relief teachers, kaiako, employees and kaimahi on timesheets.

Funding

Funding will be available to those schools and kura that incur additional costs resulting from the change to term dates and as a result of moving timesheet staff to fixed-term or permanent part-time jobs.

In order to claim for any additional costs please email the resourcing helpdesk: resourcing@education.govt.nz with the details and we will get back to you whilst schools and kura are closed.

Schools and kura will not incur any costs in relation to the emergency payments as it will be centrally funded.

Phishing scam warning

Over the weekend, some people received a scam email asking them to enter their payroll information onto what looked to be a Ministry website.

If you receive any emails of this nature, our advice is:

  • Do not reply back to these emails
  • Do not click on any suspicious links or attachments
  • Delete the email.

Who to contact?

Questions about how the emergency payment will be processed can be sent to support@novopay.govt.nz. 

In order to claim for any additional costs please email the resourcing helpdesk: resourcing@education.govt.nz.

For any other employment-related questions email employment.relations@education.govt.nz.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback