Measles information

The guidance helps schools and early learning services with both the prevention and management of confirmed and suspected measles cases.

Level of compliance Main audience Other

Required

  • Boards
  • All Early Learning Services 
  • Administrators 
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Public Health 

Schools and early learning services are required to keep an immunisation register as per the Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995. There are a number of staffing provisions schools are expected to follow detailed within this guidance, if staff (including non-teaching) are required to stay at home.

This is not a requirement for secondary schools.

About measles

Since March 2019, the number of confirmed cases of Measles has continued to grow, currently impacting multiple regions.

Information provided in this section may be branded by a specific Public Health Unit, however the material is useful for every school and early learning service across the country at this time.

Immunisation guidelines for early learning services and primary schools

The Health (Immunisation) Regulations 1995 require all early learning services and primary schools to keep an immunisation register of children attending their service or school.

The register can help reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in early childhood services or primary schools as well as the wider community, by providing an ongoing record.

  • It encourages completion of any outstanding immunisations.
  • It provides a reminder for parents or guardians to catch up with their child’s immunisations.

Immunisation guidelines for early learning services and primary schools — Healthed(external link)

Activity and travel advisory

It is important to consider any health related issues that may be ongoing in your community when planning activities and travel (domestically and internationally). Schools should consider seeking advice from your local District Health Board or Public Health Unit on any outbreaks or recommended immunisations for travellers, to assist in their planning and communications with students and parents.

Public health unit contacts

We encourage you to contact your local District Health Board or Public Health Unit if you have any questions or concerns.

Public health unit local contacts(external link)

Information for staffing provisions

During any period where a school is closed or staff are required to remain at home it is expected that schools will continue to pay staff for the days/hours they would have normally worked.

  • Adults who can provide documentation of two MMR vaccines or who were born in NZ before 1 January 1969 will not be impacted by preclusions, unless the school they are working at closes. These adults will be able to return to school once it reopens.
  • Adults born after 1 January 1969, who cannot provide documentation of vaccination for measles or who have not been immunised may be asked not to attend school.
  • These adults will not be able to return to school for a period of time specified by the DHB and/or medical officer of Health.
  • Staff may be able to return to work if they subsequently provide documentation of vaccine or immunity (staff should check with their local DHB or phone Health line on 0800 611 116 for advice and information about what is required).
  • Staff who cannot work for a period specified by the DHB and/or Medical officer of Heath, but who could do work from home, should do so.
  • For staff who are required to be absent but cannot work from home, the following measures are available to schools:

Note: disregarded sick leave is when time off for sickness or injury is not deducted from a teacher’s or principal’s sick leave balance. Only teachers or principals qualify for disregarded sick leave.

Teachers or principals

Situation

Leave Type

How to claim

Contracted measles in direct contact with another who has had measles

  • Recorded as sick leave
  • Can request disregarded sick leave
Email a request for disregarded sick leave to employment.relations@education.govt.nz
Include evidence that the period of preclusion was due to your illness or because you were in direct contact will someone who contracted measles (e.g. a letter from the Medical Officer of Health).

Have been in direct contact with someone with measles 

  • Recorded as sick leave
  • Can request disregarded sick leave

Email a request for disregarded sick leave to employment.relations@education.govt.nz
Include evidence that the period of preclusion was due to your illness or because you were in direct contact will someone who contracted measles (e.g. a letter from the Medical Officer of Health).

At home as a preventative measure because of immunisation status

  • The Secretary will fund up to two weeks discretionary special leave with pay
  • Only for the first instance with their school 

Send a request for discretionary special leave with pay using a NOVO12 to Novopay/EPL with the details of the absence.
Include a copy of the letter from the DHB that sets out the period of preclusion.
NB if discretionary special leave is sought in relation to a second instance of measles at a particular school, a detailed case will need to be made explaining why the affected teacher(s) were unable to be vaccinated immediately following the first instance of measles at the school.

Self-quarantine because of the immunisation status of a member of their household

Boards could consider granting domestic or family leave which will be deducted from the principal’s/teacher’s sick leave entitlement.

You are unable to claim.  This leave, if approved by the school, will be deducted from the employee’s leave entitlement, as per the relevant employment agreement.

Non-teaching staff

Situation

Leave Type

How to claim

Contracted measles in direct contact with another who has had measles

  • Schools can grant sick leave or discretionary leave, or
  • Seek funding where additional staff are employed
  • Schools can forward leave forms or
  • Enter leave in the usual manner.

At home as a preventative measure because of immunisation status

 

Information about seeking additional funding is outlined below.

Cannot be immunised due to medical reasons

  • The Secretary will fund up to 2 weeks discretionary special leave with pay for each outbreak.
  • Send a NOVO12 to Novopay/EPL with the details of the absence
  • Include a copy of the letter from the DHB that sets out the period of exclusion and
  • Include and a letter from their GP confirming they cannot be immunised.

Additional Funding

Relief teacher scheme

Additional relief teacher funding is available for schools employing relief teachers to cover teachers who have been precluded from attending/returning to school.

Non-teaching staff

Up to two weeks cover for non-teaching staff who have bene precluded from attending/returning to school is available for schools that need to employ additional non-teaching staff.

To make a claim for additional relief teacher or additional non-teaching staffing email resourcing@education.govt.nz including:

  • Whether it is for a relief teacher or non-teaching staff
  • The details and days the additional staff were employed and
  • A copy of the letter from the DHB or Medical Officer of Health that sets out the period of exclusion.

Our resourcing call centre will also be able to answer any questions that you have – phone 04 463 8383.

Note: for non-teaching staff who are precluded from returning due to their own immunisation status this additional funding will only be available following the first instance I the school, for up to two weeks. 

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