Area School Principals' Collective Agreement

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Area School Principals' Collective Agreement [PDF, 794 KB]

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Changes to the agreement

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Changes to the Area School Principals’ Collective Agreement 2023-25

Part 5: Leave

Area School Principals' Collective Agreement
Effective: 3 July 2023 to 2 July 2025

  • 5.1 Leave Entitlement
    • 5.1.1 Subject to clause 5.1.2 the Principal shall be entitled to annual leave during the periods when the school is officially closed for instruction.

      5.1.2 During any period when the school is closed for instruction the Board may require the Principal, either generally or in respect of any specific matter, to:

        1. Undertake duties or responsibilities required during that period for the proper management of the school; or
        2. Attend at the school or elsewhere for other purposes connected with the Principal’s employment.

      The Board will however endeavour to arrange matters at the school in such a way that any requirement that the Principal undertake duties or attend at the school when the school is officially closed for instruction is not unreasonable.

  • 5.2 Sick Leave
      1. Until 27 January 2024 a principal is entitled to sick leave on pay on account of sickness or injury as follows:
        Length of service Aggregated sick leave entitlement
        Up to 3 months 7 days
        Over 3 months and up to 6 months 14 days
        Over 6 months and up to 9 months 31 days
        Over 9 months and up to 5 years 46 days
        Over 5 years and up to 10 years 92 days
        Over 10 years and up to 20 years 154 days
        Over 20 years and up to 30 years 229 days
        Over 30 years 306 days
      2. From 28 January 2024 a principal is entitled to sick leave on pay on account of sickness or injury as follows:
            Entitlement Accumulated Entitlement
        Upon first appointment to a teaching position
        in a state or state integrated school
        20 days 20 days
        6 months aggregate employment 10 days 30 days
        12 months aggregate employment 10 days 40 days
        18 months aggregate employment 10 days 50 days
        24 months aggregate employment 10 days 60 days
        30 months aggregate employment 10 days 70 days
        Each subsequent 12 months of completed aggregate employment 10 days + 10 days
      3. The amount of sick leave available shall be the Principal’s aggregated sick leave entitlement set out in the table above, less the total amount of sick leave with pay the Principal has taken during their teaching service to date.
      4. Where a Principal has exhausted their current entitlement set out in the table in clause 5.2.2(a):
        1. in each subsequent year the employer will allow the Principal to anticipate up to five days’ paid sick leave.
        2. in exceptional circumstances the employer may grant further anticipated sick leave with pay in excess of the entitlement set out in clause 5.2.2(a), provided that no extension is granted beyond the 306 days.
        3. any anticipated sick leave taken under (i) or (ii) above will be deducted from the Principal’s next entitlement under 5.2.2(a) when that entitlement becomes due
      5. Where a Principal has exhausted their entitlement set out in the table in clause 5.2.2(a) and has no future entitlement under 5.2.2(c), the Principal shall be granted sick leave in accordance with the Holidays Act 2003.

      5.2.1 Recognition of additional employment for sick leave purposes

      1. Upon first appointment to a teaching or principal position (whichever is first) in a state or state integrated school, or following a break in employment, the following employment outside of teaching service in state or state-integrated schools will be recognised for sick leave purposes:
        1. Employment as a teacher or principal in a New Zealand free kindergarten association, university, or polytechnic and/or employment as a teacher in Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa or Niue registered schools. For this purpose, permanent part-time employment and non-permanent employment that consists of employment for 20 hours or more per week will be recognised as full-time employment under this Agreement.  Non-permanent part-time employment of less than 20 hours per week will be credited as follows:
          • 80 hours are recognised as the equivalent of one month of employment under this Agreement, or
          • 1000 hours are recognised as the equivalent of one year of employment under this Agreement.
        2. Employment in the New Zealand Public Service and/or Armed Forces may be credited on such terms as the Secretary for Education may agree.
        3. Periods of secondment to Specified Education Sector an Employing Agency on a full-time or part-time basis, where that consists of employment with the Employment Agency for 20 hours or more per week. The principal shall provide a certificate of service at the cessation of each secondment confirming their service while seconded and any sick leave that they took while seconded. Any sick leave taken during the secondment will be deducted from the principal’s sick leave balance at the end of the secondment.
      2. Any sick leave entitlement credited under clause 5.2.1(a) shall be reduced by the amount of sick leave taken during the applicable periods of employment.

      5.2.2 Taking sick leave

      1. A principal who has sick leave entitlement available under clause 5.2(a) or 5.2(b) may take sick leave on pay when they are absent because they are sick or injured or where the principal's spouse, partner, or someone dependent on the principal for care is sick or injured.
      2. The employer may grant paid sick leave in advance from the principal’s next annual entitlement i.e., up to 10 days, which will be deducted from their next entitlement.
      3. Principals will have sick leave deducted from their entitlement above as follows:
        1. Sick leave is only deducted on days that the school is open for instruction, and on days which the principal would normally have worked.
        2. Sick leave will not be deducted for an absence that is less than two hours.

      5.2.3 Medical Evidence

      1. While a medical certificate will not normally be required for leave taken in periods of less than five consecutive days, where it is considered warranted, an employer may require a principal to produce a medical certificate or other evidence of sickness or injury satisfactory to the employer. If so, the employer will agree to meet the employee’s reasonable expenses in obtaining the proof.
      2. When more than five consecutive days sick leave is taken, the employer may require the principal to provide a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner at the employee’s expense. If the principal cannot obtain a medical certificate, other evidence of sickness or injury satisfactory to the employer may be provided.
      3. When a period of sick leave exceeds 14 days the employer may require the principal to:
        1. provide a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner stating the expected date the principal will be able to return to work. The employer may require the principal to provide further medical certificates should the sick leave continue beyond the expected date of return stated in this or subsequent medical certificates.
        2. obtain a second medical opinion from an independent registered health practitioner nominated by the employer and agreed to by the principal provided that such agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld. The cost of a second medical opinion will be met by the employer.

      5.2.4 Principals temporarily working reduced hours on account of sickness

      1. The employer may allow, at its discretion, a principal who has been on sick leave to return to duty on a reduced hours basis if:
        1. the principal’s doctor recommends and provides a medical clearance for the return to work, and
        2. there would be no staffing or timetabling problems for the school.
      2. The daily hours not worked for each week will be aggregated and debited against sick leave on the basis of a five hour day. For example, where a full-time principal is present for:
        1. 20 timetabled hours in one week = 5 hours absent = 1 day sick leave debited
        2. 17.5 timetabled hours in one week = 7.5 hours absent = 1.5 days sick leave debited
        3. Whole days or half days of absence are to be debited as whole or half day
      3. Nothing in this clause shall be read as a limitation on the rights and obligations on employees and employers under Parts 6AA and 6AB of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (which deal with flexible working arrangements).

      5.2.5 Absences due to an injury or accident covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation

      1. When the absence is on account of injury by accident and earnings related compensation is payable to the Principal, normal pay is to continue and the Secretary for Education is to obtain reimbursement of earnings related compensation from the Accident Compensation Corporation in accordance with the usual procedures.
      2. If the accident was work related there is no debit against sick leave entitlement. However, if the accident was non-work related, the sick leave entitlement is debited to the extent to which the salary payable for time actually worked plus the earnings related compensation is made up to give normal full salary (provided the Principal has a sick leave entitlement available).

      5.2.6 Disregarded sick leave

      1. Disregarded sick leave not exceeding an overall aggregate of two years shall be granted by the Secretary for Education where in the opinion of the Secretary one of the following conditions has been met:
        1. The sickness can be traced directly to the conditions or circumstances under which the Principal is working; or
        2. The injury occurred in the discharge of the Principal’s duties through no fault of the Principal and where no payment has been made by the Accident Compensation Corporation; or
        3. The Principal has contracted a notifiable disease listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Health Act 1956, and the Principal is either:
        4. • complying with a written request or direction from a Medical Officer of Health under the Health Act 1956 to refrain from attending school for a specified period, or
        5. • is otherwise required by a relevant Public Health Order to refrain from attending schools for a specified period which requires the Principal to be excluded from school for a period prescribed under Schedule 2 of the Health (Infectious and Notifiable Diseases) Regulations 1966 or for a period determined by a Medical Health Officer; or
        6. The Principal has contracted hepatitis or tuberculosis, where the period of disregarded sick leave is the time that the Principal’s treating registered medical practitioner decides is necessary for the Principal to remain away from school; or
        7. The absence was due to war injury or service.
      2. Where sick leave has been deducted for any period granted as disregarded sick leave under 5.2.6(a)(i) to 5.2.6(a)(v) above, the sick leave will be reinstated.
      3. Disregarded sick leave is additional to any period of absence on account of sickness or injury to which the Principal is entitled with full salary in accordance with the scale set out in clause 5.2(a) and clause 5.2(b) above.
      4. Fixed term or relieving Principals shall only be granted disregarded sick leave, as provided for in 5.2.6(a) above, where they have been in continuous employment before the date of application.

      5.2.7 Holiday pay deductions

      1. Holiday pay is not reduced for periods of sick leave with pay.
      2. When Principals have used their current sick leave entitlement holiday pay may be reduced for periods of sick leave without pay on the following conditions:
        1. no deduction is to be made from the holiday pay of Principals for periods of sick leave without pay for periods not exceeding 90 calendar days in any one school year.
        2. where the total amount of sick/accident leave without pay is in excess of 90 calendar days the deduction is based on the period subsequent to the initial 90 calendar days. The initial 90 calendar days are unaffected.
      3. Principals with a current sick leave entitlement who apply to receive sick leave without pay will have holiday pay reduced in proportion to the unpaid leave taken (as per clause 3.24.3 of the ASTCA) and should be advised of this when notified of the approval of sick leave without pay.
  • 5.3 Other Leave
    • 5.3.1 The Principal shall be entitled to other leave during this agreement, calculated and taken in accordance with the leave provisions applying to teachers in the School. Except as otherwise provided in this agreement, this will be based on the aggregate of the Principal’s previous service in the Education Service and under this agreement, except for periods of secondment to a specified Education Sector Agency.
      Note 1: The maximum refreshment leave to which a Principal in receipt of the allowance for the Community Leadership role is entitled is one school term. Any request for refreshment leave will not be granted unless it has the support of their employing Board which shall first consider the needs of the wider Community. 
      Note 2: A Principal in receipt of the Principal Recruitment Allowance is limited to Refreshment Leave of a maximum of one school term. The Principal Recruitment Allowance will not be payable in this period of leave.

  • 5.4 Previous Service for Leave Entitlements
    • 5.4.1 Except as otherwise provided in this agreement, the provisions and policy relating to the crediting of previous service outside the Education Service for leave entitlements and the taking of accumulated leave at the end of service applying to teachers in the school shall continue to apply to the Principal for the purposes of calculation of any leave entitlement which the Principal may be entitled to under this agreement.

  • 5.5 Special Leave
    • 5.5.1 Nothing in this agreement shall limit the authority of the Board to grant to the Principal such special leave, whether with or without pay, as the Board considers appropriate to enable the Principal to undertake professional development training. The Board shall have regard to the need to ensure that the Principal receives training appropriate to the requirements of the position. Before approving any discretionary leave the Board shall ensure that the granting of such leave complies with any funding arrangements applying to the School in respect of such leave.

  • 5.6 Paid Sabbatical Leave Scheme
    • 5.6.1 A sabbatical leave scheme for Principals will apply according to the following:

        1. There will be thirteen (13), increasing to eighteen (18) from the 2024 school year, full-time equivalent sabbaticals awarded annually (Note this may result in sabbatical leave being awarded to more than thirteen or eighteen, as applicable Area School Principals during one school year).
        2. A full time equivalent sabbatical will be of ten (10) weeks duration paid at the rate of the Principal’s normal pay.
        3. Principals may apply for ten week, five week or three week sabbaticals; however, ten week sabbaticals will be allocated first.
        4. A ten week sabbatical may, with the Board’s approval, be taken in two blocks during one school year. Each block must be whole weeks in duration and the smallest block must be for at least three weeks.

      5.6.2 Te Rau Titoki Leave

      Te Rau Titoki refers to the Titoki tree that flowers only in the spring. The seed is held on the tree for a year and then falls to the ground to become the Titoki tree. In that year on the tree the Titoki seed grows, matures and everything that is needed to be the Titoki tree is developed.

        1. At least five (5) of the total full-time equivalent sabbaticals provided for in clause 5.6.1 above will be for the purpose of Te Rau Titoki leave. However the panel may apply discretion on the overall allocation of sabbaticals based on the applications received.
        2. Principals may apply for up to three (3) sabbaticals to be taken consecutively for the purpose of Te Rau Titoki leave. Te Rau Titoki leave must be taken in one consecutive block and cannot be split as envisaged in 5.6.1(d) above.

      5.6.3 Entitlement to sabbatical/Te Rau Titoki leave is subject to:

        1. service of at least five years as a Principal in the state sector. Time spent on secondment to a specified Education Sector Agency is not recognised as service for the purposes of this clause;
        2. application by the Principal which has the support of their school Board;
        3. and the submission of a proposal of work to be undertaken during the sabbatical leave.

      5.6.4 The criteria for the scheme and its operation is developed by the Ministry, the NZEI, the PPTA and the NZSTA. The award of the sabbatical leave, including Te Rau Titoki leave, will be by a panel with representation from the four organisations.

      5.6.5 At the time of application for sabbatical leave, excluding Te Rau Titoki leave, a Principal may also apply for the reimbursement of costs associated with the work proposal for the sabbatical to a maximum of $5,000 and subject to clause 5.7 below. The panel established under clause 5.6.3 will decide whether the reimbursement of costs will be approved, and whether approved in part or full.

  • 5.7 Reimbursement of Costs Associated With Sabbatical Leave
    • 5.7.1 Consideration may be given by the panel established under clause 5.6.4 to the reimbursement of costs, to a maximum of $5,000, where such costs are clearly associated with the proposal of work for a sabbatical in accordance with the agreed criteria developed by the parties and NZSTA. The maximum total cost of reimbursements for costs associated with the sabbatical leave scheme in clause 5.6 for any one school year shall not exceed $50,000.

      Note: Reimbursement of costs is not applicable in respect of sabbaticals that are used for the purpose of Te Rau Titoki leave.

  • 5.8 Parental Provisions
    • 5.8.1 The Principal is entitled to take parental leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 (PLEPA). In addition to the Principal’s rights under the PLEPA the following shall apply:

        1. Parental leave may commence at any time during the pregnancy subject to the Principal giving the employer one month’s notice in writing, supported by a medical certificate. A shorter period of notice will be accepted on the recommendation of a medical practitioner. The Principal can take up to 12 months’ unpaid leave from the date of birth, or in the case of adoption, whāngai or Home for Life placement of a child under the age of six years, from the date the Principal or their spouse or partner becomes the primary carer.
        2. A Principal with 12 months’ or more service shall be entitled to up to a further 12 months’ unpaid leave (bringing the total entitlement to a maximum of 24 months’ continuous leave including leave taken prior to the birth of the Principal’s child) subject to notifying their employer in writing of their intention to take this leave within 9 months from the date of commencing leave under 5.8.1(a).
        3. The Principal’s position will be held open subject to the school closure provisions of Schedule B of this agreement, for the duration of their parental leave. If a relieving Principal is employed it will be a condition of the relieving appointment that it will be terminated by the employer concerned within one month from the date that the permanent incumbent gives notice of intention to return to work early. A Principal must give their employer at least one month’s notice if it is their intention to return to work before their parental leave expires. This provision shall not apply in the case of a Principal who has had a miscarriage or a stillborn child. In such cases the Principal may elect to return to work immediately.
        4. A Principal intending to resign because of pregnancy must be advised of their right to take parental leave.
        5. If a principal is granted parental leave, or leave equivalent to parental leave while seconded to a Specified Education Sector Agency, the following provisions will apply:
          1. the Principal must give the same notice(s) which would otherwise apply under the PLEPA to the employer, in addition to the Specified Education Sector Agency they are seconded to
          2. Provided the principal has met the notice period above, the principal is entitled to the benefits of 5.8.1(b)-(d) inclusive.

      Note: Employment as a long-term reliever covering a Principal on parental leave does not generate an entitlement to permanency in the event that the Principal on leave resigns.

      5.8.2 Parental grant
      A Principal who takes parental leave in order to be the primary carer, or resigns due to pregnancy, is entitled to a payment equal to six weeks’ salary calculated at the rate applicable in the Principal’s last working week prior to commencement of their leave or date of resignation. However, a Principal who works less than full normal hours for a short period only, prior to taking primary carer leave, may have their case for full payment considered by the employer. The payment is not pro-rated if the Principal takes less than six weeks’ leave. The grant is payable following production of a birth certificate or suitable evidence of placement.
      Primary carer means:
      The biological mother of the child, or their spouse or partner, where they take primary responsibility for the care, development, and upbringing of the child during the first six weeks of parental leave.
      In the case of adoption, whāngai or Home for Life placement, the person who takes permanent primary responsibility for the care development and upbringing of the child.

      5.8.3 Sick leave during pregnancy and while on Parental Leave

        1. Periods of illness due to pregnancy prior to the birth may be charged against the Principal’s sick leave entitlement. Normal rules for sick leave with regard to production of a medical certificate apply.
        2. Once the Principal has commenced parental leave, any day(s) of sickness must be leave without pay and in no circumstances may a Principal have an absence during or following the birth of the child credited against their sick leave entitlement.

      5.8.4 Leave to attend partner at birth of their child.

        1. Permanently appointed Principals will be granted two (2) days’ paid leave to attend their partner at the birth of their child.
        2. Reasonable notice must be provided to the employer before and at the time of the Principal taking leave.
  • 5.9 Family Violence Leave
    • Family Violence Leave as provided for by the Holidays Act 2003 is in addition to other leave allowances within this collective agreement.

  • 5.10 Unexpected Event Leave
    • 5.10.1 Leave with or without pay may be granted for the following purposes subject to the criteria set out below being met:

      1. Where a principal is required or directed not to attend school by a Medical Officer of Health under Part 3A of the Health Act 1956 or a Public Health Order and is not eligible for disregarded sick leave and cannot work remotely (up to seven days’ leave with pay may be granted).
      2. Where a principal is unable to attend school because of a natural disaster and cannot work remotely (up to seven days’ leave with pay may be granted).