Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement

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Part Four: Holidays and Leave Provisions

Kindergarten Teachers, Head Teachers and Senior Teachers' Collective Agreement
Effective: 5 April 2023 to 4 April 2026

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  • 4.1 Public Holidays
      1. The following paid holidays shall apply to employees covered by this agreement: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, the second day of January, Good Friday, Easter Monday, ANZAC Day, Labour Day, the birthday of the reigning Sovereign, Waitangi Day, Matariki and the provincial anniversary day.
      2. Where an employee is required by their employer to work on a Public Holiday they shall be entitled to be paid in accordance with s.50 of the Holidays Act 2003(external link).
  • 4.2 Annual Leave
    • Note: The following provisions are inclusive of and not in addition to the provisions of the Holidays Act 2003.

      1. The overall objective of Part 4 of these clauses, together with 2.5, is to ensure that teachers receive a full years’ salary for each full year of employment.
          1. Teachers, other than short-term relievers, are entitled to six weeks paid annual holidays in respect of each completed 12 months of employment (Refer to s.16 of the Holidays Act 2003 for the impact of leave without pay on continuous employment).
          2. Teachers are entitled to one day's paid holiday to be taken between Christmas and New Year in addition to the annual holidays entitlement.
          3. Teachers employed in kindergartens that operate term breaks agree to take their annual holidays in advance of their entitlement falling due, during periods that the kindergarten is closed for instruction unless there is agreement between the employer and teacher to do otherwise.
          4. Any annual holidays unable to be taken when the kindergarten is closed for instruction must be taken by agreement.  Where agreement between the employer and teacher cannot be reached, the employer may direct the teacher to take annual holidays entitlement with not less than 14 days' notice; the employer cannot unreasonably withhold consent to a teacher's request to take annual holidays.
          5. Teachers employed in kindergartens that do not operate term breaks may take annual leave at any time during the year following prior agreement with the employer whose agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld. The employer must ensure that the teacher is able to take a two-week period of uninterrupted leave annually.
          6. For the purposes of calculating the entitlement to annual holidays, professional time (which includes term breaks) or the entitlement to be paid when the kindergarten is closed for instruction pursuant to 2.5 of this agreement:
              1. in the case of a resignation, the termination date will be the date the teacher nominates as the last date that they will be available to attend the kindergarten or elsewhere to carry out duties and responsibilities connected with their employment
              2. in the case of termination, the termination date of the teacher will be the date specified by the employer in the notice of termination in accordance with 2.12.
          7. Where a teacher's employment terminates on the last working day before a public holiday, the teacher will be entitled to be paid for the public holiday concerned.
          8. Where a teacher ceases employment before becoming entitled to annual holidays under clause 4.2.1(a), the employer will pay the teacher a sum equivalent to 12 percent of their gross earnings less any payments made to the teacher for annual holidays taken in advance.
          9. Where a teacher who has become entitled to annual holidays under clause 4.2.1(a) ceases employment before taking their full entitlement the employer must pay the teacher pon termination, or the proportion of annual holiday entitlement not taken.
          10. Where a teacher ceases  employment and has taken more annual holidays than their entitlement under clause 4.2.1(a), the employer will not recover the payment for those annual holidays.
  • 4.3 Sick Leave
    • Note: The following provisions are inclusive of and not in addition to the provisions of the Holidays Act 2003.Note: The following provisions are inclusive of and not in addition to the provisions of the Holidays Act 2003.

      1. From teachers’ appointment or leave anniversary date that falls on or after 1 January 2024, teachers, other than short term relievers, are entitled to 15 days sick leave on pay: upon appointment to a teaching position covered by this Agreement; and for each subsequent 12 months of completed continuous employment.
      2. Short-term relievers shall retain their sick leave accumulation and be entitled to future sick leave in accordance with the provisions of the Holidays Act 2003 or on the basis that every 190 days or 950 hours equals one year of sick leave employment, whichever is the greater.
      3. A short-term reliever who has accepted an offer of a period of short-term relief teaching and who cannot work on a day(s) during that period because they are sick, or because their spouse, partner, or someone dependent on the short-term reliever for care is sick, is entitled to paid sick leave for the day or hours they would have worked, provided they have sick leave entitlement available.
      4. Discontinuous employment with the same employer may be recognised for sick leave purposes.
      5. Sick leave not used in the year in which it is granted may be accumulated for use in the subsequent years, to a maximum of 306 days.
      6. In exceptional circumstances the employer may grant sick leave with pay in anticipation of a future entitlement.
      7. Where the teacher has anticipated sick leave, the necessary adjustment will be made to the teacher's final pay should the teacher's employment be terminated before the next sick leave entitlement falls due, unless the employer determines otherwise.
      8. Teachers will have sick leave debited from their entitlement only for absences on days the kindergarten is open for instruction, or a day stated in the calendar as professional leave and on days which the teacher would normally have worked.
      9. When sick leave of three days or more is taken, a medical certificate from a registered health practitioner must be produced at the teacher's expense if the employer so requires.
      10. Where the employer considers it warranted, the employer may at its expense require a teacher to produce a medical certificate or other evidence satisfactory to the employer, when less than three days' sick leave is taken.
      11. Domestic Leave
        The employer will grant sick leave under this sub-clause when the teacher is absent from work to attend a member of the teacher's family/whanau*, who through illness, is dependent upon the teacher. This leave will be debited against the teacher's sick leave entitlement.
        * The teacher's family / whanau includes the teacher's spouse or partner, a dependent child or dependent parent of the teacher or of the teacher's spouse or partner or any relative or person who is demonstrated to have a dependency on the teacher.
      12. Change of Employer
        A teacher who starts employment with a different Association, or comes from employment with the Early Childhood Service of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, is entitled to transfer up to 106 days accumulated sick leave. An employer may agree to transfer more days of accumulated sick leave at its discretion.
      13. Disregarded Sick Leave
        Sick leave not exceeding an overall aggregate of two years may be granted by the employer in circumstances where an illness can be traced directly to the conditions or circumstances under which the teacher is working, or where an injury suffered by the teacher in the discharge of duties occurred through no fault of the teacher, and where payment has not been made by the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation. Leave granted under this sub-clause will not be debited from the employee's sick leave entitlement.


  • 4.4 Bereavement / Tangihanga Leave
      1. An employee shall be granted bereavement leave with pay to discharge their obligation and/or pay their respects to a deceased person with whom they have had a close association. Such obligations may exist because of blood or family ties or because of particular cultural requirements such as attendance at all or part of a Tangihanga (or its equivalent).
      2. In granting time off therefore, and for how long, the employer must administer these provisions in a culturally sensitive manner, taking into account the following points:
          1. the closeness of the association between the employee and the deceased. (Note: This association need not be a blood relationship);
          2. whether the employee has to take significant responsibility for any or all of the arrangements to do with the ceremonies resulting from the death;
          3. the amount of time needed to discharge properly any responsibilities or obligations;
          4. reasonable travelling time should be allowed, but for cases involving overseas travel that may not be the full period of travel;
          5. a decision must be made as quickly as possible so that the employee is given the maximum time possible to make any arrangements necessary. In most cases the necessary approval will be given immediately, but may be given retrospectively where necessary;
          6. if paid leave is not appropriate then leave without pay should be granted, but as a last resort.
      3. In operating provisions of 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 above, the employer shall recognise at least the minimum entitlements provided under statute.
  • 4.5 Parental Provisions
    • Note 1: Attention is drawn to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 (PLEPA) (including partner’s leave). The provisions of the PLEPA apply to all employees. This includes entitlements for both partners to share the provisions of the PLEPA.

      Note 2: The following additional provisions shall also apply:

      1. Parental Leave
        1. Both permanent employees and long-term relievers are entitled to parental leave without pay, and protection of employment. An employee who wishes to take parental leave must notify their employer pursuant to Section 31 of the PLEPA.
          1. An employee with 12 months’ or more service shall be entitled to up to 12 months' leave from the date of birth, and may be granted up to 12 months' additional leave at the discretion of the employer.
          2. An employee with less than 12 months' service shall be entitled to six months' leave and may be granted up to six months' additional leave at the discretion of the employer.
        2. In the case of adoption, whāngai or Home for Life placement of a child under the age of six years, references to “date of birth” in clause 4.5.1.a are instead to be read as “date of assuming responsibility for the child”. The requirement for notice under 4.5.1.a above and 4.5.1.c below does not apply, but leave is subject to satisfactory evidence.
        3. Leave may commence at any time during the pregnancy subject to the employee giving the employer one month's notice in writing, supported by a medical certificate. A shorter period of notice shall be accepted on the recommendation of a medical practitioner.
        4. The employee's position shall be held open for the duration of parental leave. If a relieving teacher 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 is to return to work. Such date to be set in agreement with the employer. Advertised relieving vacancies will be tagged accordingly.
      2. Parental Grant
        1. Where a permanent employee or long term reliever takes primary carer leave under the PLEPA, and subsequently returns to work in a permanent or long-term relieving position in the Association that granted the leave, for a period of at least six weeks before or upon the expiry of their parental leave, that employee shall be paid at that time a parental grant as specified in 4.5.2.b. An employer may agree to pay the grant on departure for the leave or prior to return.
        2. The amount of the grant is calculated on the basis of six weeks’ full salary at the rate applicable to the employee in their last working week prior to the commencement of their parental leave. However, an employee who works less than full normal hours for a short period only, prior to taking leave, may have their case for full payment considered by the employer. When an employee is absent on leave for less than six weeks (30 working days), the full grant equivalent to six weeks’ salary is still payable. The parental grant is not reduced because salary is received.
          Note: "Birth" means the birth of a child, whether live or still born, within the meaning of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995.
  • 4.6 Court Leave
      1. An employee shall be entitled to paid leave for court service, provided that the employer shall be entitled to receive payment of any juror or witness fee from the employee.
  • 4.7 Special Purpose Leave
      1. The employer may grant leave with or without pay to a permanent full-time, permanent part-time or long-term relieving employee in accordance with the employer's leave policy. Such leave shall not be unreasonably withheld. In granting such leave, the employer may make provision for any necessary travelling time.
      2. Policy on special leave for family reasons shall recognise the following definition of family: The employee's spouse / partner, children, parents, or near relatives, which shall include grandparents, parents-in-law, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, kaumatua, kuia, mokopuna, whāngai / foster child and matua whāngai / foster parent.
        Note: Kaumatua / Kuia in the context of this provision means respected elder of the kin group or one who has close links with the kin group. The terms do not exist beyond those degrees of relationship.
  • 4.8 Domestic Violence Leave
    • 1. Leave as provided for by the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2018 is in addition to other leave allowances within this collective agreement. 

  • 4.9 Sabbatical Leave
      1. From the start of 2024, 20 paid sabbatical leave places, each of 10 weeks duration, will be available annually to Head Teachers, in accordance with the provisions of this clause.
      2. Sabbatical leave could be used for a wide range of purposes such as research, study, and/or reflection. Applications, which must be made in consultation with the employer, should identify the purpose(s) and the likely benefits of the sabbatical.
      3. Applications must use the process and meet the criteria developed by the Ministry, NZEI Te Riu Roa and Kindergarten Association employer representatives.