Primary Principals' (PPCBU) Collective Agreement

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Part 7: Leave

Primary Principals' (PPCBU) Collective Agreement
Effective: 1 December 2022 to 1 May 2025

  • 7.1 Annual Leave
    • 7.1.1 An employer may, during any period when the school is officially closed for instruction, require a principal 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 to that principal's employment.

      The employer 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.

      7.1.2 Principals will take their annual leave outside of the gazetted term dates, when the school is closed for instruction. Such leave shall be taken in the year in which it falls due, except where the Board and the principal agree, in writing, that the unused entitlement may be carried over to the following year.

  • 7.2 Statutory Holidays
    • 7.2.1 In accordance with the Holidays Act 2003(external link), a principal required by their employer to work on a Public Holiday shall be entitled to be paid time and a half for the day and to receive an alternative holiday (if the day would otherwise be a working day for the principal).

  • 7.3 Sick Leave
    • 7.3 Eligibility

      1. Subject to the translation provisions in Appendix 6, from 28 January 2024 a principal is entitled to sick leave on pay on account of sickness or injury based on the principal's aggregate employment as follows
          Entitlement Accumulated Entitlement
        Upon first appointment to a a teacher or principal (whichever is first) in a state or state or state integrated school 20 days 20 days
        6 months service 10 days 30 days
        12 months service 10 days 40 days
        18 months service 10 days 50 days
        24 months service 10 days 60 days
        30 months service 10 days 70 days
        Each subsequent 12 months of completed continuous service 10 days +10 days
      2. Up until 28 January 2024 principals' current entitlement under Table A or Table B (referred to in Appendix 6) shall continue to apply.
      3. The amount of sick leave available shall be the principal’s accumulated entitlement based on the principal's aggregate employment (as set out above), less the total amount of paid sick leave the principal has taken during their aggregate employment as a teacher or principal.
      4. For the purposes of sick leave, aggregate employment means:
        1. All full and part-time employment as a teacher or principal in any state or state-integrated school; plus
        2. Any employment recognised under clause 7.3.1(a) below, plus
        3. All short-term relief worked in any state or state-integrated school on the basis that every 190 days or 950 hours equals one year of employment.
      5. The amount of sick leave available to a principal returning to work covered by this collective agreement following a break in employment will be the balance that applied on their last day of employment plus any additional entitlement that may be credited under clause [7.3.1a] below. Any part-year employment completed prior to the break in service will be counted towards the timing of their next entitlement after return to service. Further entitlements will be granted when the principal reaches the next entitlement threshold as outlined in clause [7.3a] above.

      7.3.1 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 lslands, Tonga, Western 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, and
          • 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 may agree.
        3. Periods of secondment to Specified Education Sector Agency on a full-time or part-time basis, where that consists of employment with the 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 7.3.1 (a) shall be reduced by the amount of sick leave taken during the applicable periods of employment.

      7.3.2 Taking sick leave

      1. A principal who has sick leave entitlement available under clause 7.3(a) can take sick leave on pay when they are absent because they are sick or injured or 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 entitled.
      3. Principals will have sick leave deducted from their entitlement set out in clause 7.3(a) 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.

      7.3.3 Medical Evidence

      1. While a medical certificate will not normally be required for leave within 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 teacher 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.

      7.3.4 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. Tthere would be no staffing or timetabling problems for the school.
      2. The daily hours the principal does not work each week will be aggregated and deducted as sick leave as a proportion of the total hours they would usually work in that week.
      3. Nothing in this clause shall be read as a limitation on the rights and obligations on employees and employers under Parts 5AA and 6AB of the Employment Relations Act (which deal with flexible working arrangements).

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

      1. When a principal is absent on account of a work related injury by accident that is covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation, no sick leave will be deducted for the period of absence.
      2. Subject to section 71(4) of the Holidays Act 2003, when a principal is absent on account of a non-work related injury by accident covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation, the sick leave is deducted to make up the principal’s normal remuneration (provided the principal has a sick leave entitlement available) i.e. the payment of earnings related compensation plus the principal’s sick leave (where leave is available) will equal the principal’s normal renumeration.
  • 7.4 Disregarded Sick Leave
    • 7.4 Disregarded sick leave

      7.4.1 Disregarded sick leave not exceeding an overall aggregate of two years shall be granted by the Secretary 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:
        1. 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
        2. is otherwise required by a relevant Public Health Order to refrain from attending school for a specified period.
      4. 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
      5. The absence was due to war injury or service.

      7.4.2 Where sick leave has been deducted for any period granted as disregarded sick leave under clause 7.5.1 above, the sick leave will be reinstated.

      7.4.3 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 7.3 above.

      7.4.4 Fixed term or relieving principals shall only be granted disregarded sick leave, as provided for in 5.2.1 above, where they have been in continuous employment before the date of application.

  • 7.5 Holiday Pay Deductions
    • 7.5.1 Holiday pay is not reduced for periods of sick leave with pay. 

      7.5.2 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

      7.5.3 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 and should be advised of this when notified of the approval of sick leave without pay.

      7.5.4 Clause 7.5.2 above will apply to all fixed term or relieving teachers who have completed at least 90 calendar days continuous service.

  • 7.6 Bereavement / Tangihanga Leave
    • 7.6.1 An employer shall approve special bereavement/tangihanga leave on pay for a principal to discharge any obligation and/or to pay respects to a deceased person with whom the principal has 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.

      7.6.2 In granting leave the following must be taken into account:

      1. The closeness of association between the principal and the deceased. (Note: This association need not be a blood relationship);
      2. Whether the principal has to take significant responsibility for any or all of the arrangements to do with the ceremonies resulting from 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. When an unveiling ceremony occurs on a school working day, leave on pay shall be granted.
  • 7.7 Discretionary Leave
    • 7.7.1 The employer may, where there are special circumstances, grant discretionary leave with or without pay to any principal during periods when the school is officially open for instruction, provided that such leave does not unreasonably impinge upon the operational requirements of the school. Before approving any discretionary leave, the employer shall ensure that the granting of such leave complies with any funding arrangements applying to the school in respect of such leave.

      (Note: Where leave is granted for family reasons, family shall include: partner, child, sister, brother, parent, grandparent, grandchild, kaumatua, mokopuna, tamaiti whangai, matua whangai, near relative, near relative-in-law, a member of the household or a person dependent on the principal.)

      7.7.2 The employer shall give favourable consideration to granting discretionary leave to a principal who is absent from work to attend to a dependent of the principal.

  • 7.8 Parental Leave
    • Note: Principals are encouraged to contact the Employment New Zealand on 0800 20 90 20 for more information on parental leave.

      7.8.1 The provisions of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 shall apply, except in the case of superior provisions listed below.

      7.8.2 The Act provides entitlements to prospective parents, including those adopting a child under six years of age, who meet specific criteria, as set out in the Act. Those entitlements are:

      1. Special leave (pregnancy–related) of up to 10 days;
      2. Primary carer leave of up to 26 weeks;
      3. Extended leave of up to 52 weeks;
      4. Up to 26 weeks of parental leave payments;
      5. Partner’s leave of up to two weeks;

      7.8.3 In addition to a principal’s rights under this Act, the following shall apply:

      1. Principals intending to resign because of pregnancy or the birth of a child must be advised of their right to take parental leave;
      2. Primary carer 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;
      3. Any primary carer leave taken will not count against the extended leave entitlement;
      4. A principal with less than 52 weeks’ service shall be entitled to 26 weeks leave from the date of birth and may be granted up to 26 weeks additional leave at the discretion of the employer.
      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 Act to the employer, in addition to the Specified Education Sector Agency they are seconded to
        2. Provided the principal has met the notice requirements above, the employer will grant the principal sufficient leave that they are able to take up to 52 weeks unpaid leave from the date of birth, or in the case of adoption, whangai or Home for Life placement of a child under the age of six years from the date the principal becomes the primary carer.

      7.8.4 Parental Grant

      1. The parental grant is payable to a principal on production of a birth certificate or evidence of an approved adoption placement. This entitlement is payable if the principal qualifies for primary carer leave (refer the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987) or resigns because of pregnancy or adoption, except as follows: the parental grant is not payable where a principal has not produced a medical certificate confirming pregnancy, or confirmation from the relevant government department of suitability as an adoptive parent, before commencing leave or resigning. No provision is made for payment of a parental grant in the case of a miscarriage.
      2. The amount of the grant is calculated on the basis of six weeks full salary at the rate applicable, at the date of birth (or placement in the case of adoption), to the position from which the principal was granted leave of absence or resigned as the case may be. 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. When a principal is absent on primary carer 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 being received.

      Note: Principals on parental leave have access to the surplus staffing/school closure provisions of this Agreement.

  • 7.9 Study Leave
    • 7.9.1 A principal who applies for and is awarded one of the 75 full time equivalent study awards from the Ministry | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, available nationally each year to all primary teachers and principals, shall be granted leave on pay for the period of the study.

      7.9.2 In allocating study awards the good employer requirements of section 597 of the Education and Training Act 2020 shall be considered.

      7.9.3 Up to five of the 75 awards may be available to teachers or principals who intend to undertake an agreed project of research in education.

  • 7.10 Refreshment Leave
    • 7.10.1 Principals attested as meeting the principals’ professional standards in this Agreement shall be entitled (subject to clause 7.10.2) to take unpaid refreshment leave of one school term after three years in the school or up to one school year after five years in the school. When a period of refreshment leave has been taken, a further period of qualifying service in the school, from the date of return from leave, is required before the principal may be considered for further refreshment leave.

      7.10.2 Entitlement to refreshment leave in clause 7.10.1 is subject to:

      1. The employer’s ability to find a suitable reliever to fill the vacancy created by the principal taking the leave, including any consequential vacancy arising as a result of an existing employee acting in the principal’s position. A suitable reliever is a person who will be able, to the satisfaction of the employer, to relieve in the school during the period of the principal’s leave. The employer shall use reasonable endeavours to find a suitable reliever. Reasonable endeavours in this context means accessing suitable relievers from current staff, e.g., DP or AP and/or advertising locally if necessary; and does not mean advertising regionally or nationally except as required in this Agreement to fill a vacancy of one year’s duration. It does not require the employer to place more than one advertisement; and
      2. the principal not being subject to current competency or disciplinary processes.

      7.10.3 Time off on refreshment leave will count as service for the purposes of long service and severance calculations. It will not count for the purposes of sick leave or holiday pay calculations or for entitlement to public holidays.

      7.10.4 A principal taking refreshment leave shall not accept employment as a teacher or principal in another state or state-integrated NZ school. However, a principal may agree to undertake occasional day relief work.

      7.10.5 Periods of secondment to a Specified Education Sector Agency will not count towards qualifying service under clause 7.10.1 for a period of refreshment leave.

  • 7.11 Sabbatical Leave Scheme
    • 7.11.1 A sabbatical leave scheme for primary principals will apply according to the following: 

      1. There will be up to 105 full-time equivalent sabbaticals awarded annually (Note: this may result in sabbatical leave being awarded to more than 105 primary principals during one school year),
      2. A full-time equivalent sabbatical will be of ten 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.

      7.11.2 Entitlement to the sabbatical is subject to:

      1. service of at least five years as a primary 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; and
      3. the submission of a proposal of work to be undertaken during the sabbatical leave.

      7.11.3 The scheme is open to all primary principals, regardless of union membership.

      7.11.4 Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | The Ministry of Education will consult with relevant parties on any changes to the criteria for the scheme and its operation.

  • 7.12 Professional Development Release Time for First Time Principals
    • 7.12.1 First time principals employed in a U1 to U2 grade primary school shall receive 10 days’ development release time over an 18 month period to be used for professional learning opportunities designed to improve their management and professional learning leadership capability.

  • 7.13 Family Violence Leave
    • 7.13.1 Leave as provided for by the Holidays Act 2003 is in addition to other leave allowances within this collective agreement.