Pay, leave and personal development

This directory provides information about a variety of topics, including pay, allowances, entitlements and more.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Administrators

Further information on these subjects can be found in a staff member’s employment agreement, the conditions of which must be adhered to.


See basic information on pay for principals and teachers and find links to employment agreements.


Most principals and teachers are entitled to be paid one or more allowances.

Staffing incentive, isolation and priority teacher allowances

Allowances are paid to principals and teachers employed in schools that the Ministry has identified as needing additional support for recruitment or retention. These are also sometimes called ‘hard to staff’ schools.

Other allowances

Some of the other allowances you may be eligible for are:

Superannuation for principals and teachers

Your employer’s contribution to your superannuation is currently 3 per cent of your gross earnings, and you can choose to contribute an additional 3 per cent, 4 per cent or 8 per cent of your pay.

You may already belong to a superannuation scheme that’s closed to new members, such as the:

  • Teachers' Retirement Savings Scheme and the State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme, each with an employer contribution of up to 3 per cent of your gross salary.
  • Government Superannuation Fund, which has an employer contribution of 6.5 per cent or 7 per cent of your gross salary.
  • National Provident Fund, which has an employer contribution of up to 3 per cent of your gross salary.

If you belong to one of the old schemes and KiwiSaver, employer contributions can only be paid to KiwiSaver if the amount paid into the other scheme is less than the KiwiSaver contribution of 3 per cent. So, if your employer’s contribution to your other fund is 4 per cent you won’t get any payment into KiwiSaver as well. However, if the employer contribution to your other fund is only 2 per cent, you’ll also get 1 per cent paid into your KiwiSaver scheme.

Leave for principals and teachers

Principals and teachers are entitled to different types of leave. Your leave provisions, including how much time you can take, are set out in your employment agreement.

Non-teaching time for teachers

All teachers are entitled to time away from the classroom during their working week. Your employment agreement sets out how much time you’re entitled to.

Professional development

ESOL professional development

We provide resources and professional development support to help teachers and teacher aides develop their skills in working with English language learners.

Principal job shadow exchanges

Several job shadow and exchange opportunities are available for principals and aspiring principals.

Scholarships awards and funding for people working in schools

Find out about the scholarships, awards, funding and sabbaticals are available to principals and teachers.

Study and sabbatical leave

You may qualify for study leave or sabbatical leave if you’re completing a qualification, gaining another qualification so you can teach a different subject, or taking time off to research a topic of interest.

If you're shifting schools

If you are teaching staff and you are moving to work at another school, you may be eligible to receive a payment from the Ministry to assist with the costs of relocation.

Surplus staffing

Surplus staffing situations in your school must be managed carefully and considerately and meet all legal requirements.

Leaving your job

Some of the reasons your employment may end include illness, resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy. Your employment agreement sets out your entitlements and responsibilities for each situation.

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