STCA 2013 Part Six: Leave

6.2 Sick Leave

Link to PPTA webpage Sick leave: PPTA guide to the STCA and ASTCA provisions

Link to external website Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Sick leave advice

6.2.1 Eligibility

These conditions apply to full-time permanent teachers, permanent part-time and nonpermanent part-time teachers and teachers appointed to long-term relieving or fixed-term fulltime vacancies advertised in the Education Gazette.

6.2.2 Entitlement

A teacher who is granted on application leave of absence on account of sickness or injury not arising out of or in the course of the teacher's employment shall be entitled to sick leave on pay for a period or periods not exceeding a total amount determined in accordance with the scale set out in the following table. The period of sick leave due at any time shall be the amount specified in the following table, less the total amount of sick leave with pay that the teacher has already taken during her/his teaching service.

Length of Service Aggregate period for which sick leave on payment be granted during service
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


(i) Where a teacher has exhausted the entitlement prescribed in the table set out in clause 6.2.2, the employer will allow the teacher to anticipate up to five days' paid sick leave in each subsequent year in accordance with the Holidays Act 2003. The amount of anticipated sick leave taken will be deducted from the teacher's next entitlement under 6.2.2 when that entitlement becomes due.

(ii) In exceptional circumstances the employer may grant further sick leave with pay in excess of the periods prescribed in the table set out in clause 6.2.2 in anticipation of future entitlements, provided that no extension may be granted beyond the 306 days. The amount of anticipated sick leave taken will be deducted from the teacher's next entitlement under 6.2.2 when that entitlement becomes available.
(iii) A teacher who has exhausted their sick leave entitlement and who has no future entitlement under 6.2.2 shall be granted sick leave in accordance with the Holidays Act 2003.

(b) For the purposes of clause 6.2.2 above, disregarded sick leave not exceeding an overall aggregate of two years may be granted under conditions prescribed by the Secretary for Education.

(c) Notwithstanding clause 6.2.2 above, a short-term relieving teacher has a sick leave entitlement on the basis of service completed since the last date of permanent employment, with a maximum entitlement (after three months' service) of 14 days in the aggregate unless the Secretary for Education approves otherwise.

(d) Notwithstanding clause 6.2.2 above, retired teachers have a new sick leave entitlement based on service from the date they commenced teaching after their retirement.

(e) Part-time teachers shall have each day of absence deducted as a full day from the entitlement in clause 6.2.2 above. The days to be deducted shall be only those days which would normally have been worked and shall not include any intervening free days except where the part-time teacher works on five days of the week when as with full-time teachers, the intervening weekend days will be counted as sick leave.

6.2.3 The sick leave entitlement is to be administered as follows:

(a) For the purposes of this clause "service" in relation to the total period of a teacher's service means full-time employment as a teacher by a former education board, a secondary school board, a school board of trustees, the controlling authority of a technical institute or community college, a free kindergarten association, a teachers' college, the Ministry of Education or the former Department of Education, a university, or an agricultural college; as a teacher in Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Western Samoa or Niue, and active military service. Service as an officer in any branch of the New Zealand Government service (including the armed forces) may be equated to education service for sick leave purposes on such terms as the Secretary for Education may approve. Non-permanent part-time teaching service is assessed on the basis that 80 hours equals one month's service or 1,000 hours equals one year's service, and so on for periods in excess of this. Where non-permanent part-time service consists of 20 or more class contact hours per week it may be credited as full-time service.

(b) Service does not include study time either before entry into the education service or during a period of unemployment (although it would include study time while on leave with pay), teaching in private schools (except for teachers in integrated schools), teaching overseas except in the Pacific countries listed in subclause 6.2.3(a) above, trade service, or service with the armed forces of an allied power.

(c) The employer shall grant sick leave with pay as follows:

(i) When sick leave in excess of five days is taken a medical certificate from a registered medical or dental practitioner must be produced; provided that for leave between 6-14 days other evidence satisfactory to the employer may be produced if the teacher cannot obtain a medical or dental certificate.

(ii) For periods of sick leave in excess of 14 days an employer may require the teacher to provide a medical certificate from a registered medical or dental practitioner stating the expected date the teacher will be able to return to work. The employer may require the teacher to provide further medical certificates when sick leave continues beyond the expected date of return stated in this or subsequent medical certificates.

(iii) When an employer has required the teacher to provide a medical certificate under clause 6.2.3 (c) (ii) above, the employer may also require the teacher to obtain a second medical opinion from an independent registered medical or dental practitioner nominated by the employer and agreed to by the teacher provided that such agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld. The cost of a second medical opinion sought under this sub-clause will be met by the employer.

(iv) An employer may delegate to the principal, authority to grant leave of up to five days but any exercise of this authority must be reported to the employer immediately. While a medical certificate will not normally be required for leave of up to five days, where it is considered warranted, an employer may require a teacher to produce a medical certificate or other evidence satisfactory to the employer.

(d) Disregarded sick leave not exceeding an overall aggregate of two years shall be granted by the Secretary for Education in the following circumstances:

(i) The sickness can be traced directly to the conditions or circumstances under which the teacher is working; or

(ii) The injury was suffered by the teacher in the discharge of duties through no fault of the teacher; and in circumstances where payment has not been made by the Accident Compensation Corporation; or

(iii) In the opinion of the Secretary for Education, the absence was due to war injury or to war service; or

(iv) The absence was due to the teacher contracting a disease which, in the opinion of the Secretary for Education was for the time being epidemic, or by reason of the teacher being in contact with a person suffering from such a disease and being required to undergo a period of isolation in accordance with a decision made under regulations administered by the Health Department.
In the case of hepatitis, however, the period of disregarded sick leave is the time that the teacher's doctor decides is necessary for the teacher to remain away from school.

(e) An employer may grant a teacher who contracts tuberculosis disregarded sick leave with full salary for a period of up to six months in addition to any period of leave of absence on account of sickness or injury to which the teacher is entitled with full salary in accordance with the scale set out in clause 6.2.2 above if the teacher enters, or is placed on a waiting list for entry to, a recognised institution.

(f) Notwithstanding 6.2.3(e) above, holders of long-term relieving and fixed-term fulltime appointments and teachers available for and eligible for future permanent appointments shall only be granted disregarded sick leave, as provided for in 6.2.3(d) above, where they have been in continuous employment before the date of application and have been medically examined before entry into the teaching service.

(g) No deduction is to be made from the holiday pay of teachers for periods of sick leave without pay for periods not exceeding three months (90 days) in any one school year. Where the total amount of sick/accident leave without pay is in excess of three months (90 days) the deduction is based on the period subsequent to the three months (90 days). The initial three months (90 days) are unaffected. In order to receive the benefits of holiday pay for periods of sick leave without pay, a teacher must first have used her/his current sick leave entitlement. Teachers with current entitlements to sick leave are not covered by the non reduction in holiday pay provisions if they apply to receive sick leave without pay instead. They should be advised of this when notified of the approval.

(h) When a person transfers from the Public Service to a position in the teaching service, sick leave taken as a public servant is converted to teachers' sick leave as follows:
Where the Teachers' Sick Leave Entitlement on Years of Service (T) ÷ Public Servants' Sick Leave Entitlement on Years of Service (P) x Sick Leave taken as a Public Servant (S) = Equivalent number of days of sick leave as if taken as a teacher (E).
T/P x S = E

(i) Teachers temporarily working reduced hours on account of sickness.
The employer may allow at its discretion a teacher who has been on sick leave to return to duty on a reduced hours basis if the teacher's doctor so recommends and provides a medical clearance, and there would be no staffing or timetabling problems for the school. This arrangement should not, however, normally be allowed to continue for more than six weeks. The following provisions apply:

(i) The daily hours not worked are to be aggregated and debited against sick leave on the basis of a five-hour day.

(ii) Whole days or half-days of absence are to be debited as whole or half-days.

(iii) When the absence is on account of injury by accident and earnings related compensation is payable to the teacher, 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.

(iv) 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, of course, the teacher has a sick leave entitlement available).