COVID-19: Australia bubble

Staff undertaking travel to Australia from 19 April, 2021

From 19 April, quarantine free travel will begin between New Zealand and Australia, meaning from this date people will be able to travel between the countries without the requirement to enter managed isolation on arrival. We know it has been a difficult year for many, including those who may have been separated from friends and whānau in Australia.
 
The current travel advisory for Australia notes that there is a possibility that quarantine free travel could pause (to assess risk) or suspend for a longer period of time and travellers should be prepared for their travel plans to be disrupted. More information can be found on the SafeTravel website.
 
Staff who choose to undertake travel to Australia during the upcoming school holidays and who either face delays in returning to New Zealand and/or are required to enter managed isolation on their return to New Zealand will not be entitled to Ministry funded discretionary paid leave. If you have staff travelling to Australia, boards are able to provide the following:
 
Teaching staff

  • Unpaid discretionary leave.
  • In rare circumstances a board may fund paid discretionary leave where the reason for travel is agreed beforehand as necessary and compelling. The Ministry will not provide funding for this.
  • Making arrangements to work from managed isolation (where possible) – this will be paid as normal.

Specialist and support (non-teaching) staff

  • Unpaid discretionary leave.
  • Paid annual leave where the employee has sufficient annual leave available.
  • In rare circumstances a board may fund paid discretionary leave where the reason for travel is agreed beforehand as necessary and compelling. The Ministry will not provide funding for this.
  • Making arrangements to work from managed isolation (where possible) – this will be paid as normal.

Day relief and casual staff

  • Casual employees will not be entitled to leave, unless you have a pre-arranged booking for the start of Term 2, in which case the leave outlined above applies. These employees will not be entitled to support provided by the Ministry if they are required to enter managed isolation on their return to New Zealand.

If you have staff who are travelling, remind them to consider what could happen if travel restrictions are announced and decide on an arrangement before they travel. Additional funding is not available for relief staff employed to cover a teacher who is required to enter managed isolation on their return to New Zealand. The costs can be offset from the leave without pay taken by affected staff.
 
COVID-19 diagnosis while travelling or upon return to New Zealand

If a staff member becomes ill or is injured (either while in Australia or New Zealand) and is unable to return to work during term time then sick leave applies as usual. This includes if they fall sick or are injured during a period of managed isolation.
 
If a teacher or principal is sick with COVID-19 during the school term then sick leave should be recorded and they are entitled to have this sick leave disregarded on application. Additional Relief Teacher Funding (ARTF) will also apply as usual.

Last modified on Friday, 9 April 2021 15:56