Changing schools and holiday pay

This advice is about resigning from your current teaching position. It describes the period of notice a teacher should give their school, and what effect there may be on holiday pay

Minimum notice period is two months

If you are resigning from your teaching position the minimum notice period is two months (STCA 3.11 and ASTCA 2.8).

However, from a good faith perspective, the more notice a teacher can give their current school the better.

The Ministry of Education sets term dates for schools. The official last day for secondary and area schools maybe expressed as: “no later than Thursday 14 December or an earlier date if 380 half-days have been completed”.

For a fixed term or long-term relieving teacher the effective date of a resignation or the end of a fixed term or position must be a day that is normally worked by the teacher and on which the school is open for instruction.  

Date of resignation at the end of a school year

For a fixed term or long-term relieving teacher the effective date of a resignation (or the end of a fixed term position) must be a day that is normally worked by the teacher and on which the school is open for instruction.  An end of year resignation would be for the last in day of term 4. 

For a permanent teacher there are two options around the date that can be given for an end of year resignation. Neither will affect holiday pay.

The first date that could be given is the last day of the current school year. This requires is two months notice.

The second possibility is the day before school recommences in the following year. In practice that is a date of January 27th.

Uncertainty about what day to give is common because of variability in school start dates, so if unsure please contact your field officer.

Both the STCA (section 4.8) and the ASTCA (section 3.24) define holiday pay as the salary payable to teachers on cessation of service or for periods during which schools are closed for term vacations. Those provisions also state that any permanently appointed teacher, full-time or part-time, is paid for all intervening vacations. So a permanently employed teacher should be paid right through.

In practice this is what payroll does even given variability of school start dates.

It will certainly help avoid any problems if your current school notifies Novopay that you are transferring to another school.

Make sure that your PPTA membership also transfers to the new school and check your payslip to ensure member subs are active.

For permanent teachers there are two exceptions

If you have taken more than five days of leave without pay during a school year your holiday pay will be reduced.

You will lose 0.3 days holiday pay for every day of leave without pay (rounded to the nearest whole number of days).

If you took a holiday overseas for two weeks during term time, this is 14 unpaid days, as the weekends count if you are away for more than 5 days. You will also lose 4.2 days holiday pay, rounded down to 4 days. This will be deducted in a subsequent vacation period after you return.

If you resign and leave teaching, either during or at the end of a school year you will be paid, in your last pay, any holiday pay and unused annual leave owing.

This is calculated generally as 0.3 days holiday pay for each day of paid service (including weekends), minus any holiday pay already paid out in earlier vacation periods. The holiday pay covered by annual leave will be calculated separately.

Fixed term teachers

If your job continues into the next school year your school should let Education Payroll know.  This can ensure you are paid over term breaks.

If you are moving to a new school immediately after the holidays, ask your current school to inform Education Payroll. This may allow you to continue to be paid fortnightly.

When changing school and moving from one fixed term position to another fixed term position, work with both schools to set suitable end and start dates to minimise loss of holiday pay.

If you suspect that your position should really be permanent, then contact your field officer.


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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 October 2023 11:34