Appendix 3: Employment of relieving teachers

Managing expenditure of relief teacher funding

Each board’s expenditure will vary from year to year. Boards are advised to consider their previous relief teacher funding requirements and take into account any known budget demands such as professional development, special leave, ongoing illnesses or impending hospitalisation and/or surgery.

Surpluses and deficits arising from under and over expenditure on the employment of relief teachers, for whatever reason, are a board’s responsibility to manage from year to year as part of the overall financial management of the school.

Employment conditions

The employment conditions of relieving teachers are governed by the respective teachers’ Collective Agreement (CA).

Relieving teacher individual employment agreements

As with any other teacher, a relieving teacher may elect to be covered by the respective Collective Agreement (CA) or an Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) based on the CA and as promulgated by the Ministry. The current collective agreements and promulgated individual agreements are available of the ministry website at Any employment agreement must be reconfirmed at the beginning of each period of employment.

back to top

Implications of Individual Employment Agreements (IEA)

When employing a relieving teacher on an IEA, boards must ensure that the agreement specifies:

  • the reason for their employment (and relieving for a teacher on paid leave)
  • their weekly hours
  • the period of employment, including a finish date and the reason it is a fixed term agreement.

This is a single agreement, i.e., it is applied to a specific individual occupying a specific relieving position. When the same reliever is used to fill a position for another teacher on leave, a new agreement must be completed.

Templates are available from NZSTA’s website

Short-term extended to long-term agreements

Where a short-term agreement is extended to a long-term agreement to replace the same absent teacher on leave, the change in rate may occur on the date the board revises the agreement or when the short-tem relief period expires, whichever is the earlier.

A short-term reliever is employed for less than six weeks; a long term reliever is one employed for greater than six consecutive weeks.

Employment relationship

If the board is receiving Additional Relief Teacher Funding, this does not change the employment relationship between the employing board and the relieving teacher. The Ministry of Education only funds relievers, and is not the employer.

back to top

Daily pay rates

Relief teachers are paid at the following daily rates:

Agreement Primary, Area and Secondary Teachers' CAs
Remuneration (daily rate) 1/190 of appropriate annual salary (inclusive of holiday pay).
Maximum daily rate payable Not to exceed 1/190 of step 10 of the base scale (inclusive of holiday pay).

These rates apply irrespective of whether a relieving teacher’s employment is funded from the board’s operational funding (BG) or teachers’ salaries (TS).

Long-term relievers

Long-term relievers employed under a single Individual Employment Agreement to relieve in a teaching position during a teacher’s absence for a period in excess of six weeks will be paid at the appropriate rate (according to qualifications training, and experience) specified in the relevant CA.

Banking Staffing

Using the flexibility Banking Staffing offers, boards may choose to charge relief teachers to Teachers’ Salaries (TS). Before charging relievers to TS, boards should assure themselves that they will keep within their staffing entitlement for the year. Should a board overuse their entitlement, under the Banking Staffing policy, the Ministry will charge any over usage to the board at the rate promulgated at the time.

Content last updated: 9 February 2010