Leave management

School boards and principals need to establish policy and procedures to manage employee leave. 

Leave must be managed to balance the operational needs of the school with the individual needs of the employee, and to minimise financial risk and meet legal obligations.

Why leave management is important

  • The health and well-being of employees is promoted through both the regular use of annual holidays and access to their sick leave provision, as required.
  • Boards must meet their statutory obligation to allow employees to use their legal entitlements in a manner that is consistent with the Holidays Act 2003 and their employment agreement.
  • Boards can reduce the risk of incurring a significant annual leave liability. Failure to manage annual leave appropriately could result in a large payment owing at one time. Leave liabilities must be included in the board’s annual financial statements.
  • By managing leave balances, boards can ensure adequate coverage to meet the operational needs of the school.

Providing the school uses EdPay to record all leave taken by its employees, the system records will meet the Holidays Act 2003 requirements for holiday and leave record keeping. See Payroll record keeping.

Roles and responsibilities

The following table describes key leave management responsibilities for schools. Depending on the size of the school and delegations in place, some roles may differ, or the role may be split across more than one person.

Role Responsibilities
School board

As the employer, the board is responsible for:

  • establishing an employee leave policy, which can be included within the board’s personnel policy. See Introduction to the board's role as an employer for a personnel policy example on the NZSTA website.
  • monitoring employee leave balances via the principal and payroll leave reports
  • managing and monitoring the principal’s leave
  • ensuring any discretionary leave requests are considered in line with policy and employment agreements
  • ensuring the resolution of any significant leave liability is in line with policy.
Principal or authorised delegate

As the operational delegate of the board, the principal is responsible for ensuring that:

  • clear employee leave procedures are established and implemented in line with board policy.
  • employee annual leave balances and sick leave usage is monitored each fortnight
  • financial liabilities are prevented, by ensuring that staff take their annual leave entitlements, and that sick leave is appropriately monitored
  • leave requests are managed and approved in line with the board’s policy and employment agreements to ensure operational needs can be met
  • leave approval and input into EdPay is timely
  • leave balances and discretionary leave requests are advised to the board as per board policy
  • the board is alerted to significant leave liabilities, and that these are resolved within board policy.
EdPay authorised user

The EdPay authorised user:

  • follows the board’s leave policy and procedures
  • inputs approved leave as soon as practicable
  • advises the principal or delegate immediately of any leave issues or system errors
  • ensures that leave balances are reported to the principal
  • maintains up-to-date leave records.

The employee:

  • submits leave requests according to leave policy and procedures, and the provisions in their employment agreement
  • notifies their employer of any issues or errors in their leave records
  • communicates regularly regarding changes in circumstance.

Related links

How to:

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External websites

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