New Zealand School Trustees Association
Memorandum to Boards: 2011/2
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Date: 3 February 2011
Purpose: To provide more detail on recent relevant changes to legislation that are applicable in 2011. In 2010/15 we outline some changes to:
- Introducing secondary-tertiary programmes, which will allow senior secondary students to study across secondary and tertiary education. Paving the way for Trades Academies.
- Changing to the order of priority when selecting applicants from outside a school's home zone, the change creates a new fourth priority for children of former students of the school. The current fourth priority, for children of employees of the school's board, becomes the fifth priority and is shared with children of board members.
- Enabling the Teachers Council to suspend a teachers registration in certain situations and allows them to annotate the teachers’ register where a teacher is found to be incompetent.
- Extending data matching between Ministry payroll and Teachers Council for teacher relievers
NZSTA Comments: In terms of the queries we are getting they are mainly focused on the change on how to select applicants who live outside home zone. The legislation sets this out and the Ministry is currently in the process of drafting guidance on this and revamping some of the associated material.
Employment Legislation changes: Recent changes to the Holidays Act and Employment Relations Act will require some consideration by boards and we are working through them at present. Most changes for both Acts will come into effect on 1 April, 2011.
Holidays Act: The main changes include provisions for:
- The ability for employees to apply to the employer to cash in up to a maximum of one week of annual holidays minimum entitlement by agreement of their employer. Whilst the employer must consider they are not required to give a reason if they decline.
- Transferring public holidays to another working day.
- Allowing employers to request proof of sickness or injury within the first three consecutive calendar days.
NZSTA Comments: The way the present collective agreements (and the Individual Employment Agreements on which they are based) are structured means that the ability to utilise these changes are likely to be limited and almost certainly dependent on which collective is applicable and funded. We will be discussing this further with the Ministry to ascertain their policies in relation to the nature of the agreements they negotiate and promulgate.
Employment Relations Act: The main changes include (comments included):
- Extending ability to use trial periods to all employers: It is likely there will be limited application of the use of trial period in the sector. This is from both a practical and contractual basis. It really is a matter of how the current collective agreements are set out and where they may either inhibit or make complex how this may be applied. We are happy to discuss individual circumstances where such a proposal is being considered by a board as we work through the complexities.
- Changes to the personal grievance and mediation provisions: Whilst there have been moves to reduce the complexity under which these provisions apply it is still an area where expert advice is necessary. Continuation to ensure that a careful process occurs, which meets both the contractual requirements as well as legislation, remains the key.
- Requiring employers to retain employment agreements: This provision comes into effect slightly later, from 1 July 2011 and requires employers to retain a signed copy of an individual’s employment agreement or current signed copy of their terms and conditions. Employees are entitled to a copy of their agreement if they request one. This is something which should already be a practice within schools. Check out our templates for this.
- Requiring consent to be given before a union can access a workplaces is an issue that occurs infrequently and will no doubt be specific to particular situations. Seek our advice if this arises.
- Confirming communication with employees can occur during collective bargaining. A matter which does cause some confusion in our sector from time to time.
- Extending the role and powers of labour inspectors. We will be awaiting further information from the Department of Labour on how this may take effect.
Apologies: I made a mistake in the previous memo regarding banking staffing (still getting to terms with year change!). It should have read:
Banking Staffing: Time period for balancing for 2010 has been advised by the Ministry. The banking staffing recovery rate for the 2011 year (to be used for recoveries made in 2012 for 2011) has been set at $64,000 plus GST (please note the change to how the GST is factored).
The 2010 recovery rate is $63,000 which is inclusive of GST.