How to Make Sure You Get Paid as a Relief Teacher

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As a relief teacher, your pay can sometimes be unreliable. You are working casually and will get a different amount of pay for each pay period. Because you can’t work as a relief teacher, you need to make sure that you are prepared for not getting paid for periods of time each year. Work is also unpredictable, and even during the term, you may go for long stretches of time without any work. 

Even if you are working in schools as a relief teacher, there are a few things that could still go wrong. As a relief teacher, you will always get paid back if you have not been paid enough for a certain pay period. If this has happened to you, there are a few things that you can do:

Check your payslip in case there are any errors.

If you’re a relief teacher and you haven’t received your payment in your account, the first thing to check is your payslip. If you have worked any days for the Department for Education, you should have received your payslip via your schools email the weekend before you are due to be paid. If you have not received a payslip for this pay period, you may not have worked any days or the Department may not have your payment information. 

If you have done work for Catholic Education South Australia, they have a system that you will need to log in to in order to see your payslip. If you do not know your login details or have not used this system before, contact the finance department of one of the schools that you have been working at. They will be more than happy to give you your details and help you to get set up.

Make sure that you have submitted your payment forms to all of the schools where you have worked.

Once you have checked your payslip, you should have a better idea of what to do next. If this was your first pay period working as a relief teacher in Australian schools, the problem could be that you have not yet submitted your payment forms to payroll. These forms include your standard Tax File Number declaration form and any other forms that the school requires to record your bank details and other information.

A young relief teacher is counting how much they got paid this fortnight to make sure that they were paid the correct amount.
If you haven’t been paid correctly, you need to call whoever organises your payroll as soon as possible.

If you have been working in Catholic or Independent schools, each school that you work at will usually ask you for these forms before you work for the first time. Many of these schools manage their own payroll, so if you think that maybe these forms are the problem, you will need to contact the schools directly. 

If you have been working for the Department for Education, these schools do not organise their payroll. 

You will need to contact the Department for Education payroll service for more information. Because payroll is not organised by individual schools, you may work your first day without having submitted your forms. Relief teachers can also find themselves in a position where pay forms have not been mentioned by the school at all. Before you can be paid by the Department for Education, you will need to email the forms yourself to payroll. If you have worked as a relief teacher for the Department for Education and have not been paid when you believe you should have been, this is the most common problem.

Check the details on all of your forms to make sure that they are correct.

If you have submitted all of the forms that you believe are necessary and still haven’t received your payment, it is worth going back to check that all of the information that you provided is correct. If any of your information is incorrect, you should be contacted by the school or by payroll to let you know. There is a chance that this has not happened, so it is also worth checking yourself.

Open the files that you sent to the school or to payroll and check the information. Make sure that you open the files in the email that you sent just in case you emailed the wrong version of the forms. 

Once you have confirmed that all of the information is correct, email payroll or the independent school’s finance team to make them aware of the issue and ask if there are any additional forms that they need before you can be paid. It could be a matter of missing one of the forms that are required.

Contact the school to make sure that they submitted your payment through to payroll.

If you have not been paid by a Catholic or Independent school, you will have contacted the school already by this point. In these cases, the issue should be resolved or you will have been in contact with the people who will know what the issue is and can fix it. If you have not been paid for working in a public school, however, it’s likely that you’ve only been in contact with payroll at this point. 

If everything seems to be working according to payroll, it could be an issue with the individual public schools that you have been working at. Schools are responsible for recording which relief teachers work for them each day and submitting this information to payroll before the cut-off day so that it can be processed and you can be paid on time. 

If you are a relief teacher and have not been paid for your work in a public school, it could be that the school has not submitted the days that you have worked to payroll before the cut-off. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have forgotten, as you may have worked after the cut-off but before the actual payday. Schools do occasionally forget, so it is still worth contacting the school to confirm if anything has gone wrong. Regardless of whether it was forgotten or not, you will get paid for these days and they will appear on your next payslip, as long as they have been submitted to payroll.

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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