Time-in-lieu is an important concept in the education sector, ensuring that teachers and education support staff are adequately compensated for the time they spend on school activities outside their regular hours. This article explains the specifics of time-in-lieu policies in schools and provides guidance for teachers and education support staff.
What is Time-in-Lieu?
Time-in-lieu refers to the time off that teachers and education support staff receive to compensate for the extra hours they work beyond their standard working week. In many cases, these additional hours come from school activities such as parent-teacher meetings, camps, excursions, concerts, parent information sessions, or after-hours sports.
Time-in-Lieu for Teachers
If a teacher is required to attend a school activity outside their normal hours, and this results in their total weekly hours exceeding the standard 38 hours for a full-time teacher (or the pro-rata hours for a part-time teacher), the teacher is granted time-in-lieu for the excess hours.
For example, a teacher’s attendance at a school camp would be calculated as 100% time-in-lieu for the time spent performing duties and 50% during the time the teacher is on call and available to perform duties.
The time-in-lieu should ideally be granted in the fortnight in which it is accrued. However, if this isn’t feasible, it can be granted at any other time before the end of the school year. The timing should cause minimal disruption to the educational program of the school.
If a teacher has accrued time-in-lieu that hasn’t been granted by 1 December of the year it was accrued, the teacher may vary their attendance time on any school day before the end of that school year equivalent to the time owed. The teacher must provide at least three working days’ notice to the principal, who is responsible for ensuring that the timing of the absences doesn’t result in the dismissal of students.
Alternatives to Time-in-Lieu
The principal and the teacher may agree to payment for time in lieu owed at the teacher’s normal rate of pay instead of time off. If accrued time-in-lieu hasn’t been granted to a teacher by 1 March of the following school year, the teacher can either take the time off immediately or receive payment for the time owed at 150% of the teacher’s normal rate of pay.
Time-in-Lieu for Education Support Class
Education support class employees are also entitled to time-in-lieu for work required beyond their standard 38-hour week (or on a pro-rata basis for a part-time employee). The timing of the time-in-lieu is at the discretion of the employer, considering the operational needs of the school and the wishes of the employee.
As an alternative, the employer and the employee may agree to payment for time in lieu owed at the employee’s normal rate of pay for work performed within the specified span of hours, or at 150% of the employee’s normal rate of pay for work performed outside the specified span of hours.
If accrued time-in-lieu hasn’t been granted to an education support class employee by 1 March of the following year, the employee can either take the time off immediately or receive payment at 150% of the employee’s normal rate of pay.
The time-in-lieu policy is an essential component of employment agreements in the education sector. It ensures that teachers and education support class employees are fairly compensated for the extra hours they put in. Understanding these policies can help educators and support staff manage their time effectively and ensure they’re adequately compensated for their hard work.