By Anish Chand
School teachers who will need to attend their graduation ceremonies will need to apply for leave without pay.
This is the latest directive from the Ministry of Education to teachers as it clarifies paid leave entitlements.
In a circular dated 9th July 2018, the Permanent Secretary for Education Alison Burchell says “there has been some concern about what to do in the absence of what used to be compassionate leave.”
The Ministry of Education has outlined three circumstances under which teachers should take leave without pay.
They are teachers leaving the school without prior approval and school heads are required to report this to the ministry.
Teachers who accompany family members for medical treatment will also have to apply for leave without pay.
Teachers attending graduation or weddings also fall into this category.
Burchell says the Ministry is aware of the need for some teachers to take leave to support their family in unforeseen or emergency circumstances.
“We suggest that you take leave without pay until further notice,” she writes.
Teachers have been informed to follow a formal request “well before the school starts so that the head of school is able to arrange for classes to continue smoothly. This may be done by calling, sending a text or an email.”
Teachers wishing to apply for long term medical treatment themselves have a separate set of rules to follow.
“Please contact Employee Administration at least two months prior to departure overseas or to be nearer to the local hospitals. This is particularly the case with expectant mothers who notify the Ministry very late of their need to be near a hospital despite knowing of this several months earlier.” writes Burchell.
"This allows us to find a replacement following the approval of the new transfer policy," she adds.