Make Your First Day of Relief Teaching Easy with these Paperwork Tips

At Education Personnel we are strong advocates for the benefits of relief teaching, particularly for teachers who are just starting their careers in the education sectors. It gives teachers experience in schools and centres with different deciles, philosophies, sizes and age groups, and is a fantastic gateway to long term teaching. 

On your first day of relief teaching at a particular school or centre, being organised and prepared is one of the best ways to called back for more relief days in the future. If you can walk into a school or centre and have everything ready for the office administrators in order to get paid, you will be a popular reliever. (As long as you do everything else right!)

Here are some tips on the administrative paperwork you need to master so you can make sure your first day relieving at a school or centre goes smoothly.

(Please keep in mind that while we are experienced in dealing with pay systems we are not the experts. Those would be the office administrators at the schools or centres you are relieving for!)

An important note before you start

To teach in a primary or secondary school in New Zealand for more than 20 half days you must have New Zealand teacher registration. You will need to have teacher registration (or have been an extension letter from the NZ Teacher’s Council) to relieve at primary or secondary schools. In the early childhood sector, you can work without having teacher registration but you will get paid at a lower rate than you would if you were a registered early childhood or registered primary trained teacher. It is in your best interests to get registered as soon as possible after completing your course.


NOVO1T - New Appointment Form

The NOVO1T form can be downloaded on the Novopay website. There is an accompanying guide which will help you with any questions you might have filling it out. 

The purpose of the NOVO1T form is to register you on the Novopay payroll system and generate your Ministry of Education payroll number. 

You will need to complete this on the first day of each category of teaching work that you do, i.e. on your first day at a primary, secondary or area school, and on the first day of a relief, fixed term or permanent role. For example, if you are a primary teacher who has had your first day of relief at a primary school, you’d complete the NOVO1T form. You would not need to do this again for any primary relief work you do. However, you will also need to complete the NOVO1T form again if you did a day’s relief at a secondary school. And if you started work in a fixed-term role, even if it’s in primary, you’ll still need to complete the NOVO1T form again. 

When completing the NOVO1T form, you will also need to complete a tax-code declaration (to be held on file at the school). You can download the IR 330 form on on the IRD website, or get it from the school or centre. You will also need a bank deposit slip or a printout of an electronic slip to match against what you’ve written on the form. 

If you have filled out the NOVO1T form for a prior role, and already have a Ministry of Education number, you need to put this on your form so they don’t create a duplicate number for you. 

Your NOVO1T application will be sent from the school to Novopay. Don’t try and send it yourself as it won’t be accepted!

If you haven’t been teaching for three months or more you may need to complete the NOVO1T form again. 

NOVO7T - Salary Assessment Form

The NOVO7T form and accompanying guide are available to download on the Novopay website

The purpose of the NOVO7T form - also known as a salary assessment form -  is to measure where you fall on the pay scale for primary and secondary teachers. This is based on your qualifications and the amount of teaching experience you have. Until this form is processed you will be paid as an untrained teacher (however you will get back paid once the form has come through). 

Like the NOVO1T, you will need to fill this form out again on the your first day of day to day relief, fixed or permanent role. 

If you are starting a fixed term or permanent role, you need to get the principal at your school to sign the form. If you are doing day to day relief, it doesn’t need to be signed by a principal. Unlike the NOVO1T form you need to send the NOVO7T form to Novopay yourself. 

You don’t need to wait until your first relief day to send the NOVO7T form away, as the sooner it is processed the sooner you will be on correct pay.

You will need to include evidence with your NOVO7T form for your salary assessment. Double check on the form what you need, and make sure to provide the exact paperwork they ask for - the last thing you want is for them to send it back to you! Also make sure you are providing certified copies of any evidence you send in - if you send the originals they will reject your application.

You will need evidence of your qualification. This does NOT need to be your graduation certificate - the institute where you studied can provide you with a statement of completion. You’ll also need evidence of your teacher registration. If you have applied for teacher registration then this will be the number your application was given - you don’t need to provide evidence, just add the number on the form.

If you have overseas experience, you will need statements of service from each place that you have taught at. These need to be as specific as possible and signed by the principal at the school. Ensure you provide these documents in the exact format as specified by Novopay. 


Unlike state primary and secondary schools, early childhood centres and independent (private) schools don’t use the Novopay payroll system. 

When you’re called up to relieve at a early childhood centre or independent school for the first time, it’s worth asking what you’ll need to bring to get paid, as most schools have their own system. 

However, almost every centre or school will need your bank account and tax details, so it’s worth having several completed IR 330 forms and copies of a bank statement in your ‘relief backpack’. You may also wish to bring a Ministry of Education timesheet with you to record your hours on (available on the Novopay website). 

If you are relieving for an early childhood centre through a relief agency, the agency may pay your wages rather than the centre. It is best to check with the agency around the processes for this. 


If you need further information, the Novopay website is your first stop. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for there or if you’re having any issues, you need to find out who the designated Novopay person is at the school you’re relieving at, as this is the only person who can speak to Novopay on your behalf (usually this is the office administrator). 

If you are relieving for an agency - ask your agency what the process is if there any issues with your pay, as they may have their own processes for sorting this. 

Are you planning on relieving in 2016? 

Get in contact now!