Temporary Employment Guidelines

This webpage is designed to provide comprehensive information to managers to assist their understanding of how to employ casual and fixed-term employees at Massey.

Please click the following bookmarks to take you to specific areas on this section

Employment of casual employees

Definition of casual employment

A casual employee is defined as an employee who:

  • is engaged to work only on an "as and when" required basis; and
  • is under no obligation to accept work offered; and
  • is employed for a discrete casual work engagement(s); and
  • has no expectation of ongoing or further casual work engagements being offered; and
  • is paid in full on submission of timesheets (including holiday pay).

A casual work engagement is defined as a discrete period of casual employment that starts and finishes within a short period i.e. less than four weeks. Casual employees are paid by timesheet and, in addition will be paid annual holiday pay equivalent to 8% of the employee’s gross earnings. This annual holiday pay will be paid along with each pay.

Only employees that fit the definition of casual employment can be employed as casual employees. Temporary staff employed for four (4) weeks or longer must be employed either as fixed term or as permanent employees, not casual employees. 

Before making an offer of casual employment

When a need for casual work has been identified, the manager can select a suitable person to carry out that work. The manager is not required to undertake a contestable selection process but must ensure that no conflict of interest or commitment arises from the appointment.Further information on this requirement can be found at:

Prior to engaging a casual employee, the manager needs to:

  1. Employee's CV
  2. Verified copy of eligibility to work in New Zealand (evidence of NZ Citizenship/permanent residency/work permit) and
  3. Verified copy of proof of identity e.g. a birth certificate, passport or New Zealand Drivers Licence

A verified copy means one that is confirmed by a Justice of the Peace, Lawyer or Notary Public as a true and accurate copy of the original and means that the original document has been sighted by the person providing the verification assurance.

The manager also needs to consider if this position is deemed to be ‘high risk’. If so, the individual will be subject to the following pre-employment checks prior to the commencement of employment at Massey University:

  • Previous employment at Massey University check, and
  • Credit history check, and/or
  • Criminal and traffic convictions (security check), and/or
  • Health assessment pre employment check

Further information on this requirement and the process to be followed can be found at Pre-employment checks - Massey University. 

This information is required to engage casual staff and copies of the documentation must be sent, along with the Casual Employment Agreement and any remaining employee documentation as outlined below to HR Services on the employees first day of work.

If the prospective employee has been employed in the same role in the same department, or is currently employed within the University within another role, full paperwork is likely not to be needed. Please refer to the flowchart below to confirm what is needed in these situations. The HRHelpdesk@massey.ac.nz or your HR Administrator can provide assistance on what is needed in any specific instance of appointment. 

When offering a casual work engagement (of less than four weeks) consider whether any public holidays will fall within the period of the engagement. If an expectation has been set that the employee will work on a public holiday this day becomes a normal working day for the employee, and the employee will be entitled to payment for the public holiday if they do not work; or, payment at the rate of time and a half and an alternative holiday if they do work. Information on the dates that public holidays fall on can be obtained from the Department of Labour website.

Please contact your HR Advisor should you have any questions.

Completing the casual employment agreement

Once a prospective casual employee has been identified, the employee and manager then agree and complete an employment agreement for casual work engagements (hereafter referred to as the employment agreement). The terms and conditions of this agreement must not be altered or added to. If there are other terms the manager wishes to offer such as additional allowances, you should discuss this with your HR Advisor.

When signing the employment agreement the employee will be asked to declare that they have read or have had the contents of the employment agreement (including schedule one and two) explained to them and is able to adequately understand the provisions and implications of the agreement, and agrees to its contents. It is important therefore that the prospective employee is provided with reasonable time to read and consider the employment agreement prior to signing and commencing work.

The employment agreement can only be signed on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor by those managers with the delegated authority to employ casual staff. If you are unsure about the required delegations, please check the Delegations Document.

The terms and conditions of the employment agreement remain in force as long as the manager and employee wish the casual arrangement to continue, even though the employee may only work "as and when required" during that period of time.

The hourly rate payable for casual work is set at the discretion of the employing manager but must be at least the minimum wage. For the current minimum wage rates, please visit the Department of Labour website from link below.

On the first day of a casual work engagement

On the employee’s first day at work the manager is responsible for ensuring that an induction takes place. See the Induction Checklist for matters to be covered during induction.

An important part of the induction process is for the casual staff member to be provided with an overall induction to their area of work. Each work engagement may require further induction, particularly with regard to health and safety matters where the work differs from engagement to engagement.

Where an employee is not already paid through the Massey University payroll, the following forms must be completed on the employee’s first day at work:

A timesheet will need to be completed each pay period your employee works and sent to HR Services, prior to payroll close-off for each fortnight. Payroll dates are available here.

In completing a timesheet, please note the following:

  • Every timesheet must be verified and signed by the manager with the financial delegated authority and also by the employee.
  • Ensure full names are entered on timesheets, do not use preferred, shortened or nicknames.
  • Ensure employee numbers are included where possible (the employee number can be found on the payslips).
  • Timesheets are required to be submitted for the relevant pay period and must not be accumulated.

The completed and signed employment agreement, and the above mentioned forms, should be sent to HR Services, PN 202 (internal mail).

HR Services staff will check that the documentation has been completed correctly and then process for payment.

The manager will be contacted where documentation received is incomplete or unsigned. Incomplete or unsigned appointment documentation creates a significant risk for the University, and potential delays in payments being made to staff.

At the end of a casual work engagement

No action is required on the last day of a casual work engagement, other than ensuring all timesheets are completed.

Employment of fixed-term employees

Definition of a fixed-term employee

A fixed-term employee is defined as an employee who will work for a fixed period of more than four weeks with a specified end date. This work is not "as and when required" or casual work.

The Employment Relations Act 2000, under Section 66, requires that a fixed-term employment agreement must be for "genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds", that the employee must agree to those reasons, and that those reasons and the way the employment agreement will end, be recorded in writing as part of every fixed-term employment agreement.

Genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds can be broadly defined as:

  • Projects of a specific and limited duration
  • Additional labour for specified peak workload periods including seasonal work
  • Covering for absences (for example parental leave, sick leave)
  • Development opportunity positions (Assistant Lecturers, Supernumerary positions etc)

For guidance on establishing reasons for fixed term employment, please see our fixed-term reasons and examples.

A new fixed-term of employment may be offered wherever there is a genuine reason based on reasonable grounds to do so, but the employee cannot continue to work on fixed term agreement in what is basically an ongoing position. For further assistance with your specific situation, please contact your HR Advisor.

Employment agreements for fixed-term employees

The employment of most fixed-term employees will be covered by either the Massey University Individual Employment Agreement (MUIEA) or the Massey University Collective Employment Agreement (MUCEA). There are very few areas in which work is not covered by the MUIEA or MUCEA, and if you would like to find out more information, please contact your HR Advisor.

For the first 30 days of their employment, the work your new employee carries out is covered by the MUCEA.

After the first 30 days, if the employee joins one of the unions at Massey, they become joined to the MUCEA and if they choose not to join a union, they will be covered by the Massey University Individual Employment Agreement (MUIEA).

All fixed-term employees will have hours of work, and will be paid a salary in line with the salary scales of the MUCEA or MUIEA and will accrue annual leave during their fixed-term employment along with all other terms and conditions of the MUCEA or MUIEA.

Fixed-term positions of less than 12 months

Approval to establish a fixed-term position

When a genuine reason for fixed-term employment of less than 12 months has been identified, the manager will need to seek approval from the relevant senior manager for the establishment of the position.

The hiring manager is not required to advertise a fixed-term position of less than 12 months duration.

Once a suitable person has been selected and appropriate consideration has been given to the University's suite of pre-employment checks, the following documentation can be prepared and submitted for approval:

An application form is not needed.

A CV, Referee Reports , the job description, and all applicable pre-employment check documents as listed in the job description and the Appointment Recommendation Form, should be sent to the relevant senior manager.

Once approval is obtained, the documentation is sent from the senior manager’s office, to HR Services who will prepare a letter of offer. The letter will set out clearly the reason for the fixed-term nature of the position being offered and how the employment will end. The letter of offer for a fixed-term appointment of less than 12 months will be issued within 48 hours of the approval documentation being received by the HR Services. Delays will occur when the reason for the fixed-term is not clear or where the documentation is incomplete.

A signed acceptance is required from the employee to confirm agreed terms and conditions, including the reason for the fixed-term. 

On the employee's first day of fixed-term employment

On the employee’s first day at work the manager is responsible for ensuring that an induction takes place, in line with the Manager Guideline for Staff Induction. Full details of Massey framework for managing staff induction, including the workbook for staff, and the Manager Guidelines is available at:

For the purposes of ensuring that Massey meets compliance requirements, particularly in regard to Health and Safety obligations, confirmation that the induction has been fully completed is required. Both the manager and new staff member need to sign the 'Closing the loop' page in the Manager Guideline. This page will need to detached from the guideline and sent to HR Services.

Prior to the fixed-term end

Managers will be notified in advance of fixed-term employment agreements ending in their areas. Following receipt of this notification the manager should look at the terms and conditions of the fixed-term employment agreement, and action the agreed method of termination as set out in that agreement and also commence activities to prepare for a managed departure using the departure checklist.

If the manager considers there is a genuine requirement for the employee to be offered a new fixed-term of employment, the manager will need to contact their HR Advisor and discuss the specific situation.

Fixed-term positions of more than 12 months

Fixed-term positions of more than 12 months are advertised through ImpelHR. The process for approval and appointment of these positions are as outlined in the selection processes.

A genuine reason based on reasonable grounds for the fixed-term and how the position will end will be required. Please refer to Establishing reasons for fixed term employment for guidelines governing the reasons to use for justifying fixed-term roles. Contact your HR Advisor if you need any assistance with this.

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