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Tutors and Demonstrators Guidelines

Category Human Resources
Type Guideline
Approved by Original approval unknown
Date Guideline Took Effect 1 January 2014
Last Approved Revision 31 January 2013
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration
Review Date 30 November 2014


The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the requirements of employing Tutors and Demonstrators.

Organisational Scope

These guidelines apply University-wide.


Tutors/Demonstrators: Tutors or demonstrators are normally students who will work under the supervision of an academic staff member. In the course of the academic year, tutors or demonstrators are employed primarily to teach in an assigned number of tutorials or laboratories, and may be required to mark and return assessed work or co-ordinate a group of other tutors or demonstrators. It is expected that most tutors and demonstrators will be appointed at the beginning of the first semester.

Policy Content


  1. Selection of Tutors/Demonstrators
  2. Tutor/Demonstrator Individual Employment Agreements
  3. Pay
  4. Tutor/Demonstrator Employment Procedure
  5. Overseas Students
  6. Termination of Employment
  7. Other Terms and Conditions of Appointment
  8. Advice and Information

1. Selection of Tutors/Demonstrators

(a) Short periods of tutor/demonstrator work require limited advertising, e.g. through Student Job Search or Department notice boards but not the media. As a minimum an application form should be completed and a CV provided. Appointees must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand. This must be made clear to all prospective tutors/demonstrators and be included in advertising or additional information.

(b) The selection process should be straightforward and fair with the criteria based on merit. Every effort should be made to give an equal distribution of employment/research training opportunities to the PhD and MA students within the department or in related disciplines, recently completed postgraduates or those who have submitted and are awaiting results. A special case needs to be made for employing 4th year Honours students as tutors.

(c) Close relatives and close friends of staff members in the department or section concerned cannot be considered for appointments that have not been advertised. If a close relative or friend of a staff member is being considered, the Head of Department should be advised and the staff member should not be involved in the selection or supervision of the appointee. Please consult Human Resources if further information is needed.

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2. Tutor/Demonstrator Individual Employment Agreements

All staff must be employed using the appropriate standard University of Otago Employment Agreement for Tutors and Demonstrators. There are two Individual Employment Agreements for Tutors and Demonstrators which are available here.

(a) Tutors and Demonstrators - Set Hours (Form A)

  1. The Tutors and Demonstrators Individual Employment Agreement (Form A - Set Hours) must specify the total hours that it is anticipated that the tutor/demonstrator will be working for the year, inclusive of preparation and marking duties. Details of the period/s to be worked are required so that the tutor/demonstrator is paid for the appropriate months.
  2. Payment will be apportioned evenly across the term of the agreement. Actual hours worked may vary from one pay period to the next. However at the end of the term of the agreement, the employee will normally have worked and been paid for the Total Hours specified in Section E of the agreement.
  3. Actual working time and/or sessions conducted will be recorded within the Department.
  4. In some instances the employee may work more or less hours than originally agreed. In this event the final pay will take account of any extra hours worked or hours paid for which were not worked.
  5. Where an employee works fewer hours than specified then the overpayment will be recovered from the employee. Payroll Services must be advised in writing (with appropriate authorisations) of any adjustments required in the final pay as soon as possible and before the payroll deadline for the relevant pay period (dates available at
  6. In the event of periods of absence or illness (of more than a few days), notify Payroll Services, Human Resources to avoid overpayment in cases where the hours cannot be ‘made up’.
  7. In the event that an employee’s total hours are likely to be less than originally specified then the total hours should be adjusted at that time in consultation with the employee. Payroll Services must be advised of any changes in writing (with appropriate authorisations).

(b) Tutors and Demonstrators -Variable Hours (Form B)

  1. The days and hours of work of Tutors and Demonstrators employed on the Tutors and Demonstrators Individual Employment Agreement (Form B - Variable Hours Only) will be by arrangement with the Supervisor and will be on an “as required” basis as the need arises.
  2. An authorised timesheet is required to be submitted to Payroll Services, Human Resources before payment is made.

(c) Please note: The agreements should always be accompanied by the Employment Relationship Problem Resolution Process document, also attached to the Agreement. The Employment Relationship Problem Resolution Process document is to be retained by the Employee and is not required to be forwarded to Human Resources.

(d) For appointments made during the year, the agreement should be sent to Human Resources as soon as practicable for inclusion in the next fortnightly pay run.

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3. Pay

(a) Rates of Pay

There is one scale for tutors and demonstrators which contain four rates. These rates are hourly rates and should also be paid to cover preparation and marking in addition to formal teaching. The Department/School/Division selects one of the four rates for each individual tutor and demonstrator using the following criteria:

Criteria for Deciding An Appropriate Rate

The full criteria when considering an appropriate rate are:

  1. Relevant work experience
  2. Relevant educational or other qualifications
  3. Ease or difficulty of recruitment and/or retention
  4. Participation in any job related training offered by the University
  5. Job content/complexity
Effective from 1 January 20XX*
As a guideline only**
Rate A Rate A generally applies to undergraduates
Rate B Rate B to graduates of a three-year or a four-year degree
Rate C Rate C to graduates with a Masters degree
Rate D Rate D to graduate with a doctorate, or senior PhD students

*For current rates please view pay scales here.

**NB: educational qualification is only one of the criteria to be considered, and placement on the scale may vary once the other four criteria have been applied and when considering equivalent experience or professional standing (e.g. a clinical professional or relevant postgraduate experience).

(b) Tutors and demonstrators are normally paid fortnightly. Each pay fortnight starts on a Monday and finishes on a Sunday. Payment is made on the following Wednesday. The agreements will be actioned as quickly as possible, however, because of the huge volumes of agreements in March and July, there may be delays with the first payment if it is not received by the appropriate payroll deadline. The first pay will include any back-pay, if appropriate.

Please note: if a tutor or demonstrator is already on the monthly payroll for an academic position, they will be paid on the monthly payroll for their tutor/demonstrator position.

The payroll deadlines can be found here.

(c) Should a tutor or demonstrator be paid very high hours for preparation and marking then this may suggest that they are not employed on the correct agreement. In this instance Human Resources may ask the Head of Department for clarification. The Department/School/Division must put in place a method for tutors and demonstrators to record extra hours.

(d) Holiday Pay

Staff employed on the Tutors and Demonstrators Employment Agreement will receive a separate payment of 8% in lieu of annual leave.

For budgetary purposes, allow for this 8% holiday pay and for 0.53% for the ACC Employer Levy. However, when advising tutors and demonstrators of hourly rates, the holiday pay and ACC Employer Levy should not be included in the rate quoted.

(e) Public Holidays

Payment will only be made for a Public Holiday not worked, where it falls on a day the Employee would normally have worked under an established pattern of work. If the Employee is required to work on a Public Holiday, the Employee will be paid normal pay for time actually worked plus half as much again. In addition, if the day is a day the Employee would normally have worked under an established pattern of work, they will receive an alternative paid holiday as provided in the Holidays Act 2003.

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4. Tutor/Demonstrator Employment Procedure

(a) Once the correct Individual Employment Agreement has been identified the Administrator or Supervisor (with delegated authority) completes all Sections bar Section B which is completed by the Tutor/Demonstrator. A job description or a detailed description of duties is required and should be added to or included in the agreement.

(b) Once all parties have signed the agreement, the Administrator or Supervisor and the tutor demonstrator retain a copy of the agreement. The original agreement is sent to Payroll Services, Human Resources with an IR330 if the staff member has not been employed already by the University during the past year, or where the employee’s tax code has changed since the last period of employment.

(c) Please note :

  1. Copies of all documentation (including employment agreement, CV, interview notes) must be maintained by the Department for a period of seven years under the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Holidays Act 2003.
  2. Supplies of IR330 forms may be obtained from Human Resources or from the IRD web site.
  3. Should a tutor or demonstrator resign, Payroll Services should be notified immediately by email or in writing with details of actual hours that have been completed.
  4. All tutor/demonstrator agreements must contain a finish date and employees must not under any circumstances be allowed to work beyond the finish date of their written agreement.
  5. Further appointments will require a newly completed form.

(d) Supporting Tutor/Demonstrators

For information on supporting tutor/demonstrators please visit the HEDC website at

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5. Overseas Students

For information on immigration and working visas please click here.

6. Termination of Employment

(a) Form A agreements (set hours) - the notice period is one month’s notice in writing by the employee.

(b) Form B agreements (variable hours) - the notice period is two weeks’ notice in writing by the employee.

(c) The University reserves the right to terminate without notice for serious misconduct. Should a Department wish to end the employment of the tutor/demonstrator prior to the end of the agreed period please contact your Divisional Human Resources Manager.

7. Other Terms and Conditions of Appointment

Other terms and conditions of appointment are detailed in Section C of the Tutor and Demonstrator Employment Agreements.

Click here to view all current employment agreements

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8. Advice and Information

For questions relating to payment of tutors and demonstrators, please contact Human Resources/Payroll Services (extension 6372).

Questions regarding procedural matters should be directed to the appropriate Divisional Human Resources Manager.

For questions relating to student work visas, please contact Kathy Halliwell, the Student Visa Co-ordinator on ext 4569 before 12.30 pm each day.

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration at or (03) 479 8092.