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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 14 November 2017
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration
Review Date 21 December 2018


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. Overseas students
  5. 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. All applications and offers are to be made electronically through the CASPER system.

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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

As a guideline only**

Rate A generally applies to undergraduates

Rate B to graduates of a three-year or a four-year degree

Rate C to graduates with a Masters degree

Rate D to graduate with a doctorate, or senior PhD students

*For current rates please view pay scales.

**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.

Payroll Deadlines

(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.

(d) Supporting Tutor/Demonstrators

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

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4. Overseas students

Information on immigration and working visas

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5. Advice and Information

For questions relating to payment of tutors and demonstrators, please contact Human Resources/Payroll Services (extension 8269).

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 +64 3 479 8092.