Management of the Teacher Relief Scheme (TRS)

Version Number


Implementation Date



All state schools


​This procedure details the Teacher Relief Scheme (TRS) policy and outlines the processes to be used by schools to access TRS to replace classroom teachers on short term leave, including those on sick/special/emergent leave (less than five consecutive days).​


​Not applicable



  • contact their principal (or delegate) to inform them that they are unable to attend work.

Principals/Officers in Charge:

  • determine if relief is required (based on whether teacher is considered to be a classroom teacher, and ability to utilise internal replacements) and organise replacement
  • implement effective workforce management strategies to manage short term absences of teachers
  • monitor short term sick leave being taken
  • ensure the correct completion of the Weekly Schedule for Teacher Relief Scheme (TRS) Payments form, including the payment codes, usage codes, and name of teacher replaced and the relieving teacher. (Schools are to determine the most appropriate TRS claim form for them to use  - either the manual version or the electronic version)
  • provide reports on TRS usage to the regional director including workforce management strategies implemented and internal relief strategies where required
  • obtain approval from the regional director to convert TRS SSE allocations to teacher full-time equivalents, for the purpose of engaging a local relieving teacher (LRT) or district relieving teacher (DRT)
  • apply for a TRS safety net allocation where appropriate by the set timelines.

Regional Human Resources Managers:

  • maintain and monitor the state wide process for TRS replacement for short term teacher absences
  • report on TRS usage to the regional director as required
  • support/not support application from schools to access the safety net
  • provide workforce planning and management advice and support to schools which require assistance managing their short term absences
  • assist schools in developing local health and well being strategies and plans for working through employee absences and issues

Regional Finance Managers:

  • provide financial advice to schools on the impact of cash TRS SSE on school grant accounts.

Regional Directors:

  • work with principals to implement effective workforce management practices to manage short-term sick leave absences of teachers and their replacement
  • recommend/not recommend school’s application to access the safety net and ensure application is forwarded to Human Resources for a decision by the Deputy Director-General, Education Queensland.

Executive Director, Finance:

  • provides timely, accurate fortnightly reports to schools/regions on TRS usage.

Executive Director, Human Resources: 

  • calculates annual TRS SSE allocation for all schools on a number of days per ‘counted’ teacher (FTE) provided as a semester allocation 
  • notifies schools of their annual allocation of TRS SSE days at the beginning of each school year
  • manages the TRS Safety Net process and provide advice to the Deputy Director-General, Education Queensland on safety net applications 
  • monitors TRS usage overall and provide reports to staff in regions/districts.

Deputy Director-General, Education Queensland:

  • considers all TRS safety net applications from schools with advice from Human Resources.


​TRS categories

TRS is managed within two broad categories: 

  1. Replacement of classroom teachers for sick, special and emergent (TRS SSE) 
  2. All other types of short-term classroom teacher replacement. 

Classroom teacher relief for sick/special/emergent leave

Short term relief is provided for classroom teachers only who are absent on sick/special/emergent leave for less than five consecutive days. Only classroom teachers who are essential for program delivery are to be replaced.
Short term teacher relief should be arranged according to the duration of the absence and the availability of the staff using:

  • internal replacement arrangement, provided that:
    • there is no unreasonable expectation upon administrators or teachers (including specialist teachers) to take an absent teacher's rostered classroom duties
    • teaching staff receive their minimum non-contact time.
  • strategies for internal replacements include:
    • rescheduling of teachers onto classes 
    • teachers who only need to take one or two hours off are encouraged to do so rather than taking a half/ full day (for example, doctor’s appointment) and replaced internally.
  • external replacement arrangements (other than casual teachers) such as local relieving teachers (LRT) and district relieving teachers (DRT) where coordinated within a district/region.
  • casual teachers would be employed when the services of a district relieving teacher (DRT) or local relieving teacher (LRT) are not available and internal re-organisation of staff is not appropriate or available.
  • schools are to utilise appropriate workforce management practices to manage short term teacher sick/special/emergent leave. This includes:
    • teachers contacting the principal (or delegate) to inform that they are unable to work as it is good HR practice for employees to inform their supervisor of their personal circumstances.  They will contact their supervisor first before contact is made with an external replacement process such as the teacher relief application system (TRACER).
    • principals discussing with teachers who take regular sick leave in the context of the teacher’s wellbeing
    • principals monitoring the short term sick leave being taken by teachers
    • principals reviewing workforce data to help to understand their employees’ health and well being issues associated with staff absences and regular patterns of leave  
    • principals working with employees if they are having difficult times either due to work or personal issues. 
    • principals discussing the impacts of leave absences and an all of school solution with staff focussing on the development of strategies and solutions.

TRS SSE allocations and funding

The TRS SSE Scheme funds the relief of teachers for short term paid absences through the provision of:

  • cash to the school to fund the relief of teachers for short term absences, and
  • centrally managed TRS safety net funds.

The TRS safety net is the department’s risk management process to manage the state-wide total short term sick leave for teachers.

Schools will be allocated TRS SSE days per semester per counted teacher full time equivalent (FTE). The annual allocations are:

  • Primary - 6.7 days*
  • Secondary - 2.8 days
  • Special - 5.1 days*
  • Distance Education - as per relevant sector allocation

*Please Note: From semester 2 2008, non-contact time (NCT) is included in the definition of classroom teacher.

Standard TRS salary rate

Teachers who provide TRS relief are paid at the rate equivalent to band three step one of the Teachers Award - State, with the designated casual loading rate.

Online Resources

Review Date

Attribution CC BY
​Not applicable