Employment criteria for pedagogical staff in early childhood education (day care center, play groups) are specified in chapter 10.
Teachers of school education at state-schools are government employees, their employment requirements are detailed in the Teachers' Service Conditions Law and the Teachers' Service Conditions Ordinance. Central planning and employment body is the state. The government appoints all the teachers employed for an unlimited period or on a temporary basis for one to three years. Employments on a temporary basis may be arranged by the Office of Education. In the case of an employment at a municipality-funded school (Kindergarten and primary school) the commentary from the municipality school council has to be considered if the minimum period is a year and the minimum level of employment is forty percent.
Teachers at private schools are subject to general labor legislation.
On application of the Office of Education the governmental staff appointment scheme determines the number of permanent appointments for every single school year. The demand for positions results from:
- the working time of the teachers
- the table of lessons according to the curriculum
- the number of pupils and students
- and the need for special support of children with a weak school record or with behavioural difficulties; also the number of students integrated from a special school into the mainstream school has to be considered.
An appointment may be considered if there is a need and if the governmental staff appointment scheme provides a permanent position. An appointment outside of the governmental scheme may be considered if the necessary means are included in the calculations. Appointments at municipality-funded schools may be made by the government, but still based on the consent of the municipality school council. Such an appointment may be extended after three years if the governmental staff appointment scheme includes a free position (law, Articel 7 und 8).
Entry to the profession
New positions and vacancies to be filled are announced for open application by the government in the official publication media indicating the employment requirements. A public announcement may be unnecessary if the justification for a specific appointment lies outside of the staff appointment scheme, if the level of employment is a minimal one, if the duration of the appointment is shorter than a year, or if the present appointment is treated as a transfer.
Terms of appointment are:
- legal capacity
- evidence of good character (register of commerce extract; criminal record extract)
- absence of considerable illnesses or physical deficiencies impeding the professional practice
- Liechtenstein citizenship, or citizenship from another country on equal terms according to international treaties or reciprocity
- evidence of the required education
- command of the German language
The employment authorities may ask for further qualifications according to the requirements of the position for the job vacancy, especially for professional experience, for experience in project work or for management qualities.
All the teachers entering a new teaching position are appointed on a provisional basis for three years. The appointment is each for a year within the provisional arrangement of three years.
In the course of this provisional arrangement all the teachers are required to attend introductory courses that are focusing on various Liechtenstein specific topics. The courses with a length of 10 to 15 days are being held as blocks of seminars during the holidays or some time outside school hours.
The following aspects of courses are completed by a test:
- history of Liechtenstein
- civic education of Liechtenstein: institutions and legislation
- school legislation of Liechtenstein: fundamentals of the School Law, of the Teachers' Service Conditions Law, and of the Law on Children and Young People, including the relevant ordinances.
In addition there are courses on the following topics:
- school system;
- special school measures, and educational and therapeutic measures
- quality assurance and quality development;
- inspectorate and performance evaluation;
- student assessment and feedback meetings with parents:
- educational IT-network and IT-technology;
At the end of the provisional appointment the teachers are required to present the following elements:
- satisfying performance of position requirements;
- adequate knowledge of regional studies, especially knowledge of history, of civics, and of school legislation of Liechtenstein;
- full compliance with employment requirements.
Besides the introductory courses mentioned above the new teachers may ask for mentoring in the first year of service in order to be introduced to the practical teaching aspects, they are then conceded a reduction of the teaching workload for this time span.
Teachers at state schools are civil servants in public employment. The details on salary, on social benefits, on retirement, on annual leave etc. are laid down in the Teachers' Service Conditions Law, in the Teachers' Service Conditions Ordinance, in the Ordinance on Salaries of Civil Servants or in the Law/Ordinance on the Service Conditions of Civil Servants. There are two types of contracts for teachers at state schools: temporary contracts and permanent ones.
For a permanent post – if there is a need – teachers are permanently appointed with a minimum level of appointment of forty percent after swearing the oath of office. Otherwise and further on the temporary appointment applies.
The school management ensures whenever possible the continuity of teaching in situations of absence of teachers by appropriate methods and an operational plan. On short-term absence teaching is assumed by another teacher from the same school. Teachers may be required to take over cancelled lessons and to teach a certain number of unpaid lessons a school year, according to their level of employment.
In situations of long-term absence the Office of Education may appoint teachers on the basis of temporary contracts.
Supporting measures for teachers
Teachers are encouraged to apply for professional coaching lessons. The range of offers includes coaching by school social workers or counselling services at Zurich University of Teacher Education (among other services: personal counselling for teachers and school managers as well as links to specific coaches). There is an agreement to this effect between the Office of Education in Liechtenstein and Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zürich).
Teacher salaries at state schools are in accordance with the Law on Salaries of Civil Servants. The individual teachers are assigned an employment classification that is based on a workplace assessment.
- Pay of annual bonus (13th month's salary)
- In addition to the basic pay there is an automatic and age-related pay rise (max. 12%) combined with a performance related pay rise provided that the Parliament grants the relevant financial means. Teachers are entitled to salaries brought into line with inflation calculated on the Swiss consumer price index.
- The government may offer bonuses to teachers with special functions in the education system.
- Part-time teachers and supply teachers are being paid according to their level of employment and length of service.
- Teachers at state-schools are covered by insurance against illness, accident and invalidity.
- The state pays family allowances in form of child benefits independent of employment and salary.
Working time and holidays
The scale of tasks conforms to the following number of compulsory lessons:
- Kindergarten: 30 lessons
- Primary School: 29 lessons
- Lower secondary school: 28 lessons
- Upper secondary school:
- PE, music, arts: 25 lessons
- other subjects: 22 lessons
Compulsory lessons include the total number of weekly lessons on 45 minutes of a full-time teacher.
The service agreement includes the following assignments:
- teaching and education based on the guidelines of the curriculum
- planning, preparation and evaluation of teaching performance
- counselling of pupils and students as well as cooperation with parents, if necessary in coordination with specialists
- cooperation with other teachers and with the school authorities; in addition participation in collective activities of the school and within the education system
- professional and personal further training
Eligibility for compensation
Assumption of additional responsibilities at school education is compensated in the form of a reduced number of teaching lessons. The following responsibilites are eligible for compensation:
- management of a class
- cooperation within school team
- induction into the profession
- counselling and coaching of fellow teachers (e.g. mentoring)
- time spent for talks with teachers of Complementary Education and for cooperation with parents in relation with Complementary Education
- responsibilities in connection with the arrival times at Kindergarten and primary schools that are necessary for block teaching, as well as for homework support
- supervision of recess, at lunchtime and of study times at school
- other responsibilities in educational or administrative fields of school (e.g. in school office, for the administration of libraries and collections, for the administration of special rooms, as the editor of the school magazine, for the cooperation in internal projects, for the chair of a department, for the cooperation in working groups).
Teachers are also required to take up further responsibilities and to show attendance in the cooperation with other teachers or with the school authorities, in the involvement in collective tasks at school and in the education system and at other tasks on the background of their service agreement. Binding attendance of the individual teacher is – if possible – determined in accordance with the annual programme at the beginning of the school year by the school administration.
The government determines the preconditions for the granting of paid or unpaid leave by ordinance. In cases of long-term absence because of illness, accident or need for recovery the teacher may be asked to see an official doctor. A holiday must not be granted if lessons must be cancelled as a result of it. Exceptions are only made in urgent situations.
The holidays that a teacher is entitled to be paid result from the relation between the number of school weeks and holiday weeks, and is 13/52 of the annual salary.
Maternity leave is based on the official legal regulations. The Office of Education may extend unpaid maternity leave on the application of the teacher for twelve school weeks at the most.
The following examples may be a reason for unpaid leave:
- sudden illness of a member of the family or of a close relative, if the necessary care is otherwise lacking: 3 days at the most
- case of death in the family: 1 day; death of a parent, spouse or of one's own child: 3 days
- birth of a child of spouse or partner: 1 day
- meetings resulting from a public post if the meetings take place at teaching time
- function of an MP: all meetings
- a summons: participation in the trial
- participation in cultural events of countrywide importance and in sports events like Olympic games, large competitions and events, as an athlete or as an official: 5 days at the most
- other urgent incidents that cannot be delayed: 2 days at most
- responsible bodies for the granting of a holiday
up to 1 day: the school management
2 to 5 days: the Office of Education
from 6 days onward: the government
Unpaid leave may be granted if it does not lead to considerable disadvantages in the management of school procedures and if substitution during the intended holiday is guaranteed. The granting of unpaid leave up to five days is in the responsibility of the Office of Education, from six days onwards it lies with the relevant appointment authority.
Starting with 55 years of age teachers are entitled to a reduced workload with the salary remaining unchanged. The reduction is based on the average level of employment of the past ten years in Liechtenstein's education system. With a level below 40% no claim can be made in this respect.
The age-based reduction can be implemented if the 55th year of life is completed two months after the start of the school year or after the semester. For the determination of the length of time of the age-based reduction the average level of employment is the one substantial factor to be taken into account as follows:
- level of employment between 70% and 100%: 1 lesson of reduction
- evel of employment between 40% and 69%: 1/2 lesson of reduction
Once the 60th year of life is completed the teacher's age-based reduction is doubled starting with the following school year. The age-based reduction can be doubled if the 60th year of life is completed two months after the start of the school year or after the semester.
Additional trainings and training programmes qualify teachers, inter alia, for new roles in their profession, for special and for management functions in school as well as for responsibilities in the coaching of fellow teachers, in school administration or in the educational further training.
In line with the primary degree the potential is given after completing further education programmes to acquire teaching qualifications for additional subjects or for another type of school (e.g. to change from primary school to lower secondary school). Some universities of teacher education offer various master's degree programmes in further education for teachers that qualify for careers outside of the field of school (e.g. education administration, universities of teacher education etc.).
Mobility and transfers
The appointment authority may transfer a teacher to another position if this is required by the staff appointment scheme or if it is based on the teacher's personal wish, as long as there are no contradictions with the staff appointment scheme.
When transferring a teacher to a municipality-funded school the municipal education council must be heard if the transfer is for no less than a year and the level of employment is at least 40%.
Dismissal or rather the termination of the employment are regulated in the Law on Teachers' Service Conditions and may result from notice of dismissal, because of temporary employment, from retiring, or based on administrative or disciplinary reasons.
Within the notice period of six months teachers may terminate their contract and are then released from their employment at the end of the school year. By mutual agreement the release from employment may also take place during the school year.
Retirement and pensions
When a teacher reaches retirement age (after completing the 64th year of life) they are principally asked by the Office of Education to retire at the end of the month; continued employment up to the end of the semester however is preferred. If retirement age is at the latest reached three months after the start of the school year the teacher can then retire early without any proprietary disadvantages. The general policy is: employment beyond the end of the school year is approved if the position cannot be otherwise occupied. After completing 62 years of life teachers are entitled to the option of early retirement. The state then bears the employer fee as well as 50% of the employee's fee of the retirement insurance for the time until reaching regular retirement age, together with the fees for old-age pension based on regulations of the old-age pension insurance. The Law on Salaries of Civil Servants and the Civil Service Pensions Law regulate the details considering early retirement.