Churches, circuits and districts can all be employing bodies in their own right. The representatives of each employing body, i.e. the managing trustees, are responsible for their actions and for any financial or legal repercussions that arise out of employment relationships. Therefore, there is a need to be careful and seek advice from the District Lay Employment Secretary when considering any new appointment within your church or circuit.
Employment law is complex: new legislation and Employment Tribunal decisions are continually re-shaping employment practices. To help employing bodies, the Connexion has prepared various standard documents related to lay employment. These can be accessed through the Methodist Church website’s Lay Employment section. The Nottingham and Derby District have also produced its own Lay Employment Starter Pack which can be downloaded here.
If you are considering employing a lay person in your church or circuit, or have any ongoing queries around employment, please contact our Lay Employment Secretary, Clive Teale, who is able to provide advice to employing bodies about recruitment, employment issues and termination of contracts. He can be contacted via email using the contacts tab at the top of the page.
At district level, the Lay Employment Secretary is there to help with the following:
- approving all lay employment contracts
- providing advice to circuit and church representatives
- overseeing employment arrangements within the district
- checking contractual documents prior to issue
- receiving information from the Connexional Personnel Office as issues aris
Please note S.O.438A(8) which states, ‘No formal disciplinary proceedings shall be taken in respect of a lay employee, nor letters of warning written, except after consultation with the Lay Employment Subcommittee or its chair or secretary, provided that in cases of emergency a lay employee may be suspended, in accordance with disciplinary procedures, from employment pending such consultation. ‘
Offers of employment should be made using the model documents contained in the Lay Employment Pack which is updated regularly.
The following district policies for its own employees can be downloaded using these links.