Trade union Amicus has welcomed the Employment Appeals Tribunal decision that ministers of religion now have the legal right to claim unfair dismissal.
The union, which represents 2,500 faith workers across all denominations and religions, has been campaigning for 12 years for employment rights for ministers.
Rachael Maskell, the union’s national officer, said: “The courts have recognised Amicus’ position that the time has come for ministers of religion to be treated with the same human and employment rights as all other workers, so no longer can they be removed from office for no unjustifiable reason, and have nowhere to go to appeal against such injustices.”
The union claims it represents more than 100 ministers every year, only to be frustrated by the legal restrictions which prevent independent resolutions of their cases.
Reverend Dr Gerry Barlow, chair of the Amicus Faith Workers Branch, said: “As a result of this, we will use our expertise to help all churches and other faith bodies to develop their policies. Amicus will also continue to promote reconciliation between the parties.”