God takes a back seat in church

Bosses around the country are often accused of playing God, but when your
employer really is a divine power subjects such as unfair dismissal and job
security tend go unheard.

But the nation’s clergy could soon receive a range of new employment rights
after the Church of England published recommendations to change the current
working relationship.

The proposed changes may offer greater job security, access to employment
tribunals, redundancy payments and better holidays.

However, trade union Amicus which represents 2,000 church staff, said the
clergy would still not have the same rights as other employees as they work
without contracts. Traditionally the clergy have been exempt from employment
rights because they are deemed office holders not employees, and as such are
working for God rather than any earthly organisation.

Chris Ball, clergy and church workers secretary at Amicus said he would be
lobbying the DTI for even greater rights.

"Ministers of the church have been floating in an insecure limbo of zero
legal protection, where they could be disposed of without remedy or
recourse," he said. "This is good news but it’s not good enough.
There is really no reason why this situation should be tolerated by the clergy
any longer. The Government has to act to include ministers from all

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