The employment of lay people can have a beneficial multiplier effect on the mission and ministry of your church. Enabling a person to pursue and develop their gifts through employment can allow for more effective and coordinated use of volunteers in all areas of ministry. In Australia, employment is an activity regulated by both State and Federal governments. Your church should be fully aware of its obligations before employing someone, and of the services offered by the Synod to support this.
How a person is employed by the church, experiences the church as a workplace, and ends employment with the church, should be an expression of our love for one another as the community of Christ.
Note that licensed and stipended clergy are not employees for the purposes of employment law. Clergy holding a license issued by the Bishop are considered Office Holders. For more information, please see the Status of Clergy Ordinance (2002).
Most conditions and requirements relating to employment are overseen by the Fair Work Ombudsman. In particular, the National Employment Standards are ten compulsory employment entitlements which apply even if an employee contract or agreement does not specifically include them.
! We strongly encourage you to contact the Ministry & Parish Support Team to discuss employment matters prior to making offers or ending agreements.
Jobs may be advertised on the Positions Vacant page of the Adelaide Anglicans site.
A person may be employed by a church using an employment agreement, which forms a contractual relationship between the church and the individual. It is very important that the terms of an agreement are carefully considered as they bind the church under employment law.
This example of an Employment Agreement used by the Synod for casual employees is comprised by three parts:
- Example Casual Employment Agreement
- Example Employment Terms (Schedule A)
- Example Confidentiality Agreement (Schedule B)
Template Employment Agreements are available on request for your church to customise, for casual, part time, and full time positions.
! We strongly recommend contacting the Ministry & Parish Support Team to discuss employment arrangements prior to an offer being made.
An employment agreement may end because the contract has an end date, the individual may resign, or an agreement may be terminated.
Ending employment can be a significant process for the individual and the church community. Done well, it can helpfully prepare a person for their next job, and enable the church to consider how positions can best support mission and ministry. Such an event occurs at a confluence of church workplace culture, legal rights and responsibilities, financial sustainability, and pastoral considerations.
! If you are thinking of ending an employment agreement, we strongly encourage you to discuss the matter with the Ministry & Parish Support Team prior to notifying the employee.