People are the most valuable resource available to churches and it should follow that they are also the most valued. Within the links and pages given below you will find advice and templates on a wide range of HR issues, covering both employees and volunteers. Please adapt any of the templates for use in your own situation.
Please note that we have taken great care in creating these pages and resources. However, they are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.
The Government Website identifies 7 things you need to do when employing staff for the first time.
- Decide how much to pay someone – you must pay your employee at least the National Minimum Wage.
- Check if someone has the legal right to work in the UK. You may have to do other employment checks as well.
- Check if you need to apply for a DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) if you work in a field that requires one, eg with vulnerable people or security.
- Get employment insurance – you need employers’ liability insurance as soon as you become an employer.
- Send details of the job (including terms and conditions) in writing to your employee. You need to give your employee a written statement of employment if you’re employing someone for more than 1 month.
- Tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by registering as an employer – you can do this up to 4 weeks before you pay your new staff.
- Check if you need to automatically enrol your staff into a workplace pension scheme.
However, within the Church context it is not always easy to tell who is an employee, who is self-employed and who is a worker. A church administrator with fixed hours and an hourly rate might be easy to determine as an employee but what about an organist or bellringers?
The Church of England website Parish Resources has a number of helpful guides on a variety of issues, including on paying people, pension regulations and how to determine employment status for tax purposes.
For further information on being an employer see the Government website.
Once you have decided that you wish to employ someone it is important to have a plan in place to make sure that not only do you appoint someone but that you appoint the right someone! Take time over it, even if you want someone to start immediately. Also, read through this Safer Recruitment Policy, which will help.
- Establish requirements for the post by writing a Job Description and Person Specification for the role.
- A Job Description sets out a summary of the role, the tasks required, whether there is any line management responsibility, or any DBS requirement.
- A Person Specification states the ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria that an individual will need to be selected. But be aware of the legislation involved and how to avoid discrimination. There is an ACAS guide that will help you to understand what this may mean for you.
- Budget for costs – this isn’t just a salary or an hourly rate, but oncosts such as pension contributions and national insurance, and working costs such as IT and office equipment, heating and lighting.
- Advertise the role
- Shortlist applicants. It is often useful to use a scoring mechanism based on the essential and desirable criteria set out in the person specification. A small panel of people undertaking this is much better than just one person.
- Interview and test the applicants if that is appropriate (eg, if recruiting for an administrator you might ask them to put together a weekly bulletin).
- Offer role subject to pre-employment checks.
- Take references, check right to work in the UK, safeguarding checks including DBS
- Issue a contract
Please find links below to various templates, useful in the recruitment process that might be adapted for your own requirements, along with further guidance.
- Job Description Person Spec Template
- Application form
- Shortlist Matrix
- Invite to Interview
- Not invited to interview letter
- interview question sheet
- Unsuccessful interviewee letter
- Offer letter
- Reference Request letter
- Statement of Terms of Employment
Your church will be full of volunteers, people who give their time to serve as part of their Christian stewardship. Without them your church would not operate. The Church of England site Parish Resources has advice and guidance on how to make working with volunteers as effective as possible. Also, read through safer recruitment advice in our safeguarding section.