Guidance relating to Circuit Lay Employee Posts

INTRODUCTION

In the light of the increasing diversity of ministry required in our Circuits and the fact that this will undoubtedly involve an increase in the number of lay employee posts being created, the Lay Employment Sub-Committee suggest that the questions and guidance offered in this document should be considered ahead of any lay employee post being created.  Evidence of this consideration should be provided along with the necessary paperwork when making a submission to the District Lay Employment Secretary seeking approval of a post.

The necessary paperwork required is set out on the Attached Proforma and templates for each document are available with the Lay Employment Pack available on the Methodist Church website.

CREATING A POST

Whilst exploring the possibility of creating a particular post and prior to advertisement, it is recommended that you engage in conversation with the District Lay Employment Secretary in order to discuss the nature of the appointment and whether what is being expected of the employee is reasonable in relation to the hours being offered.  This will help to shape the role appropriately for the context, ensure that the role is attractive and not place unrealistic expectations upon the potential employee.

It is suggested that the following questions should form part of the conversations within the Circuit:

  • How has the need for this role been explored and justified? Please provide evidence of any investigations, research or audits which have been undertaken.
  • What, if any, conversations have taken place with neighbouring circuits and ecumenical partners to explore shared working and/or employment?
  • How does the role fit into the Mission Policy of the Circuit?
  • What specific needs within the Circuit will the role meet?
  • How will the role fit into the overall staff team?

In addition to the answers to the questions above, the following information should be provided to the District Lay Employment Secretary when approval for the post is being sought:

  • Reasons for the length of the contract being suggested and evidence of the funding being in place for that period of time.
  • Assurance that the budget provided includes funds for training, development and supervision as appropriate.
  • Confirmation of who will be the line manager for this employee and that they will be attending the Line management training.
  • An indication of the arrangements being made for the establishment of a management group and/or support group.
  • Confirmation that the new lay employee will be attending the Lay orientation training.

DURING THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS

It is recommended that close contact is maintained with the District Lay Employment Secretary throughout the process of advertisement, shortlisting, interview and appointment confirmation to ensure that all procedures are being correctly followed.

APPROVAL OF APPOINTMENT/PERMISSION TO ADVERTISE

The Lay Employment Secretary will give approval for paperwork but the Sub Committee will give approval for the role being advertised and an appointment being subsequently made when they are satisfied that all of the necessary information has been received.  Regular reports will be made to the District Leadership Team who have delegated authority for the approval of appointments to this Sub Committee.

It is recommended that a District representative be involved in all shortlisting and interview processes for circuit roles and this representative will continue to liaise with the line manager throughout the probationary period.  (This person could be a member of the Lay Employment Sub Committee or the District Leadership Team)

The role will not be approved by the Sub Committee unless a Line Manager for the role has been identified. It is expected that the Line Manager will be involved in the subsequent interview process

PROBATIONARY PERIOD

It will also be necessary for a report to be submitted to the Lay Employment Secretary part way through the probationary period to indicate whether there are any potential concerns which might necessitate lengthening the probationary period or considering cessation of the contract.

LAY EMPLOYMENT PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW

The Methodist Church has put together a document on Performance and Development for lay employees (Lay Employment – Appendix A) which focuses on setting and reviewing objectives as well as the lay employee’s development. It is expected that a review will be carried out for each circuit employee each year

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Whilst assessing the range of appointments being offered across the District we are very aware of a disparity in relation to terms and conditions from Circuit to Circuit and indeed from District to District within the Yorkshire region.  It is therefore suggested that as far as possible all Circuit lay employee posts include the following within the contracts of employment:

  • Hours of Work – The standard working week to be 37 hours.
  • Annual Leave Entitlement – to be 25 days plus 8 statutory holidays (current recommendation is 20 days plus statutory holidays)
  • Sick Pay – A Lay Employee who is absent from work by reason of ill health will be entitled to receive occupational sick pay, less any statutory sick pay entitlement, for the following periods. The period should be considered in terms of a rolling year. Extensions of sick pay are made at the employer’s discretion.
  1. After 6 months – 1 month full pay
  2. After 2 years’ service – 2 months full pay + 2 months half pay
  3. After 10 years’ service – 4 months full pay + 4 months half pay

Staff who work part-time will receive sick pay on a pro-rata basis

  • Probationary Periods – With the exception of Cleaners (where the usual probationary period would be 3 months), the District policy will be that a 6 month probationary period will apply to all other roles. This will allow adequate time for both the employer and the employee to determine whether an appropriate decision had been made
  • All roles should be advertised on the District Weekly Mailing. Please email Katrin on admin@sheffieldmethodist.org

Appointment Pro-Forma

THE DISTRICT WILL EXPECT CIRCUIT ROLES TO FOLLOW THESE PROPOSALS UNLESS GOOD REASONS ARE PROVIDED AS TO WHY THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE.  THESE GUIDELINES ARE ALSO RECOMMENDED TO LOCAL CHURCHES FOR ADOPTION IN NEW ROLES.

Download this policy as a Word document: Guidance relating to Circuit Lay Employee Posts