Articles

Are you ready to register with the Charity Commission?

Many smaller churches do not currently need to register with the Charity Commission. But this is soon going to change. The Charity Commission has indicated that from March 2021, all churches with an income of over £5,000 per annum will need to register, whether or not they are affiliated to the FIEC or another umbrella… Read more »

Copyright and your Church

A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice has put the issue of copyright back in the headlines. The Court held that a secondary school had infringed a photographer’s copyright after a student used one of the photographer’s pictures in a school presentation which the school subsequently published on its website even though the… Read more »

Automatic disqualification of trustees

September 2018 New rules came into force on 1 August 2018, expanding the circumstances in which a person can be automatically disqualified from acting as a trustee of a charity. These include unspent convictions for bribery, terrorism, money laundering, contempt of court, misconduct in public office, and being on the sex offenders register (see s.178… Read more »

Analysis of the Ashers Bakery ruling

So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: ‘Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?’ (Daniel 6:12 NIVUK) The case of Lee v… Read more »

The impact of the Ashers Baking Company case

The case of Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd & Others (2018) is an important case regarding compelled speech in the context of discrimination law. Listen to Mark Jones, Head of Employment comment in this Premier Radio interview (starting at 35:35).

References

The way reference requests are dealt with can cause problems long after employment has ended. Do I have to give a reference? Generally employers do not have to provide a reference, but there are some exceptions (such as financial services and some aspects of social services). However, it is accepted practice to do so. Acting… Read more »

Unfair Dismissal – how does the two year qualifying period work in practice

Before an employee can claim they have been “unfairly dismissed”, they normally need to have had at least two years’ service (“continuous employment”) with you. Calculating continuous employment Two years’ service is completed the day before the second anniversary of employment. An employee who starts on 1 January will have two years’ service on 31… Read more »

GDPR: Handling subject access requests

The May 25 deadline for implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has passed. Hopefully most now have policies and practices in place that are compliant*. The GDPR modified the right of individuals to access data held about them.  Here is a basic guide on what to do if you receive a Subject Access Request… Read more »

Trustees, spiritual leaders and decision-making

One of the issues we are most often asked about is about the relationship between the “trustees” of the church and the people responsible for its spiritual oversight – i.e. its pastor, minister, elders or other spiritual leadership team. This is a tricky question, and there is no perfect answer to it. The article below helps you navigate the legal issues, as a… Read more »

Is your pastor an employee, office-holder or both?

Churches need to consider this question because there are significant practical differences between employees and office-holders and a number of recent cases may mean that pastors who thought they were only office-holders may actually be employees. The practical differences The table below sets out the main differences between office-holders and employees. Employee Office-holder only National… Read more »