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Church administration.

Employment and Discrimination Law

Church administration.

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:01 pm

To what extent are churches allowed to discriminate on religious grounds?
Obviously one would expect them to be allowed to discriminate in the selection of their clerical staff: a non-Christian vicar would not make sense, but can they likewise discriminate over their clerical staff? Does it matter, for example, who takes the bookings for the church hall?
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Re: Church administration.

Postby shootist » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:51 pm

The accepted practice in today's world is to find a suitable non Christian to apply for a post they doesn't really want within the (or 'a') church they do not care for and be suitably outraged when their application is turned down.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." MLK.
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Re: Church administration.

Postby diy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:45 am

It is likely to be lawful to discriminate against you as they would have an exemption - their ethos or core values are based on a religion or belief.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Church administration.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:40 am

diy wrote:It is likely to be lawful to discriminate against you as they would have an exemption - their ethos or core values are based on a religion or belief.

Who said it was about me? We can pretend that it is if it makes the conversation simpler.
But what does the exemption actually say? I've glanced at the Equality Act and not spotted it, but Citizen's Advice say:
An employer whose ethos is based on religion or belief can require you to have a particular religion or belief to do a job.

If an employer refuses to employ you because you don’t have the required religion or belief they would have to show the following things:

the requirement is an occupational requirement - this means it’s genuinely necessary to do this particular job
they have a good reason or a legitimate aim for applying the requirement
it’s proportionate to apply the requirement in this particular case - this means having the requirement is the best way to achieve the employer’s aim
you don’t meet the requirement or the employer has reasonable grounds for believing you don’t meet the requirement.

An employer can only use this exception if their ethos or core values are based on a religion or belief.


I think they would struggle on that count.
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Re: Church administration.

Postby atticus » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:40 am

I suggest that the OP glances at the Schedules, and in particular schedule 9.
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Re: Church administration.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:58 am

atticus wrote:I suggest that the OP glances at the Schedules, and in particular schedule 9.

Thank you, that is helpful.
3A person (A) with an ethos based on religion or belief does not contravene a provision mentioned in paragraph 1(2) by applying in relation to work a requirement to be of a particular religion or belief if A shows that, having regard to that ethos and to the nature or context of the work—

(a)it is an occupational requirement,

(b)the application of the requirement is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, and

(c)the person to whom A applies the requirement does not meet it (or A has reasonable grounds for not being satisfied that the person meets it).


It seems to me that in most cases the requirements would be met by somebody with a compatible ethos: one does not have to be a Christian to subscribe to Christian values.
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Re: Church administration.

Postby atticus » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:10 am

A further glance
A person (A) with an ethos based on religion or belief does not contravene a provision mentioned in paragraph 1(2) by applying in relation to work a requirement to be of a particular religion or belief if A shows that ...
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Re: Church administration.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:21 am

You may wish to carry on reading past the bit you have highlighted: it's our old friend "If" again.
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Re: Church administration.

Postby atticus » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:39 am

I do not have that wish. the OP asked "To what extent are churches allowed to discriminate on religious grounds?"

The point was about the application of a requirement. I highlighted the requirement.
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Re: Church administration.

Postby diy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:07 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
It seems to me that in most cases the requirements would be met by somebody with a compatible ethos: one does not have to be a Christian to subscribe to Christian values.


If I was to set out a list of Christian values to define their ethos, I think high on that list would be acceptance of Christ as your saviour who died on the cross for your sins etc. or some variation. Though I heard a good program on R4 a few weeks back that said we'd got it all wrong about the entrance criteria for heaven according to the bible.

Nevertheless I think you would struggle to meet the criteria that a reasonable theologian would come up with. There is a bit more to it than, loving thy neighbour and not coveting another mans wife.
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