Presentation on Employment Contracts and Spiritual Appointments for QB Pastors

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Following on from our recent information relating to Employment Contracts and Spiritual Appointments, we held an information night on Monday 23rd October.

Attached are

As discussed, one of the important things for all churches is an annual review process for their pastors and other staff.   In the light of the recommendations, we have updated our Guide to Conducting a Pastoral Review resource to guide churches in these processes.

This material should be read in conjunction to material released previously through the HUB.

For those that missed this material … below is a copy of the previous HUB article with a link to resources already circulated.

Changes to Advice regarding Employment Contracts and Spiritual Appointments for QB Pastors

With the upcoming changes to the Employment legislation, QB has undertaken a thorough review of the two most common approaches to engaging pastoral staff – using Employment Contracts (EC) and Spiritual Appointments (SA). These are very different approaches, having both advantages and disadvantages, and each having their own unique challenges. With the imminent changes, it is clear that there are serious implications for both approaches and for most of our churches, there is work that must be done as a result.

We have developed a Spiritual Appointments & Employment Contracts Overview guide in conjunction with our lawyers and HR consultants which explores the differences of these two approaches in more depth. This can be read in conjunction with a summary document considering the Implications of the Upcoming Fair Work Changes released a couple of weeks ago.

It is important for church leadership teams (especially administrators, treasurers, and pastors) to understand each approach and to make a decision about which approach is preferred for their pastoral staff and be aware of the implications for other staff which may be on employment contracts.

Actions related to Employment Contracts (Pastors & Other Staff)

If churches have fixed-term employment contracts in place, they will need to seek to advise their congregations about the fact that their employees will become permanent employees come 6th December 2023. They will need to review their constitution and remove any clauses that refer to any fixed-term contracts and ensure they have the appropriate policies in place to manage their employees. This will become even more essential as most employees will be permanent come December and the onus will be on church leaderships to have good processes in place as per the requirements of the Fair Work legislation. A suite of documents has been drafted to help churches in this regard including:

A set of Role Description templates have also been developed for Employment of Pastors. These can be downloaded from our QB website here.

Actions related to Spiritual Appointments (Pastors only)

If churches are seeking to adopt spiritual appointments for their pastors, there is a critical need to ensure that the documents you have in place to facilitate this are up to date and that there is consistency across these. Churches will therefore need to ensure their own documents are up to date and potentially reissue a new spiritual appointment document in-line with the most recent legal advice. In addition, they will need to conduct a review of their constitution to remove any clauses that seek to infer employment contracts and ensure that the intent for spiritual appointments is clearly articulated.

The nature of Spiritual Appointments is that they can only be effectively applied to Pastoral Roles and so QB recommends that SAs only be used for Pastoral Appointments (for Senior Pastors, Solo Pastors or Associate Pastors). All other staff roles (including Ministry Workers) are better handled through Employment Contracts at this time.

A suite of documents has been drafted to help churches understand and implement SAs if they choose to. These include:

David Elvery
Director of Pastoral Services