Lay employment advisory information

This Lay Employment Advisory information are intended for use by churches, circuits and districts within the Methodist Church in Britain.


The purpose of this pack is to help churches, circuits and districts in the recruitment and selection of employees and in the early stages of employment. The pack also identifies some of the issues that can arise during the employment relationship and offers advice on these matters.

As Christian employers, churches, circuits and districts are expected to operate ethically as well as within the statutory framework. Employees deserve to be employed competently and constructively. The pack takes account of good employment practice as well as current employment law.

You will find within the pack repeated advice to liaise with your District Lay Employment Secretary:

  • at the start of all recruitment exercises
  • over any subsequent employment issues which arise
  • about any potential termination of employment.

The address of your District Lay Employment Secretary is normally to be found in the Synod Directory for your District or from HR and Development at Methodist Church House.

References to statutory regulations refer to mainland United Kingdom. Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands have different and/or additional legislative provisions which are not included in this document.

The pack is based on previous information published by the Connexional Team and has been prepared by HR & Development at Methodist Church House with help from District Lay Employment Secretaries.

This online information will be updated as and when necessary. Hard copies of this information can also be obtained as a pack from the Personnel Office, price £25.00 including VAT. District Lay Employment Secretaries will be notified directly of any changes.



The information contained herein is believed to be accurate at the date of publication. Whilst every effort has been made to describe the law accurately, the purpose of this publication is not to advise as to how the law may be applied and interpreted. The Methodist Church, its governing body the Conference, the Methodist Council acting on behalf of the Conference, or any of the Connexional Team accept no responsibility for any loss arising out of reliance on the information contained herein.

Full version of the Lay Employment Advisory Pack, download it here

Click here for the list of November 2018 updates


Alternatively, please scroll down to access individual section(s):



Please kindly note that the appendices relating to each of the following sections are listed in full at the end of this contents list


SECTION 1: The Role of the District Lay Employment Secretary 

SECTION 2: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Topics covered: The Church Perspective - Equal Opportunity Monitoring - The Law on Discrimination

Appendices (Word docs)

2   Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

2.1 Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer Job Description

2.2 Policy & Guidelines for appointments requiring Satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure




You will need to read the Practice Guidance on carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks as part of Safer Recruitment prior to starting any recruitment exercise.

The electronic copy of the guidance can be downloaded from: 

SECTION 3: Exit Interview 

3.1 Exit Interview Proforma 

SECTION 4:  Recruitment Stage 1: Approving the Post

Appendices (Word docs)

4.1 Appointment pro forma 

SECTION 5:  Recruitment Stage 2: Preparing the Documents       

Topics covered: The Job Description - The Person Specification - Income & Expenditure estimates for the Funding of the Appointment - The Advertisement - Draft Letter of Appointment - Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment - Acknowledgement Letter - Application Form : Residency Arrangement

Appendices (Word docs)

5.1 Example Job Description 1 - Lay Employee

5.2 Example Job Description 2 - Caretaker

5.3 Example Person Specification 1 - Lay Employee

5.4 Example Person Specification 2 - Caretaker

5.5 Blank Person Specification pro forma

5.6 Role profile requirements 

5.7 Bank Holiday Calculation Sheet

5.8 Example application form

5.9 Example application form (minimum)

5.10 Equal Opportunities Monitoring form   

5.11  Letter responding to a request for an Application Pack 


SECTION 6:  Recruitment Stage 3: Processing Applications

Topics covered: Responding to Enquires - Shortlisting - Planning for the Interview - Applicants with Criminal Record

Appendices (Word docs)

6.1  Shortlisting scoresheet 

SECTION 7:  Recruitment Stage 4: The Interview and After

Topics covered: Preparing for the Interview - Interview Questions - The Role of the Chair - Checklist : Assessing the Candidates - References - Tips for giving Feedback to Candidates - Candidates with Disability - Record Keeping

Appendices (Word docs)

7.1 Interview scoresheet 

7.2 Reference Pro-forma

SECTION 8:  Recruitment Stage 5: Making an Offer of Employment

Topics covered: Verbal Offers - Conditional Offers - Start date - Written Confirmation - Written Statement of Terms and Conditions - Guidance Notes on the content of the Written Statement - Disclosure - Pre-Employment Checks 

Appendices (Word docs)

8.1  Model letter of appointment - written statement to follow (long)

8.2 Model letter of appointment - with written statement (short)

8.3 Written statement of terms and conditions - minimum

8.4 Written statement of terms and conditions - full 

8.5 Disciplinary and Dismissal procedure  - under review

8.6 Grievance procedure

8.7 Health and Safety procedure

8.8 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 - Spent and Unspent Convictions

8.9 Medical questionnaire  

SECTION 9: Pensions 

Appendix (Word doc)

9.1 Pension auto enrolment 


For those employers on the Central payroll as at April 2012, the staging dates have been deferred until April or May 2016.  A list of the modified staging dates, together with each employer's TPR reference number is available in Appendix 9.1

Any employers who have joined the central payroll after this date will either retain their staging date applicable to their PAYE reference as at April 2012, or if they are a new employer since 2012, their staging date will be as per the timeline which is available from the website:

SECTION 10: Pay Issues

Topics covered: The National Minimum Wage - The Living Wage - Honoraria/Payments to Volunteers - Guidance for Local Pay Arrangements - Local Religious Centres - Income Tax - Sick Pay Calculations

Appendices (Word docs)

10.1 Setting a salary

10.2 HMRC Guide for LRCs

10.3 HMRC Starter Checklist

10.4 MCH Advice on NI Allowance


SECTION 11: Residency Arrangements

Appendices (Word doc)

11.1  Conditions of Residential Occupancy 

SECTION 12:  Information Specific to the Employment of Children & Youth Worker

Topics covered: Issues to consider before recruitment - Providing support/management structure - Selecting the Line Manager - Job Description - Appointment of Qualified Workers - Terms and Conditions of Employment -  Advertising - Information and Support Sources

Everyone who is responsible for recruiting staff must read the Safer Recruitment Policy, and follow the '10 Step Procedure for All Recruitment'. Both documents are available from 

Appendices (Word docs)

12.1 Example Job Description - Children and Youth Worker

12.2 Example Person Specification - Children and Youth Worker

12.3 Example Job Description - Children and Families Worker

12.4 Example Person Specification - Children and Families Worker


SECTION 13: On-going Employment Issues 

Topics covered: Managing Performance - Variations to Contracts - Termination of Contracts - Redundancy - Retirement - Giving - References - Maternity, Paternity, Parental, Adoption Leave and Pay - Request from Parents for Flexible Working - Lone Working

Appendices (Word docs)

13.1  Redundancy Policy (template)

13.2 Statutory redundancy payment

13.3 Guidance: Risk Assessment for Lone Workers 

13.4  Risk Assessment Form for Lone Workers

13.5  Maternity Leave Policy - NEW

13.6  Maternity Leave Form - NEW

13.7  Letter re Maternity Leave & Pay - NEW

13.8  Antenatal Appointment Request Form - NEW

13.9  New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment Form

13.10 Keeping in Touch Days Form - NEW

13.11 Maternity Flowchart - NEW

13.12 Parental Leave Policy - NEW

13.13 Parental Leave Application form NEW

13.14 Shared Parental Leave Policy

13.15 Mother's intention to take SPL form

13.16 Start and End dates of SPL form

13.17 Mother's Notice to end SPL form

13.18 Partner's Intention to take SPL form


SECTION 14: Other Employment Legislation

Topics covered: Data Protection Act - Working Time Regulations - Information Sources


Pensions Auto-enrolment: 

Your Action Plan for Auto - enrolment

Pension Auto-enrollment Flowchart

Practice Guides:

Good Practice Guide : Holidays and holiday pay (Pdf)
Good Practice Guide: Performance management (Pdf)
Good Practice Guide: Managing Individual Redundancies (Pdf)

Probation: Line manager briefing on effective management of the probationary period

Exit Interview Pro forma                    

Maternity Guidelines (Word doc) - under review

New & Expected Mother Risk Assessment Form (Word doc)

Paternity Leave Guidance (Word doc)
Parental Leave Guidance (Word doc) - under review

Adoption Leave Guidance (Word doc) - under review


If you require any assistance with the above please contact the HR and Development Office on 020 7486 5502


Feedback & copyright

Methodist churches are free to use this Lay Employment Advisory Information for their own use. Any other organisations or individuals wishing to reproduce the material must contact the Methodist Church for permission. The material is copyright and cannot be used commercially without permission.

© Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes, 2010

For further information contact the Methodist Church HR & Development Office at: 
Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
 020 7486 5502 


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