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Coronavirus: A guide for churches as employers  - updated 29 June

On Saturday 4 April the government published an extension to the job retention scheme and staff furlough arrangements to extend these to office holders. This means that the majority of ministers are now potentially covered by the furlough arrangements.  In most churches, there will be no opportunity to furlough the minister because of their ongoing workload in terms of leadership, pastoral care and involvement in community support.
In the rare cases where a church may wish to consider placing a minister on furlough, please speak to your Regional Minister or to Andy Hughes, Ministries Team Leader before taking action to implement this.  A more detailed note on furlough for ministers will be published tomorrow and circulated via email to all churches.
This guide for churches looks at the new provisions in place to offer employers financial support in relation to employment costs during the coronavirus pandemic.  The guide looks at the current support offerings for employers and talks through the practicalities of using these options with your staff.

This is the fifth version of this guide, taking into account the latest government guidance as of 29 June 2020.  It includes a section on Risk assessment for staff returning to work in church offices and buildings,  which is of particular help if your church has either employed staff or appointed ministers, so that you can plan for their safe return to work and you can meet your duty of care towards them.

Each section gives a straightforward overview of the provisions available and some sections contain a link to a more detailed page to help you apply the provisions in your church. The last of the detail pages includes links to the key government information pages on each topic.

Also included as links are a set of example letters for discussing these provisions with your staff.  We hope these resources give you a good overview and provide you with the tools to use the sick pay and employee furlough support arrangements as and when you need them.

Version 1: 27 March 2020 (3.45pm)
Version 2: 6 April 2020 (5pm)
Version 3: 8 June 2020 (4pm)
Version 4: 23 June 2020 (9am)
Version 5: 29 June 2020 (9pm)

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Links to all our guidance information
Updated to reflect the easing of National Lockdowns in England and Wales
Guidance for churches following the Government's latest announcements
The latest guidance for churches
The latest guidance for ministers
Guidance from our Legal Team on various legal and regulatory issues
    Posted: 20/03/2020