Trade Union for Parish Clergy

The clergy are vulnerable because they are classed as self-employed office holders. They are thus excluded from the protection offered by employment law and cannot claim unfair dismissal, or seek protection under health and safety laws. The TUC is now lobbying for the government to change the law to give priests better protection. Priests carry the can for every problem in the parish and are under continuous pressure. Both the Anglican and Presbyterian system have a poor record of support leading to depression and a nervous breakdown among frontline clerics. The problem has become so dire that a special hot line has been set up by the trade union Unite which deals with around 150 cases a year.


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