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Act 10, 2006 (X) – Act anent Appointment and Employment of Presbytery Workers. 23rd May 2006. (As amended by Act 4, 2007 (IV) – Act anent Doctrinal Subscription of Youth Workers and Act 5, 2007 (V) – Act anent Youth Assistant in Bon Acord Free Church, Aberdeen)

The General Assembly, recognising that Presbyteries and Congregations may wish to engage the services of suitable persons other than ordained ministers in the service of the Church on a local level, approve the following arrangements for Auxiliary Workers. The Assembly declare that such regulations shall be mandatory for Presbytery workers and strongly recommend Kirk Sessions to put them into practice in the appointment of congregational youth workers. Auxiliary workers may be engaged within the bounds of a single presbytery as Presbytery Workers to undertake a variety of tasks which may include pulpit supply, pastoral visitation, and evangelism.

1.1 Prior to any such appointment the specific duties shall be defined by the Presbytery and detailed in a suitable job description.

1.2 Where the specific duties include pulpit supply Presbytery Workers shall be office bearers of the Free Church of Scotland. In all other cases Presbytery Workers shall be communicant members of the Free Church of Scotland. All such workers shall accept and support the doctrinal position of the Free Church of Scotland as contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith. In the event of a genuine difficulty arising at a later date it will be necessary for the worker to discuss the issue with his / her line manager.

1.3 Appointment shall be by the Presbytery on recommendation by the applicant’s Kirk Session. The Presbytery shall be satisfied with the theological and professional competence of the applicant. Workers shall undertake a suitable training course as necessary, prior to or as soon as possible after taking up their appointment.

1.4 Workers shall be answerable to the Presbytery and their duties will be carried out under the immediate oversight of the Presbytery. On taking up their duties workers shall be formally commissioned at a service of public worship arranged by the Presbytery.

1.5 The Presbytery shall appoint a line manager who shall be a minister or elder of the Church. The Presbytery, in appointing a line manager, shall outline in writing the duties, responsibilities and levels of authority of the line manager.

1.6 Presbytery workers shall report on their work to the Presbytery from time to time as the Presbytery may require.

1.7 Appointments shall normally be for periods of not more than three years and shall be subject to review by the Presbytery to be completed not less than six months before the end of that period.

2. Auxiliary workers may also be engaged within the bounds of a single presbytery, or by Presbytery agreement within a single congregation, as Youth Workers to undertake tasks which may include evangelistic and pastoral work among young people.

2.1 Prior to any such appointment the specific duties shall be defined by the Presbytery, or in the case of congregational workers by the Kirk Session and specified in a suitable job description. The Presbytery or the Kirk Session shall advise the Youth Committee on the agreed duties.

2.2 Youth Workers shall be communicant members of the Free Church of Scotland and shall accept and support the doctrinal position of the Free Church of Scotland as contained in the Shorter Catechism. In the event of a genuine difficulty arising at a later date it will be necessary for the worker to discuss the issue with his / her line manager.[1]

2.3 Appointment shall be by the Presbytery on recommendation by the applicant’s Kirk Session, or in the case of congregational Youth Workers appointment by the Kirk Session. Workers shall be answerable to the Presbytery or the Kirk Session according to the particular appointment. On taking up their duties workers shall be formally commissioned at a service of public worship arranged by the Presbytery or the Kirk Session in the case of congregational workers.

2.4 The Presbytery shall be satisfied with the theological and professional competence of the applicant. Youth Workers shall undertake a suitable training course as necessary, prior to or as soon as possible after taking up their appointment.

2.5 The Presbytery, or the Kirk Session in the case of a congregational worker, shall appoint a line manager who shall be a minister or elder of the Church. The Presbytery and the Kirk Session, in appointing a line manager, shall outline in writing the duties, responsibilities and levels of authority of the line manager.

2.6 Youth Workers shall report on their work to the Presbytery, or to the Kirk Session in the case of congregational workers, from time to time as agreed by the Presbytery or Kirk Session.

2.7 Appointments shall normally be for periods of not more than three years and shall be subject to review by the Presbytery or the Kirk Session to be completed at least six months before the end of that period.

2.8 Youth Ministers in the congregation of Aberdeen, hitherto appointed in terms of Act V, 2003, shall be deemed to be Congregational Youth Workers and shall be subject to the terms of this Act.

3. For each person appointed under this Act the Presbytery or Kirk Session shall, in consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer at the Free Church Offices, formulate a contract of employment consistent with this Act and shall give outline guidance for the duties, responsibilities and levels of authority of the line manager. The contract shall take into account inter alia salary, annual leave, sick leave provisions, expenses, pension entitlement, grievance and disciplinary procedures, duration and termination of employment, and doctrinal subscription. The contract of employment should be set out as being between the employee and either the Presbytery or the congregation, as appropriate, and not as between the employee and the central Church.

3.1. In the case of both Presbytery Workers and Youth Workers employed by a Presbytery, remuneration shall be met by the Presbytery, with the minimum rate being equivalent to 80% of the stipend where the worker is employed full-time. If there is a shortfall in meeting the necessary funding for the post, application may be made to the Committee on Sustentation and Ministry or the Youth Committee in the case of Youth Workers. Such applications shall only be considered by these Committees when the Presbytery is committed to meeting 75% of the worker’s remuneration and a detailed budget is provided, identifying all sources of income and all costs, including salary, national insurance, pension and expenses. Workers whose hours of service are less than full-time shall be remunerated appropriately.

3.2. In order to meet the Church’s budgetary timetable, applications to central Committees for funding must be made, at the latest, by 1st February for expenditure starting, at the earliest, on 1st January of the following year. Application by 1st September for expenditure starting 16 months later is preferable and more likely to be successful.

3.3. In the case of Youth Workers appointed by Kirk Sessions remuneration shall normally be met by the Deacons’ Court. Kirk Sessions may not make such appointments unless the congregation has met its annual commitment to central funds in each of the previous three years and on the understanding that such appointments will not adversely affect ongoing remittances to central funds.

3.4. Before making an appointment under this legislation, Presbyteries or congregations must ensure that firm, legally enforceable commitments are in place for each source of funding for the duration of the contract of employment.

3.5. Auxiliary Workers shall be entitled to recover approved expenses incurred in  the performance of their duties. In the case of mileage expenses, these shall be reimbursed in line with Act XXIII, 2005.

3.6. Accommodation shall not normally be provided.

3.7. Auxiliary Workers shall be entitled to annual leave as agreed in the contract of employment.

3.8. Presbytery workers appointed under this Act shall be entitled to the statutory notice of termination of appointment. Termination of employment shall be determined by the Presbytery, or the Kirk Session in the case of Congregational Youth Workers, subject to appeal in accordance with procedures set out in the contract of employment.

The General Assembly hereby repeals Act XVIII, Class II, 2002, and Act V, Class II, 2003.

[1] Amended by Act IV, 2007 – Act anent Doctrinal Subscription of Youth Workers