UPDATED: New Landmark Employment Ruling for Clergy

A former Methodist minister, represented by Nalders and James Bax of Counsel, has obtained a landmark decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in London.
By: Eventy - Marketing & PR
March 23, 2011 - PRLog -- The EAT has ruled that Haley Moore (who has married since the start of proceedings and is now Preston) was an employee for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and, that she may therefore proceed with her claim for constructive unfair dismissal against her employer, the President of the Methodist Conference.  

This decision is significant given that the Court of Appeal had previously determined that a Methodist minister was not an employee (see President of the Methodist Conference v Parfitt [1984] ICR 176) and therefore did not have the statutory rights afforded to employees such as the right to claim unfair dismissal.

Dale Band, Partner at Nalders Solicitors who represented Mrs Preston said:

"Nalders are pleased to be representing Haley in her quest to ensure that Methodist ministers are treated fairly and consistently in undertaking their work.  The decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is a significant step towards achieving this as it establishes that a Methodist minister is an employee under employment legislation, which is contrary to the Court of Appeal's decision about Methodist ministers in 1984. The Methodist Church has 21 days from the date of the EAT's order of 15 March 2011 to make an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal."

The EAT decision follows on from the recent decisions of Percy v Board of National Mission of the Church of Scotland [2006] ICR 134 and, New Testament Church of God v Stewart [2008] ICR 282 which alluded to a sea-change in the legal status of the clergy.  

It is unknown at this stage whether the President of the Methodist Conference intends to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

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