WEST CHURCH, BANGOR
Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment
In compliance with the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 this Statement sets out
terms and conditions of your employment contract (except where the contrary is expressly stated)
1 Employer’s Name/Address Employee’s Name/Address
West Presbyterian Church
Rathmore Road, Bangor, Co. Down, BT19 1DF
2 Date of Commencement of Employment
Your employment began on .......................
3 Continuity of Employment
No employment with a previous employer counts as part of your continuous employment
4 Period of Employment
a) Your employment is for a fixed term of 3 years with the potential for extension, subject to the
Sections on Probation (4.b) and Notice (13) and to the general rights of termination under the
b) The first 6 months of the employment will be a probationary period. At the end of the
probationary period your performance will be reviewed and if found satisfactory your
employment will be confirmed. If appropriate the probationary period may be extended.
c) Nothing in these Particulars prevents us from terminating your employment summarily or
otherwise in the event of any serious breach by you of the Terms of Employment or in the
event of any act or acts of gross misconduct by you.
d) Confirmation of your employment is subject to a satisfactory Access NI check at
commencement, and from time-to-time thereafter as may be required by the Employer.
5 Job Title
You are employed as a Pastoral Ministries’ Associate, West Church Bangor.
However, as and when considered necessary or appropriate, you are liable to transfer to or
undertake other duties, within competence and within reason, in order to meet fluctuations or
priorities in work demands.
6 Place of Work
Your place of work is at West Presbyterian Church, Rathmore Road, Bangor or wherever the
employer has an operational requirement.
7 Requirement to work outside the UK
You will not be required to work outside the UK for a period of 1 month or more
8 Pay Arrangements
a) Salary scale will be in the range £TBA
b) One twelfth of annual salary will be paid monthly, in arrears.
c) Salary will be reviewed annually in January.
Note : to be exactly specified at the time of appointment
In addition you may recover vouched, approved and eligible expenses for expenditure incurred
in connection with this employment.
9 Hours of Work/Additional Hours
a) You will be required to work 37 hours per week. Actual working hours will depend on the
operational needs of the employer, and will include evening and weekend working.
b) You will develop and maintain a weekly “Work Program” with the Line Manager, to identify key
tasks and objectives and assess the time necessary
c) The Employer and you agree that the limit of an average working time of 48 hours, including
overtime, for each 7 day period as set out in paragraph 4 of the Working Time Regulations
1998 shall not apply to you. This Agreement shall remain in force indefinitely unless or until
terminated by you at any time by giving not less than 3 months written notice to the Line
10 Annual Holidays
a) You are entitled to the following paid holidays:
i. 10 statutory or bank holidays which are New Year’s Day, St.Patrick’s Day, Easter Monday, Easter
Tuesday, May Day, 12 July, 13 July, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, unless on
any such holiday you are required to carry out duties, in which case you will be
given another day’s holiday in lieu of the holiday worked.
ii. 25 working days holiday in each year accumulating on a pro rata basis per
completed month served. This entitlement is subject to the following sub-clauses
of this clause and shall only be taken after agreement with the Line Manager.
Such agreement is to be obtained before you commit yourself to bookings or make
other alternative positive arrangements.
b) The holiday year runs from 1st January to 31st December and you should take your holidays
during this period. You will not be permitted to carry over unused holiday entitlement into a
following holiday year except with the express written consent of the Line Manager. You will
not be entitled to payment for any unused holiday entitlement.
c) If you leave the employment with any holiday leave accrued but untaken, you will, in addition to
any other sums to which you may be entitled, be paid a sum representing salary for the
number of days holiday so accrued. If you leave the employment having taken more than the
accumulated holiday entitlement for the current holiday year then a sum equivalent to wages
for the additional holiday will be deducted from any final payment to you and the balance will
be paid to you.
d) Of the 25 days annual leave, 10 days must normally be taken during July and August. Pro-rata
applies in first year of service.
e) Holiday pay, if applicable, will be paid at basic rate of pay.
The Employer will pay Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) in accordance with the Government’s Statutory
Sick Pay Scheme during the first year of employment and thereafter on the basis of one month’s full
pay and one month’s half pay per year of service.
An additional period of sickness absence may be paid at full or part salary at the discretion of the Kirk
To obtain SSP and/ or salary due during sickness you must follow the Absence Notification Procedure
as described in the Appendix 1.
12 Pension and Health Insurance
a) There is a Stakeholder Pension Scheme applicable to your employment, Further details are
available from your Line Manager
b) There is no Health Insurance Scheme applicable to your employment.
13 Notice Entitlement/Requirements
a) During your first month of employment you are required to give not less than 2 day’s notice
should you decide to resign, and the Employer must give you not less than 1 week’s notice to
terminate your employment.
b) After 1 month of employment you are required to give 1 week’s notice, and the Employer must
give you not less than I week’s notice should it decide to terminate your contract.
c) After 2 year’s continuous employment you are required to give 1 month’s notice, and Employer
must give you 1 month’s notice should it decide to terminate your contract. The Employer’s
notice to you will then increase by one week for each subsequent year of continuous service,
up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
14 Procedures for dealing with capability issues
The procedures that will apply when dealing with capability issues that may arise during the course
of your employment, including dismissal on the grounds of capability, are shown under the heading
“CAPABILITY AND CAPABILITY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES” in Appendix 3 to which you should
refer. For the avoidance of doubt, these procedures will also incorporate (on a non-contractual
basis) the procedures shown under the heading “STATUTORY DISMISSAL AND APPEAL
PROCEDURES” in Appendix 6 where legally required.
15 Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures
The disciplinary rules that form part of your contract of employment and the procedures that will
apply when dealing with disciplinary issues and disciplinary dismissals are shown under the
heading “DISCIPLINARY AND DISCIPLINARY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES” in Appendix 4 to
which you should refer. For the avoidance of doubt, these procedures will also incorporate (on a
non-contractual basis) the procedures shown under the heading “STATUTORY DISMISSAL AND
APPEAL PROCEDURES” where legally required.
16 Capability/Disciplinary Appeal Procedure
Should you be dissatisfied with any decision to take action or dismiss you on capability/disciplinary
grounds, you should apply, either verbally or in writing, to your Line Manager within five working
days of the decision you are complaining against. Further information can be found in Appendix 5
under the heading “CAPABILITY/DISCIPLINARY APPEAL PROCEDURE” to which you should
17 Statutory Dismissal and Appeal Procedures
The procedures that will apply, where legally required, when dealing with dismissals other than
capability/disciplinary dismissals, are shown under the heading “STATUTORY DISMISSAL AND
APPEAL PROCEDURES” in Appendix 6 to which you should refer. These procedures are set
down by statute and do not form part of your Contract of Employment. Should there be any
change to the relevant statutory procedures or to the circumstances in which they apply then such
changes will be taken into account. Additional procedures may be followed where appropriate to
the circumstances of any particular case. Should you be dissatisfied with any decision to dismiss
you under these procedures, you should apply, either verbally or in writing, to your Line Manager
within five working days of the decision you are complaining against.
18 Grievance Procedure
Should you feel aggrieved at any matter relating to your employment, you should raise the
grievance with your Line Manager, either verbally or in writing. However, you should be aware
that in order to avail yourself of certain statutory rights, you must set out your grievance and the
basis for it in writing. Further information can be found in Appendix 7.
19 Equal Opportunities Policy
The Equal Opportunities Policy is set out in Appendix 8 to this document. In addition, a copy is
held by management and may be inspected on request. You are required to make yourself
conversant with this document.
20 Harassment Policy and Procedure
The Harassment Policy and Procedures are set out in Appendix 9 to this document. In addition, a
copy is held by management and may be inspected on request. You are required to make yourself
conversant with this document.
21 Collective Agreements
There are no collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of your
22 Child Protection Policy
You are required to work within the provisions detailed in our “Safeguarding Children Policy”, which
have been developed to ensure a safe environment for children, young people and leaders.
A copy of our “Safeguarding Children Policy” is attached at Appendix 11, and a full copy of the
Leader’s Handbook and Guidelines as well as the PCI Taking Care Manual will be made available
to the employee.
23 Changes in Terms and Conditions
From time to time these main terms and conditions of employment may be subject to change by
mutual consent. Should this occur, you will be informed within one month from the change taking
effect by individual written notification.
I hereby acknowledge receipt of this Statement together with a copy of:-
Appendix 1 Sickness Notification Procedure
Appendix 2 Protected Disclosure
Appendix 3 Capability and Capability Dismissal Procedure
Appendix 4 Disciplinary and Disciplinary Dismissal Procedure
Appendix 5 Capability/ Disciplinary Appeal Procedure
Appendix 6 Statutory Dismissal and Appeal Procedures
Appendix 7 Grievance Procedure
Appendix 8 Equal Opportunities Policy
Appendix 9 Harassment Policy and Procedures
Appendix 10 Termination of Employment Arrangements
Appendix 11 Child Protection Policy
For purposes of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, the following provisions in
this Statement are to be treated as agreed in writing -
(i) The holiday year (1 January to 31 December)
(ii) The compensation to be paid to the employer where holiday entitlement is exceeded at the
date of termination (pro-rata normal pay rates)
(iii) The notice to be given –
(a) by you when seeking holiday dates (6 weeks for holidays of more than 2 days)
(b) by the employer when requiring holidays to be taken on specified dates (12 weeks)
(c) by the employer when approving/not approving holiday dates requested (4 weeks))
Signature ___________________________________ ________________________ (Date)
Signature ___________________________________ ________________________ (Date)
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
A) NOTIFICATION OF INCAPACITY FOR WORK
1. You must notify us on the first day of incapacity and at the earliest possible opportunity by phone or
email. Notification should be made personally (or if you are unable to do so, then by a relative,
neighbour or friend), to your Line Manager. You should try to give some indication of your
expected return date and notify us as soon as possible if this date changes.
2. If your incapacity extends to more than seven days you are required to notify us of your continued
incapacity once a week thereafter, unless otherwise agreed.
B) EVIDENCE OF INCAPACITY
1. Doctors’ certificates are not issued for short-term incapacity. In these cases of incapacity (up to
seven calendar days) you must sign a self-certification absence form on your return to work.
2. If your sickness has been (or you know that it will be) for longer than seven days (whether or not
they are working days) you should see your doctor and make sure he/she gives you a medical
certificate and forward this to us without delay. Subsequently you must supply us with consecutive
doctors’ medical certificates to cover the whole of your absence.
1. You are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) if you are absent because of sickness or injury
provided you meet the criteria in the current SSP regulations. When you are absent for four or
more consecutive days you will be paid SSP by us if you are eligible. This is treated like wages
and is subject to normal deductions.
2. Qualifying days are the only days for which you are entitled to SSP. These days will be notified to
you. The first three qualifying days of absence are waiting days for which SSP is not payable.
Where a second or subsequent period of incapacity (of four days or more) occurs within 56 days of
a previous period of incapacity, waiting days are not served again.
3. Where the circumstances of your incapacity are such that you receive or are awarded any sum by
way of compensation or damages in respect of the incapacity from a third party, then any
payments which we may have made to you because of the absence (including SSP) shall be
repaid by you to us up to an amount not exceeding the amount of the compensation or damages
paid by the third party and up to, but not exceeding, any amount paid by us.
4. During periods of sickness you are expected to do your utmost to facilitate a speedy return to work.
The Church would not under normal circumstances expect you to:-
a) participate in any sports, hobbies, social or any other activities, meetings, etc. which are in
any way inconsistent with your sickness or which could aggravate your condition or delay
recovery. There may be some instances however, where by these activities may be
considered therapeutic. We reserve the right to seek the necessary professional medical
advice on this matter.
b) undertake any other work, paid or unpaid. This includes engaging in work around the
house where it is inconsistent with your condition.
The above examples are only illustrative, not exhaustive. Should you be in any doubt regarding
the appropriateness of your behaviour whilst absent due to sickness, you should consult your
D) RETURN TO WORK
1. You should notify your Line Manager as soon as you know on which day you will be returning to
work, if this differs from a date of return previously notified.
2. If you have been suffering from an infectious or contagious disease or illness such as rubella or
hepatitis you must not report for work without clearance from your own doctor.
3. On your return to work after any period of sickness/injury absence (including absence covered by a
medical certificate), you are also required to complete a self-certification absence form and hand
this to your Line Manager
4. Upon returning to work you may be interviewed by your Line Manager to ascertain your wellbeing.
1. Submission of a medical certificate or sickness self-certification absence form, although giving us
the reason for your absence, may not always be regarded by us as sufficient justification for
accepting your absence. Continual or repeated absence through sickness may not be acceptable
2. In deciding whether your absence is acceptable or not we will take into account the reasons and
extent of all your absences, including any absence caused by sickness.
3. We will take a serious view if you take sickness/injury leave which is not genuine, and it will result
in disciplinary action being taken.
4. If we consider it necessary, we may ask your permission to contact your doctor or for you to be
independently medically examined.
5. During sickness absence you must not participate in any activities which are inconsistent with your
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
1. Under certain circumstances, employees have legal protection if they make disclosures about
organisations for whom they work. These employees are commonly referred to as ‘whistle
blowers’ and their activities have often received wide publicity in the media.
2. An employee who believed, for example, that organisations were disposing of toxic waste illegally
may have ‘blown the whistle’ directly to the press or television, perhaps because of concern for the
environment, a belief that the organisation would attempt a ‘cover-up’ if asked to stop, or for
3. Employees, who blew the whistle on organisations, were often treated detrimentally by them or
their engagements were terminated. This discouraged employees from whistle blowing even where
such action would be for the good of the public. The legislation is designed to protect employees
from suffering any detriment or termination of engagement for whistle blowing.
B) QUALIFYING DISCLOSURES
1. Certain disclosures are prescribed by law as ‘qualifying disclosures’. Disclosures are qualifying
disclosures where it can be shown that the company commits a ‘relevant failure’ by:-
a. committing a criminal offence;
b. failing to comply with a legal obligation;
c. a miscarriage of justice;
d. endangering the health and safety of an individual;
e. environmental damage; and
f. concealing any information relating to the above.
2. These acts can be in the past, present or future, so that, for example, a disclosure qualifies if it
relates to environmental damage that has happened, is happening, or is likely to happen.
C) THE PROCEDURE
1. If you so wish you should in the first instance report any concerns you may have to your Line
Manager who will treat the matter with complete confidence. If you are not satisfied with the
explanation or reason given to you, you should raise the matter with the appropriate organisation or
body, e.g. the Police, the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive or Social Services
2. If you do not report your concerns to your Line Manager you may take them direct to the
appropriate organisation or body.
D) GENERAL NOTES
1. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 prevents you from suffering a detriment or having your
contract terminated for ‘whistle blowing’ and we take very seriously any concerns which you may
raise under this legislation.
2. We encourage you to use the procedure if you are concerned about any wrong doing at work.
However, if the procedure has not been invoked in good faith (e.g. for malicious reasons or in
pursuit of a personal grudge), then it will make you liable to immediate termination of engagement
or such lesser disciplinary sanction as may be appropriate in the circumstances .
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
CAPABILITY AND CAPABILITY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
We recognise that during your employment with us your capability to carry out your duties may
deteriorate. This can be for a number of reasons, the most common ones being that either the job
changes over a period of time and you fail to keep pace with the changes, or you change (most
commonly because of health reasons) and you can no longer cope with the work.
B) JOB CHANGES
1. If the nature of your job changes we will make every effort to ensure that you understand the level
of performance expected of you and that you receive adequate training and supervision. If we
have concerns regarding your capability these will be discussed in an informal manner and you will
be given time to improve.
2. If your standard of performance is still not adequate you will be warned in writing that a failure to
improve and to maintain the performance required could lead to your dismissal. We will also
consider the possibility of a transfer to more suitable work if possible.
3. If there is still no improvement after a reasonable time and we cannot transfer you to more suitable
work, you will be issued with a final warning that you will be dismissed unless the required standard
of performance is achieved and maintained.
4. If such improvement is not forthcoming after an agreed period of time, you will be dismissed with
the appropriate notice.
C) PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
1. Personal circumstances may arise which do not prevent you from attending for work but which
prevent you from carrying out your normal duties (e.g. a lack of dexterity or general ill health). If
such a situation arises, we will normally need to have details of your medical diagnosis and
prognosis so that we have the benefit of expert advice. Under normal circumstances this can be
most easily obtained by asking your own doctor for a medical report. Your permission is needed
before we can obtain such a report and we will expect you to co-operate in this matter should the
need arise. When we have obtained as much information as possible regarding your condition and
after consultation with you, a decision will be made about your future employment with us in your
current role or, where circumstances permit, in a more suitable role.
2. There may also be personal circumstances which prevent you from attending work, either for a
prolonged period(s) or for frequent short absences. Under these circumstances we will need to
know when we can expect your attendance record to reach an acceptable level. This may again
mean asking your own doctor for a medical report or by making whatever investigations are
appropriate in the circumstances. When we have obtained as much information as possible
regarding your condition, and after consultation with you, a decision will be made about your future
employment with us in your current role or, where circumstances permit, in a more suitable role.
D) SHORT SERVICE STAFF
We retain discretion in respect of the capability procedures to take account of your length of service
and to vary the procedures accordingly. If you have a short amount of service, you may not be in
receipt of any warnings before dismissal but you will retain the right to a hearing and you will have
the right to appeal.
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
DISCIPLINARY & DISCIPLINARY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
1. It is necessary to have a minimum number of rules in the interests of the whole organisation.
2. The rules set standards of performance and behaviour whilst the procedures are designed to help
promote fairness and order in the treatment of individuals. It is our aim that the rules and
procedures should emphasise and encourage improvement in the conduct of individuals, where
they are failing to meet the required standards, and not be seen as a means of punishment.
3. Every effort will be made to ensure that any action taken under this procedure is fair, with you
being given the opportunity to state your case and appeal against any decision that you consider to
4. The following rules and procedures should ensure that:-
a. the correct procedure is used when inviting you to a disciplinary hearing;
b. you are fully aware of the standards of performance, action and behaviour required of you;
c. disciplinary action, where necessary, is taken speedily and in a fair, uniform and consistent
d. you will only be disciplined after careful investigation of the facts and the opportunity to
present your side of the case. On some occasions temporary suspension on full pay may
be necessary in order that an uninterrupted investigation can take place. This must not be
regarded as disciplinary action or a penalty of any kind;
e. other than for an "off the record" informal reprimand, you have the right to be accompanied
by a fellow employee, who may act as a witness or speak on your behalf, at all stages of
the formal disciplinary process;
f. you will not normally be dismissed for a first breach of discipline, except in the case of
gross misconduct; and
g. if you are disciplined, you will receive an explanation of the penalty imposed and you will
have the right to appeal against the finding and the penalty.
B) DISCIPLINARY RULES
It is not practicable to specify all disciplinary rules or offences that may result in disciplinary action,
as they may vary depending on the nature of the work. In addition to the specific examples of
minor misconduct, major misconduct and gross misconduct shown in this procedure, a breach of
other conditions, procedures, rules etc. could also result in the disciplinary procedure being used to
deal with such matters.
C) RULES COVERING MINOR MISCONDUCT
(these are examples only and not an exhaustive list)
You will be liable to disciplinary action if you are found to have acted in any of the following ways:-
a. failure to abide by the general health and safety rules and procedures;
b. persistent absenteeism and/or lateness;
c. unsatisfactory standards or output of work;
d. unauthorised use or negligent damage or loss of our property; and
e. failure to report immediately any damage to property or premises caused by you.
D) RULES COVERING MAJOR MISCONDUCT
(these are examples only and not an exhaustive list)
a rudeness towards members of the congregation, service users or other employees,
objectionable or insulting behaviour or bad language;
b. failure to devote the whole of your time, attention and abilities to the church and its affairs
during your normal working hours;
c. failure to carry out all reasonable instructions or follow our rules and procedures;
d. unauthorized disclosure of confidential information
if your work involves driving, failure to report immediately any type of driving conviction, or
any summons which may lead to your conviction; and
e. loss of driving licence where driving on public roads forms an essential part of the duties of
E) RULES COVERING GROSS MISCONDUCT
(these are examples only and not an exhaustive list)
Occurrences of gross misconduct are very rare because the penalty is dismissal without notice and
without any previous warning being issued. It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of
examples of gross misconduct. However, any behaviour or negligence resulting in a fundamental
breach of contractual terms that irrevocably destroys the trust and confidence necessary to
continue the employment relationship will constitute gross misconduct. Examples of offences that
will normally be deemed as gross misconduct include serious instances of:-
a. theft or fraud;
b. physical violence or bullying;
c. deliberate damage to property;
d. deliberate acts of unlawful discrimination or harassment;
e. possession, or being under the influence, of illegal drugs at work; and
f. breach of health and safety rules that endangers the lives of, or may cause serious injury
to, employees or any other person.
(The above examples are illustrative and do not form an exhaustive list.)
F) DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
1. Disciplinary action taken against you will be based on the following procedure:-
OFFENCE FIRST SECOND THIRD FOURTH
OCCASION OCCASION OCCASION OCCASION
MINOR Formal Written Final Dismissal
MISCONDUCT verbal warning written
EITHER Written Final Dismissal
warning written warning
2. We retain discretion in respect of the disciplinary procedures to take account of your length of
service and to vary the procedures accordingly. If you have a short amount of service you may not
be in receipt of any warnings before dismissal but you will retain the right to a disciplinary hearing
and you will have the right of appeal.
3. If a disciplinary penalty is imposed it will be in line with the procedure outlined above, which may
encompass a formal verbal warning, written warning, final written warning, or dismissal, and full
details will be given to you.
4. In all cases warnings will be issued for misconduct, irrespective of the precise matters concerned,
and any further breach of the rules in relation to similar or entirely independent matters of
misconduct will be treated as further disciplinary matters and allow the continuation of the
disciplinary process through to dismissal if the warnings are not heeded.
G) DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY
The operation of the disciplinary procedure contained in the previous section is based on the
following authority at the various levels of disciplinary action. However, the list does not prevent a
higher level of seniority progressing any action at whatever stage of the disciplinary process.
Formal verbal warning Line Manager or a Nominated Representative
Written warning Clerk of Session of West Church Kirk Session (hereafter referred to as the “Kirk
Session”) or a Nominated Representative
Final written warning by the Kirk Session or a Nominated Representative
Dismissal Clerk of Session of West Church Kirk Session or a Nominated Representative
H) PERIOD OF WARNINGS
A formal verbal warning will normally be disregarded after a six month period.
A written warning will normally be disregarded after a six month period.
A final written warning will normally be disregarded after a twelve month period.
I) GENERAL NOTES
1. If you are in a supervisory or management position then demotion to a lower status may be
considered as an alternative to dismissal except in cases of gross misconduct.
2. In exceptional circumstances suspension from work without pay for up to five days as an
alternative to dismissal (except dismissal for gross misconduct) may be considered by the person
authorised to dismiss.
3. Gross misconduct offences will result in dismissal without notice.
4. You have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action.
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
CAPABILITY / DISCIPLINARY APPEAL PROCEDURE
1. You have the right to lodge an appeal in respect of any capability/disciplinary action taken against
2. If you wish to exercise this right you should apply either verbally or in writing to the person
indicated in your individual Statement of Main Terms of Employment.
3. An appeal against a formal warning or dismissal should give details of why the penalty imposed is
either too severe, inappropriate or unfair in the circumstances.
4. The appeal procedure will normally be conducted by a member of staff not previously connected
with the process so that an independent decision into the severity and appropriateness of the
action taken can be made.
5. If you are appealing on the grounds that you have not committed the offence then your appeal may
take the form of a complete re-hearing and reappraisal of all matters so that the person who
conducts the appeal can make an independent decision before deciding to grant or refuse the
6. You may be accompanied at any stage of the appeal hearing by a fellow employee of your choice,
who may act as a witness or speak on your behalf
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
STATUTORY DISMISSAL AND APPEAL PROCEDURES
1. This section does not form part of your Contract of Employment but the procedures set out below
may apply, where legally required, in the specific circumstances described in your individual
Statement of Main Terms of Employment.
Step 1: Statement of grounds for action and invitation to meeting.
• Your alleged conduct or characteristics, or other circumstances, which lead us to
contemplate dismissing or taking disciplinary action against you, will be set out in writing.
• This statement, or a copy of it, will be sent to you and you will be invited to attend a
meeting to discuss the matter.
Step 2: Meeting.
• The meeting will take place before action is taken, except in the case where disciplinary
action consists of suspension.
• The meeting will not take place unless:
(a) you have been informed what the basis was for including in the statement, under
Step 1, the ground or grounds in it; and
(b) you have had a reasonable opportunity to consider your response to that information.
• You must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.
• After the meeting, you will be informed of the decision and notified of the right to appeal
against the decision if you are not satisfied with it.
Step 3: Appeal.
• If you wish to appeal, you must inform us.
• If you inform us of your wish to appeal, you will be invited to attend a further meeting.
• You must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.
• The appeal meeting need not take place before the dismissal or disciplinary action takes effect.
• After the appeal meeting you will be informed of the final decision.
2. General Requirements:
The following requirements will be adhered to in respect of the above procedures (so far as
• Each step and action under the procedure will be taken without unreasonable delay.
• Timing and location of meetings will be reasonable.
• Meetings will be conducted in a manner that enables both parties to explain their cases.
In the case of appeal meetings, which are not the first meeting, we will, so far as is reasonably
practicable, be represented by a more senior manager than attended the first meeting (unless the
most senior manager attended that meeting).
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
1. It is important that if you feel dissatisfied with any matter relating to your employment you should
have an effective means by which such a grievance can be aired and, where appropriate, resolved.
2. Nothing in this procedure is intended to prevent you from informally raising any matter you may
wish to mention. Informal discussion can frequently solve problems without the need for a written
record. However, if you wish to raise a formal grievance you should normally do so in writing from
the outset. Whilst we will give the same consideration to any grievance that you raise verbally,
provided that you make it clear that you wish it to be treated formally, you should be aware that, in
most circumstances, the law requires you to provide us with written details of your grievance before
taking certain types of legal action.
3. You have the right to be accompanied at any stage of the procedure by a fellow employee or Trade
union representative who may act as a witness or speak on your behalf to explain the situation
4. If you feel aggrieved at any matter relating to your work (except personal harassment, for which
there is a separate procedure available from your Line Manager), you should first raise the matter
with your Line Manager, explaining fully the nature and extent of your grievance. You will then be
invited to a meeting at a reasonable time and location at which your grievance will be investigated
fully. You must take all reasonable steps to attend this meeting. You will be notified of the
decision, in writing, normally within ten working days of the meeting, including your right of appeal.
5. If you wish to appeal you must inform the Clerk of Session within five
working days. You will then be invited to a further meeting, which you must take all reasonable
steps to attend. As far as reasonably practicable, the Church will be represented by a more senior
representative than attended the first meeting (unless the most senior manager attended that
6. Following the appeal meeting you will be informed of the final decision, normally within ten working
days, which will be confirmed in writing.
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY
A) STATEMENT OF POLICY
1. We recognise that discrimination is unacceptable and although equality of opportunity has been a
long standing feature of our employment practices and procedure, we have made the decision to
adopt a formal equal opportunities policy. Breaches of the policy will lead to disciplinary proceedings
and, if appropriate, disciplinary action.
2. The aim of the policy is to ensure no job applicant, employee or worker is discriminated against
either directly or indirectly on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief*,
political opinion or affiliation, sex, marital status, sexual orientation*, gender reassignment, age or
3. We will ensure that the policy is circulated to any agencies responsible for our recruitment and a
copy of the policy will be made available for all employees and made known to all applicants for
4. The policy will be communicated to all private contractors reminding them of their responsibilities
towards the equality of opportunity.
5. The policy will be implemented in accordance with the appropriate statutory requirements and full
account will be taken of all available guidance and in particular any relevant Codes of Practice.
6. We will maintain a harmonious working environment in which no employee or worker feels under
threat or intimidated.
B) RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
1. The recruitment and selection process is crucially important to any equal opportunities policy. We
will endeavour through appropriate training to ensure that employees making selection and
recruitment decisions will not discriminate, whether consciously or unconsciously, in making these
2. Promotion and advancement will be made on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made
within the overall framework and principles of this policy.
3. Job descriptions, where used, will be revised to ensure that they are in line with our equal
opportunities policy. Job requirements will be reflected accurately in any personnel specifications.
4. We will adopt a consistent, non-discriminatory approach to the advertising of vacancies.
5. We will not confine our recruitment to areas or media sources which provide only, or mainly,
applicants of a particular group.
6. All applicants who apply for jobs with us will receive fair treatment and will be considered solely on
their ability to do the job.
7. All employees involved in the recruitment process will periodically review their selection criteria to
ensure that they are related to the job requirements and do not unlawfully discriminate.
8. Short listing and interviewing will be carried out by more than one person where possible.
9. Interview questions will be related to the requirements of the job and will not be of a discriminatory
10. We will not disqualify any applicant because he/she is unable to complete an application form
unassisted unless personal completion of the form is a valid test of the standard of English required
for the safe and effective performance of the job.
11. Selection decisions will not be influenced by any perceived prejudices of other staff.
C) TRAINING AND PROMOTION
1. Senior staff will receive training in the application of this policy to ensure that they are aware of its
contents and provisions.
2. All promotion will be in line with this policy.
1. We will maintain and review the employment records of all employees in order to monitor the
progress of this policy.
2. Monitoring may involve:-
a. the collection and classification of information regarding race in terms of ethnic/national
origin, religion and sex of all applicants and current employees;
b. the examination by ethnic/national origin, religion and sex of the distribution of employees
and the success rate of the applicants; and
c. recording recruitment, training and promotional records of all employees, the decisions
reached and the reason for those decisions.
3. The results of any monitoring procedure will be reviewed at regular intervals to assess the
effectiveness of the implementation of this policy. Consideration will be given, if necessary, to
adjusting this policy to afford greater equality of opportunities to all applicants and staff.
*RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND EXCEPTED OCCUPATIONS
Under the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 there are certain
excepted occupations from both the direct and indirect discrimination prohibitions in the Order,
including jobs where their essential nature requires them to be done by a person holding, or not
holding, a particular religious belief or political opinion. Within the PCI certain positions, because of
their essential nature, require them to be done by those who are members of PCI or share its
* SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (NI) 2003 there is certain
exception where employment is for the purposes of an organised religion.
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
1. Many people in our society are victimised and harassed as a result of their race, colour, ethnic or
national origin, religious belief, political opinion or affiliation, sex, marital status, sexual orientation,
gender reassignment, age or disability.
2. By harassment we mean unwanted conduct of a sexual, sectarian or racial nature or other conduct
based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, political opinion or affiliation, sex,
marital status, gender reassignment, age or disability affecting the dignity of women and men at
work. This can include unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct. Such behaviour is
unacceptable where it is unwanted; unreasonable and offensive to the recipient; where it is used as
the basis for an employment decision or where it creates a hostile working environment.
3. Some examples are given below but many forms of behaviour constitute harassment.
a. physical contact ranging from touching to serious assault;
b. verbal and written harassment through jokes, racist remarks, offensive language, gossip
and slander, sectarian songs, threats and letters;
c. visual displays of posters, graffiti, obscene gestures, flags, bunting or emblems or any type
of offensive material;
d. isolation or non co-operation at work, exclusion from social activities;
e. coercion, including pressure for sexual favours, pressure to participate in political or
religious groups; and
f. intrusion by pestering, spying, following, etc.
4. You should note that it is the impact of the behaviour which is relevant and not the motive or intent
5. We recognise that personal harassment can exist in the workplace as well as outside and that this
can seriously affect employees’ working lives by interfering with their job performance or by
creating a stressful, intimidating and unpleasant working environment.
1. We deplore all forms of personal harassment and seek to ensure that the working environment is
sympathetic to all our employees.
2. All employees have the right to work in an environment which is free from any form of harassment.
We fully recognise the right of employees to complain about harassment should it occur. All
complaints will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentiality. Every effort will be made to
ensure that employees making complaints and others, who give evidence or information in
connection with the complaint, will not be victimised.
3. This policy and procedure will be communicated effectively to all employees and we will ensure
that all employees and all managers and supervisors are aware of their responsibilities.
Appropriate training may be provided including training on induction and management courses.
4. We will explain the policy to our staff and take steps to promote awareness of the procedure for
dealing with complaints. We will be responsive and supportive to any member of staff who makes
an allegation of harassment, provide clear advice on the procedure to be adopted, maintain
confidentiality and seek to ensure that there is no further problem of harassment or victimisation
after a complaint has been resolved.
5. We will set a good example by treating all staff and members of the congregation with dignity and
respect. We will be alert to unacceptable behaviour and take appropriate action. We will ensure
that staff know how to raise harassment problems.
6. You have a responsibility to help ensure a working environment in which the dignity of your
colleagues is respected. Everyone must comply with this policy and you should ensure that your
behaviour to colleagues does not cause offence and could not, in any way, be considered to be
7. You should discourage harassment by making it clear that you find such behaviour unacceptable
and by supporting colleagues who suffer such treatment and are considering making a complaint.
They should alert any Management to any incident of harassment to enable the organisation to
deal with the matter.
8. We have published these procedures to inform employees of the type of behaviour that is
unacceptable and provide employees who are the victims of personal harassment with a means of
C) COMPLAINING ABOUT PERSONAL HARASSMENT
1. This stage is appropriate where you simply want the behaviour to stop, where the harassment is
not serious or where it has not been repeated.
2. If you are the victim of minor harassment you should make it clear to the harasser on an informal
basis that their behaviour is unwelcome and ask the harasser to stop. You may prefer to do this
with the support of a colleague or Trade Union representative. If you feel unable to do this verbally
then you should hand a written request to the harasser, and your confidential adviser can assist
you in this.
3. You will be advised that:-
a. a formal investigation and possible disciplinary action can only take place if the complaint
is investigated under the formal procedure; and
b. a written record of the action taken will be made to assist with any formal proceedings
which may arise if the behaviour does not stop. Failure to maintain such a record will not
invalidate proceedings at the formal stage.
4. All reported incidents of harassment will be monitored and in the event of any patterns emerging
management may wish to initiate its own formal investigation and take remedial action where this
proves to be necessary. Additionally, there may be situations where the seriousness of a
complaint warrants formal proceedings.
1. The formal complaints procedure is appropriate if the harassment is serious; if the person making
the complaint prefers this; or if the harassment continues after the informal procedure has been
2. Where the informal approach fails or if the harassment is more serious, you should bring the matter
to the attention of the Line Manager or the Chairperson of the Management Committee as a
formal written complaint. This will not preclude the investigation of a complaint made verbally. If
possible, you should keep notes of the harassment so that the written complaint can include:
a. the name of the alleged harasser;
b. the nature of the alleged harassment;
c. dates and times when the alleged harassment occurred;
d. the names of any witnesses; and
e. any action already taken to stop the alleged harassment
3. The person dealing with the complaint will invite you to attend a meeting at a reasonable time and
location to discuss the matter and to carry out a thorough investigation. You have the right to be
accompanied at such a meeting by a colleague or Trade Union Representative and you must take
all reasonable steps to attend. Those involved in the investigation will be expected to act in
confidence and any breach of confidence will be a disciplinary matter.
4. When the investigation has been concluded, which will normally be within 10 working days of the
meeting with you, a draft report of the findings and of the investigator's proposed decision will be
sent, in writing, to you and to the alleged harasser.
5. If you or the alleged harasser are dissatisfied with the draft report or decision, this should be raised
with the investigator within five working days of receiving the draft. Any points of concern will be
considered by the investigator before a final report is sent, in writing to you and the alleged
harasser. You have the right to appeal against the findings of the investigator in accordance with
the provision of the grievance procedure.
D) GENERAL NOTES
1. If the report concludes that the allegation is well founded, the harasser will be subject to
disciplinary action in accordance with our disciplinary procedure. An employee who receives a
formal warning or who is dismissed for harassment may appeal against the disciplinary action by
using our disciplinary appeal procedure.
2. If you bring a complaint of harassment you will not be victimised for having brought the complaint.
However if the report concludes that the complaint is both untrue and has been brought with
malicious intent, disciplinary action will be taken against you.
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS
A) REDUNDANCY POLICY ARRANGEMENTS
1. Should circumstances arise where redundancy is seen to be a possibility, the first steps will be to:-
a. reduce overtime to a workable minimum;
b. restrict recruitment; and
c. investigate measures, such as short-time working and/or lay off (without pay), as a means
of avoiding redundancies.
2. If redundancies cannot be avoided, consideration will be given to applications for voluntary
redundancy, where acceptable.
3. If the selection of employees for redundancy becomes necessary, the criteria for selection will be
discussed with you at the time.
4. At all times the overriding consideration will be the future viability of the business.
B) TERMINATING EMPLOYMENT WITHOUT GIVING NOTICE
If you terminate your employment without giving or working the required period of notice, as
indicated in your individual statement of main terms of employment, you will have an amount equal
to any additional cost of covering your duties during the notice period not worked deducted from
any termination pay due to you. This is an express written term of your contract of employment.
You will also forfeit any contractual accrued holiday pay due to you over and above your statutory
holiday pay, if you fail to give or work the required period of notice.
C) RETURN OF OUR PROPERTY
On the termination of your employment you must return all our property which is in your possession
or for which you have responsibility. Failure to return such items will result in the cost of the items
being deducted from any monies outstanding to you. This is an express written term of your
contract of employment.
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Child Protection Policy
This policy statement is aimed at providing a safe environment where children and young people may
social contact, personal and spiritual development. The Kirk Session will implement such procedures
deems necessary to ensure the safety of children and young people at all times while present in and
around West’s premises. Adults selected to work within youth ministries should be secure in the
knowledge that they have the full support of the Kirk Session.
1. Adoption of Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Taking Care Guidelines
The Kirk Session of West Presbyterian Church has adopted the PCI’s Taking Care
Guidelines, approved by the General Assembly and revised in 2004. All organisations are
expected to adhere to these guidelines. The Kirk Session will review the implementation of the
The Kirk Session will ensure that all leaders are appropriately vetted, in line with PCI
recommendations. As a result of implementing such recommendations, leaders and helpers
within this congregation will be more assured of their position and of the confidence placed in
them by the Kirk Session.
The following procedures must be followed for the appointment of leaders/helpers who will be
18 years or over.
i) All new leaders (since Feb. 2005) will be required to complete an application form,
through Access NI.
ii) Applicants will be required to provide 2 referees, these must be persons who are not
relatives. (All confidential records will be stored safely by the Minister).
iii) The Kirk Session will appoint an interviewer to meet informally with the candidate.
Interviewers may be the designated person, the Minister or an Elder.
iv) At the interview, the Safeguarding Children Policy will be provided and explained.
3. Reporting of Concerns
The Kirk Session will encourage all leaders to undergo Taking Care training, to ensure that
they are fully conversant with the referral procedures, where there is concern about the welfare
of a child. These procedures are outlined in the Taking Care Manual.
4. Code of Practice
Each organisation will be expected to comply with the good practice guidelines contained in
West’s Leader’s Handbook (see Appendix 1), and with the Good Team Procedures outlined
in the Taking Care Manual (obtainable from the church office).
5. Parental Consent Forms
Leaders in Charge of individual organisations must ensure that parental consent forms are
completed at the start of each session for each child attending their organisation. Special
consent forms must be issued for any ‘off the premises’ activity and residentials. Leaders in
Charge will store these forms in a safe place. Sample forms are available in the Taking Care
6. Designated person
The Kirk Session has appointed two designated persons (Mr John Elliot and Mrs Christine Carleton)
who will provide consultation, advice and support to organisations and to the Youth and Children’s
and the Kirk Session on matters concerning the welfare of children and young people. Any
matter brought to the attention of the designated persons will be treated in strict confidence.
Information will be divulged only where there is a legitimate need to know. Designated persons
photographs and contact numbers will be displayed in church premises.
7. Health and Safety
The Kirk Session expects organisations to adhere to the guidance on safety matters attached
at appendix 2. These will be displayed in the foyer of the Paton Halls.
Organisations are expected to adhere to the guidance of West’s Leader’s Handbook and the
Taking Care Manual, relating to the use of private cars and minibuses for transporting children
to and from youth activities.
Guidance on residential trips is provided in West’s Leader’s Handbook and the Taking Care
Manual. These guidelines will be followed on all residential trips organised by all organisations
of West Presbyterian church.
The Kirk Session will encourage all leaders to follow guidelines for the use of sanctions as set
out in West’s Leader’s Handbook.
11. Implementation and review
The Kirk Session is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy, and will
review it every three years with the designated persons.
Safeguarding Children – General Safety Guidelines
Safety is of prime importance during any activity. That is not only the responsibility of the leader in
charge but of every leader/helper. They should be aware of, and comply with the following guidelines.
A. There should always be adequate supervision by leaders/helpers for all activities. Recommended
ratios of leaders/children are set out in the Taking Care Manual.
B. A risk assessment should be carried out and recorded by the leader in charge, at the start of
each season. These should include actions for minimising the risk. Individual risk assessments
should be completed for ‘one off’ activities and residentials. All risk assessments should be shared
with all leaders/helpers.
C. When using special equipment for your programme e.g. ‘One off’ activities, such as bouncy
trampoline etc, ensure there is adequate supervision by trained leaders/helpers. You may also
require special insurance to cover these higher risk activities. Be aware of the physical
environment and remove/avoid items which may cause injury.
If the organisation is undertaking what is deemed to be high risk activities, the leaders/helpers must
seek written permission from parents/guardians in advance.
D. If at all possible, aim to have a trained first aider present. Where possible, leaders/helpers should
be aware of any medication children are currently taking, but this should not be given without
written consent from parents or doctors. Leaders/helpers should also seek to obtain information
concerning allergies and reaction to foods e.g. peanuts. Medication should be clearly marked, out of
reach of children and securely locked away.
E. Be aware of the location of fire exits and ensure that they are ‘unblocked’. Know where the nearest
fire extinguishers are located. These must be checked regularly by a qualified person.
Occasionally, fire drills should be conducted to ensure that all young people know what evacuation
procedure to follow in the event of a real fire. It is helpful to have a record of these.
F. Young people must be supervised at all times by a leader/helper while in the kitchen area
organisations should develop protocols for the use of the kitchen.
G. Areas where maintenance work is being carried out should never be used and where possible
should be screened off. Committees and Kirk Sessions should keep organisation leaders informed
about maintenance work.
H. A telephone should be available at all times for emergency purposes.
J. Each organisation should have an Accident/Incident Report Book in which to record details of
accidents/injuries/witnesses/date. Sample forms are available in the Taking Care Manual.
K. Any individuals who are seen lingering inexplicably on church premises
while children/young people are engaged in their activities should be
reported, by the leader in charge, to the Minister or designated person.
This document had been adapted from the General Safety Guidelines contained in the Taking Care