Work/Life Balance and Hours of Work
It is expected that clergy will arrange their ministerial week to meet the requirements of the particular needs of the communities they serve. It is also recognised that clergy must have adequate time off to ensure a healthy work life balance.
The calling of clergy by God is at the core of their being and clergy will want to respond with all their heart to this vocation. Because being a deacon, priest or bishop has to do with “being” and identity, as well as function. it is impossible to define ministry as one defines work. Nevertheless a cleric’s ministry has to be worked out in the everyday world of employment practices and directives.
The upper limits of the Working Time Directive do not apply “to others with autonomous decision taking powers whose working hours are neither measured nor predetermined or who can determine their own working hours”. Clergy fall into this category.
It is important that clergy take responsibility for organising the ministerial week to ensure there is a healthy work life balance. Clergy are therefore encouraged, in organising the working week, to look at the best practice adopted by other professionals. Clergy should ensure adequate time off and that the normal ministerial week must include one stated free day of twenty-four hours.
In organising the ministerial week, clergy should bear in mind the need for ministry to be productive time and be aware that there is evidence of increased risks to health and safety and lower productivity from working excessively long hours.
As a general rule of thumb the working day should be divided into three sessions morning, afternoon and evening and clergy should be available for duty for 2 out of 3 sessions per working day. Therefore if a cleric has undertaken funeral services in the morning and there is a PCC in the evening Clergy should work morning and evening i.e. two sessions out of the working day.