PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES

 

1.  Introduction

 

The purpose of the personnel manual and job descriptions is to stimulate the growth of the personnel in the church. Healthy churches expanding their employee base. As this expansion occurs, we need to have a clear, written set of policies, job descriptions, and expectations.

Treatment of our employees should be rooted in scripture, with the guiding principle being that of the “Golden Rule”. When the appropriate praise and attention is given to the individual work and contribution of each employee, the employee will respond by giving their best work to our church.

Every church has a responsibility to those it calls to service. We should reward exceptional performance, improve average performance, and discipline unsatisfactory performance. When clear instructions and effective training are given, personnel will know what is expected of them and respond accordingly.

The goal of the Personnel Committee and the Senior Pastor are to recommend hiring only those persons who are called by God. While we endeavor to carry on God’s work here, we should never lose sight of the fact that God expects us to adequately meet the needs of those called by Him and by our church. Just as we expect our employees to strive to be their best, we as a body of believers in Jesus Christ should give our best in terms of emotional, spiritual, and financial support.

The Personnel Committee will handle all personnel matters with input from the Deacon Body when needed, who together serve as a council of advice to the Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor has primary responsibility for overseeing all staff members, including recommendation for selection, and performance as stated in the following policies and procedures.

The personnel positions are classified according to the following classification codes. This is to be used throughout this manual to identify those positions effected by each policy:

 

·         Senior Pastor (SP)

·         Other  Ministers (OM)

·         Support Staff (SS)

·         Independent Contractors (IC)

             

2.       EMPLOYMENT  PROCEDURES (OM. SP)

As vacancies occur in the staff, the Senior Pastor will counsel with the Personnel Committee with respect to filling such vacancies. The responsibility for recruiting potential professional and support staff lies with the Senior Pastor and Personnel Committee. When appropriate, this may include temporary personnel. The Personnel Committee will serve as an interviewing and investigative function in the selection and approval of professional and support staff members.

 (OM, S) The following procedures will be followed during the selection process:

a)   The prospective staff member will complete an employment application form provided and approved for use by the Personnel Committee. (Falsification of information requested on the employment application may lead to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal.  

b)   An appropriate personal background check will be conducted on the prospective staff member. This may include, but not necessarily be limited to, one or more of the following:

·         Contacting previous employers

·         Checking financial and credit references

·         Health status

·         Educational background

·         Stability of the prospective staff member’s home life.

        

3.       CONDITIONS

 (OM, SS) The new staff member, the Senior Pastor and the Personnel Committee in accordance with respective job description will agree upon the conditions of employment as well as staff member responsibilities. A current job description shall be provided the prospective staff member during the interview process.

(IC) Independent contractor relationships may be utilized under the authority of the Deacon Body, Senior Pastor, and the Personnel Committee. All conditions of this service including job description and compensation will be contained in an annually renewable contract. There are no benefits or compensation other than set forth at the time of hire awarded to an independent contractor. This agreement must be signed by the Independent Contractor to be valid.

 

4.      ABSENCES

a.       DEATH IN THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY

Three days shall be granted off with pay when a death occurs in the immediate family, including in-laws. The employee should notify the Senior Pastor, Chairman of the Deacon Body, or the Chairman of the Personnel Committee of the need to be absent. Exceptions to the three-day policy may be made with approval from the Senior Pastor or the Personnel Committee.

b.      JURY DUTY

Employees are encouraged to cooperate in civic responsibilities. An employee on jury duty will receive full pay in addition to jury fees.

c.       STATUS DURING MILITARY LEAVE

The employee’s status with the church while on military leave shall not change. If the employee’s military salary is less than the salary paid by the church, then, the church will pay the difference. All other benefits contained in the employee’s compensation package shall remain in effect. Time spent on military leave shall be counted as continued tenure for the purpose of accruing vacation and sick leave under those policies.

d.      FAMILY LEAVE

Upon the birth or adoption of a child, an employee may take up to six weeks family leave. Pay for days missed will be commensurate with the number of accumulated sick days.

 

5.      EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Employee benefits are designed to help and protect the employee, but they are also intended to help and protect the church. These benefits are provided in addition to the salary paid the employee. An employee cannot take the cash equivalent in place of any benefit, unless previously recommended by the Personnel Committee and approved by the Church Body.

 

6.      ADVANCE SALARY

Under normal conditions, checks are not written in advance. Upon request from an employee, the Church Treasurer may issue in advance the salary check if its normal date of issue falls within the employee’s vacation time. The Chairman of the Personnel Committee and Treasurer may approve all other requests for advanced issuance of salary checks. (If the Chairman of the Personnel Committee or the Treasurer is unavailable to approve an advance, the employee will request approval from the Chairman of the Deacon Body.).

        

7.       TRAINING CONFERENCES AND CONVENTIONS

 (OM) Employees are encouraged to improve their job skills by participating in professional religious training each year. Participation in seminars and courses paid for out of budgeted church funds shall be approved by the Pastor and monitored by the Budget and Finance Committee.

 (SP) Participation by the Senior Pastor in seminars and courses paid from budgeted church funds, are to be monitored by the Chairman of the Deacon Body.

        

8.      INSURANCE:

(SP) The church may provide family medical coverage and individual disability insurance as a part of the compensation package. In accordance with the bylaws, The Pastoral Search Committee will negotiate the Senior Pastor’s insurance package.

 (OM, S) The Personnel Committee, after consultation with the Budget and Finance Committee and Deacon Body, may negotiate changes to the employee’s compensation package to include medical and/or disability insurance coverage. Upon completion of such negotiations, a final recommendation shall be presented to the Budget and Finance Committee for inclusion in the overall annual personnel budget.

The premiums for other insurance policies such as dental policies will be the responsibility of the employee.

 

9.      HOLIDAYS:

The following holidays shall be paid holidays:

New Year’s Day

Labor Day

Easter Monday

Thanksgiving (two days)

Memorial Day

Christmas (two days)

July 4th

 

              

A holiday, which falls on a Sunday, will be observed within five working days. It is the responsibility of the Senior Pastor to select dates and stagger work schedules in order to maintain operational needs.

        

10.    MOVING EXPENSE:

 (OM) All reasonable cost (as determined by the Personnel Committee) for moving the household goods of the newly hired employee may be paid by the church. In addition, the new employee will be reimbursed at the standard Internal Revenue for driving the personal vehicle(s) to the church from the location of his previous employment. If applicable, room and board will be reimbursed at actual cost not to exceed a specific time period negotiated by the Personnel Committee at the time of hire. If applicable, furniture storage will be paid by the church for a time period not to exceed three months. The above statement will apply to the Senior Pastor but will be determined by the Pastoral Search Committee and not the Personnel Committee.

        

11.    PENSION

The church will pay for an annuity equal to 5% of the employee’s salary, (including housing allowance, if applicable), unless otherwise negotiated with the employee and approved by the Personnel Committee. Annual salary percentage increases shall be calculated prior to the 5% annuity being calculated. Upon written request, employees also may choose to contribute to an additional pension fund by agreeing to a salary reduction. Upon notification by the employee the Church Treasurer may pay the contribution and deduct that amount from the employee’s salary check. Such payments shall be shown and itemized in the Treasurer’s annual report.

 

12.    SOCIAL SECURITY

All non-ordained employees will participate in social security contributions upon employment. The church will pay its share and automatically deduct the employee’s share from the salary check prior to issuance.

      

13.    VACATION

 

 Annual vacation, with pay, is provided the employee, consistent with their normal work- week as follows:

·         Six months to one year of service one week of vacation

·         One - two years of service = Two weeks of vacation

·         Three + years of service = Three weeks vacation

By way of example, if the normal work week is three days a week and the employee has six months + of service, then the employee would be eligible to take one (three day work week) week off.

 (OM, SS) Vacation weeks shall not be taken back to back without prior approval from the Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor will give notification of vacation to the Chairman of the Deacon Body and the Chairman of the Personnel Committee when staff will be on vacation.

 (SP) Vacation leave will have prior approval by the Chairman of the Deacon Body, or his designee. Notification will be given to the Chairman of the Personnel Committee when the Senior Pastor is to be on vacation.

 (SP, OM, SS) Vacation schedules shall be planned in a manner consistent with church events and needs. Upon termination of employment an employee shall be compensated at their current salary level for their unused accumulated vacation leave. A maximum of one week of vacation may be carried forward into the next fiscal year.

 (SP, OM) Professional employees are expected to participate in all scheduled worship services. Realizing the need for family and personal obligations, employees are allowed two Sunday absences per calendar year. This must receive prior approval by the Senior Pastor or the Personnel Committee.

 

 

14.    SICK LEAVE

The church’s sick leave policy provides that for each calendar month of employment: ½ day of sick leave will accrue, not to exceed 6 days annually and up to 60 days maximum during active employment.

Sick leave will be granted as stated above provided the following conditions are met:

·         Upon request, present evidence satisfactory to the Senior Pastor or the Personnel Committee of the inability to work because of illness.

·         Upon a recommendation by the Senior Pastor or the Personnel Committee, accept temporary reduction in responsibilities as may be commensurate with his or her illness or disability. If the employee’s illness or disability   requires a permanent reduction in job responsibilities, a corresponding reduction in salary will be negotiated by the Personnel Committee and presented to the Church Body for approval.

·         Report to the Pastor the cause of absence the first day of each period of absence due to illness and, if requested, present a physician’s certificate setting forth the illness and incapacity which entitles the employee to sick leave pay.

·         Not use sick leave credit for any other purpose than illness of the employee or immediate family (Father, Mother, Spouse, and Children).

·         Accumulated sick leave credit is not payable in cash or in any other form should the employee leave employment with the church.

         In cases of illness for a period beyond accumulated sick leave, special consideration may be given with respect to compensation. The Personnel Committee will present a recommendation for special consideration to the Church Body for approval, in accordance with Bylaws.

        

15.   REVIVALS AND PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Ordained employees and other ministers are entitled to two events away per year to lead revivals, assist other churches, or lead conferences. During this time, no reduction in pay will occur.

 

 

 

16.   PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

a.      (SP) The Senior Pastor’s annual performance review will be conducted by the Chairman of the Deacon Body and the Chairman of the Personnel Committee. Such review shall be conducted during the month of July each year. Input from members of the Deacon Body and their respective Chairpersons may request the Personnel Committee, prior to the evaluation. The results of the review will be kept in the employee’s personal file. The pastor will submit a personal growth self-assessment at the time of his performance review.
b.      (OM, SS) Annual performance reviews will be conducted with each employee by the Senior Pastor annually during the month of July. Input from members of the Deacon Body and Personnel Committee shall be requested prior to the evaluation. Each employee will submit a personal growth self-assessment at the time of his/her performance review. The results of the review shall be kept in the employee’s personal file. During this evaluation process, the Chairman of the Deacon Body and/or the Chairman of the Personnel Committee may be called in at the discretion of the Senior Pastor.    

                 

17.   SALARY ADMINISTRATION

a.      (SP) Following a performance review and on an annual basis, the Deacon Body will submit in writing the recommended increase in salary for the Pastor to the Personnel Committee.

b.      (OM, SS) Following performance reviews, the Personnel Committee and the Senior Pastor will determine the salary increases recommended for each staff member. A record of each employee’s recommended increase will be maintained in the employee’s personnel file and kept locked by the Senior Pastor. Once determined, the Personnel Committee will submit a request to the Budget and Finance Committee for salary increases for each staff member based on performance. In administering the staff salaries the following may be used by the Senior Pastor and the Personnel Committee as guidelines for salary distribution.

 

 

18.   PERFORMANCE BASED PAY:

(SP, OM, SS) This section of the salary structure is designed to recognize the extraordinary performance of the employee. On an annual basis, the employee may receive an increase in salary based on job performance as determined by performance reviews. Decisions concerning performance raises will be documented and records maintained by the Senior Pastor and the Personnel Committee. This information will be confidential and only available to the Senior Pastor, the Personnel Committee, and the Deacon Body.

 

19.   HOUSING ALLOWANCE: 

Ordained employees will be allowed to designate a portion of salary as housing allowance, in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations. The housing allowance should reflect housing costs as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.

       

20.  DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Taking disciplinary action against an employee is to be administered with extreme care. If a church member, as defined in the Bylaws of the church, believes such action is warranted their complaint shall be detailed in writing, signed, dated, and submitted to their Deacon or any member of the Personnel Committee. The complaint should then be forwarded to the Chairman of the Deacon Body or Chairman of the Personnel Committee. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Chairman of the Deacon Body and Chairman of the Personnel Committee shall meet with the church member to determine the basis for the complaint. Unless the Pastor is the subject of the complaint, he shall be involved immediately upon the complaint being received by either the Chairman of the Personnel Committee or the Chairman of the Deacon Body.  If in their judgment, sufficient evidence exists to validate the complaint, a meeting will be held with the employee. Should the employee be unable to invalidate the complaint, then a joint meeting of the Deacon Body and the Personnel Committee shall be called into executive session. The employee and/or the church member filing the complaint may be requested to attend. Upon completion of the deliberations, a written vote shall be taken. Dispensation of disciplinary action shall require a 80% favorable vote from the members attending the joint meeting. A special Church Conference may be called to report on disciplinary action taken. In the case of an extreme emergency, the Deacon Body Executive Committee and the Chairman of the Personnel Committee (or their designee) may temporarily suspend a staff member with pay, pending committee action.

 

21.   PERSONNEL RECORDS

a.       (OM, S) The Senior Pastor will be responsible for setting up and maintaining a personnel file on every employee. The file shall include at a minimum a resume, salary record, pension record, sick and vacation leave records, annual performance Review Ratings, copy of the current job description, and all disciplinary actions, if applicable. Access to employee’s personnel file will be restricted to the Senior Pastor, Chairman of the Personnel Committee, and Chairman of the Deacon Body. The employee will be given access to his /her file upon written request and in the presence of the Senior Pastor or the Chairman of the Personnel Committee. The personnel records shall be locked in a secure place.

b.      (SP) The Chairman of the Deacon Body will maintain the Senior Pastor’s personnel file. The Pastor will be given access to his file upon request and in the presence of the Chairman of the Deacon Body, or his designee.

 

22.  OFFICE HOURS:

The church office will be open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday. The Senior Pastor will arrange work schedules to insure office coverage during these hours. Ministry staff will keep the office aware of their day-today plans but not required to keep set office hours. All ministry staff are encourage to keep a daily ministry log.

 

 

23.  AUTO EXPENSE:

a.      (OM, S) Employees shall be reimbursed for mileage driven as required to perform their job responsibilities. The Internal Revenue Service will reimburse mileage at the standard mileage rate as set annually. A detailed mileage log must be monitored and approved by the Senior Pastor and submitted to the Church Treasurer for reimbursement.

b.       (SP) A detailed mileage log must be kept, monitored and approved by the Chairman of the Deacon body, prior to reimbursement by Treasurer.

 

 

24.  PROFESSIONAL EXPENSES: 

Employees will be given a budget each year for professional development (i.e. books, materials, and equipment). Employees must present an itemized receipt before reimbursement is given. Items purchased under this expense will be the property of the employee.

 

25.  GARNISHMENTS:

The Church Treasurer will receive and process garnishments according to legal requirements. The Senior Pastor (unless involved), Chairman of the Deacon Body, and Chairman of the Personnel Committee will meet with the employee to give guidance. Garnishments are to be discouraged and may negatively affect an employee’s Performance Review Rating, and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

 

26.  SEVERANCE PAY:

The Deacon Body Executive Committee and the Chairman of the Personnel Committee will approve and grant all severance packages, after consultation with their respective committees.