06 December 2013 #Employment
In May this year we blogged on the case of Methodist Conference v Preston in which the Supreme Court held that it should not be presumed that there is no intention to create legal relations when appointing a minister purely because the role being carried out was a spiritual one.
In the more recent case of Sharpe v Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd and another, the EAT had to consider whether, in light of the Preston judgment, an employment judge had been wrong to strike out claims of a minister of the Church of England on the basis that he was not an employee or a worker.
The EAT held that it was indeed wrong to do so in light of Preston. It highlighted a number of errors made by the employment judge including the fact that the judge had focussed on whether it was necessary to imply a contract between the minister and the Church instead of conducting a detailed analysis of the documentation that governed the relationship.
The case is being remitted to a fresh tribunal to decide.